Digital review: ‘Bhaag Beanie Bhaag’ (Netflix)

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With Swara Bhasker in the lead role, Netflix’s ‘Bhaag Beanie Bhaag’ promised a rather refreshing character at its centre and an interesting six-episode series, directed by Debbie Rao, Ishaan Nair and Abi Varghese. Does it really live up to the romantic, break-out kind of story it promises?

Beanie Bhatnagar (Bhasker) has been seeing Arun (Varun Thakur) for three years and, when he unexpectedly proposes, she realises that that’s not what she want in her life. Without much thought, she continues with the engagement but also starts performing comedy acts at a local club. She ends up abruptly giving up her job and also leaving him on the night of their roka, to discover that she perhaps might not have what it takes to take up stand-up comedy as a career. Does she keep going towards her dream or settle back into the life she so hastily tried to leave behind?

The most refreshing thing about ‘Bhaag Beanie Bhaag’ is perhaps the casting, as odd as that might sound. Right from Bhasker and Thakur all the way through to actors like Girish Kukarni and Mukti Mohan, it all seems to feel new and enduring. Bhasker in the titular role is perfect for this character as she ranges from being unhappy and needing to be fulfilled to carefree and independent of her parents with little effort. All the other performances are great and seeing Bhasker perform comedy in this way seems quite similar to Sidhi in ‘Four More Shots Please!’ but it also has a very different background story which feels rather relatable. Bhasker’s chemistry with Thakur is comic in an awkward way and Thakur’s performance as Arun is praiseworthy. A special mention is also deserved by Dolly Singh who plays Beanie’s best friend Kapi – she provides much of the entertainment about Beanie’s situation and she’s an influencer which in itself gives some laugh-out-loud moments too. Kulkarni and popular actress Mona Ambegaonkar play Beanie’s parents and are great together as well as individually in their roles. Mohan is also a complete breath of fresh air in her short role.

A huge mention should be given to the writers of the show – Nisha Kalra, Neel Shah, Ravi Patel and Devashree Shivadekar. Their writing is strong and very to-the-point, giving the viewers little room to manoeuvre in seems of how the characters are acting. Each one fits the bill and reacts in a relatively understandable way but, having said this, that element of surprise still remains a teeny bit intact which is something you almost expect may disappear in such a web-series.

The underlying themes of typicality are explored interestingly from wanting to fulfil a dream even at marriage age – which is perfectly fine in many cultures but produces problems within an Indian society, more often than not – to parents not being comfortable with a profession like stand-up comedy. It’s all very representative of social attitudes – some which may differ from community to community but most which still play a big part in the lives of young Indians today. This social attitude theme which runs through creates opportunities of challenge and also change which find a very subtle place within ‘Bhaag Beanie Bhaag’ that as a viewer, you may not even actively notice. The only thing that can be said which might let this series down a little is that it remains on that flat level which is comfortable for the viewer and it may be that it needed something a little out there to make it cross that rather “safe” path.

Overall, this is one series that provides an applauseworthy balance between great acting, solid script and also social issues and it therefore comes across as an interesting romantic comedy which probably does deserve a second season. It’s an easy watch and Bhasker is undoubtedly the perfect Beanie who you’d love to keep watching in the character much after you complete this season.

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