A superstar heroine, a her producer husband, a lover from the past, a daughter who wants to be an actress, a fan who is a stalker, an admirer who is a painter, a financier who is sleazy, a mother who is dominating – There are so many of these characters put together in The Fame Game that for hardcore Bollywood buffs, it isn’t difficult to draw references with several real life celebrities from Bollywood. You feel that you have seen it all up, close and personal, and there are several tabloids and gossip magazines that emerge as the source of it all.
No wonder, one can well imagine that Madhuri Dixit, the central protagonist of the show which was earlier titled Finding Anamika, could well have shared quite a few inputs of her own in the web offering that has been put together by Sri Rao with Bejoy Nambiar and Karishma Kohli stepping in as directors.
So what you get to see is a woman [Madhuri Dixit] who has an opportunistic husband [Sanjay Kapoor], a doting lover [Manav Kaul], a daughter who wants to get out of her shadows [Muskkaan Jaferi], a son who has secrets of his own [Lakshvir Saran], a stalker who reminds of Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan [Gagan Arora] and a mother who is happy playing cards game 24X7 in a retired life [Suhasini Mulay].
In the brilliantly directed first 15 minutes of the film, the lady of the house goes missing even as several moments from her past and present life are superbly embellished into the narrative with the camerawork, background score and editing pattern bringing on an impressive montage.
Who kidnapped Anamika? What was the motive? How are incidents from largely the last six months of her life connected to the turn of the events? What’s the end game? Will she survive her tormentor? Is it really true what meets the eye? Is fact stranger than fiction? Doesn’t Anamika have a single true well wisher despite being a superstar for decades? Will she ever have a life of her own?
A lot is narrated into this 8 episode series, though one has to admit that a faster pace would have made this an even crisper affair. Had this been a 6 episode web series with rapidly moving scenes, The Fame Game would have made for an even more exciting affair. Some of the scenes unfold really slow and there are certain frames in the series which lend an impression of a TV serial instead of a web series.
Thankfully though, these are just minor aberration in the bigger scheme of things as by and large this Karan Johar production boasts of many interesting moments that make for a good humane drama. Moreover, the layered narrative helps as twists and turns are abound right till the climax, something that catches you completely unaware. That’s actually what makes The Fame Game a largely satisfying offering at Netflix where you are left asking for more with the stage already been set for the second season.