Back in the 90s when I was a student, I remember picking up a few novels written by Surendra Mohan Pathak. This was mostly on my train journey between Delhi (my home town) and Bangalore (where I was pursuing my post graduation) and largely it was out of curiosity. From the world of Sidney Sheldon that I proudly displayed even for guests at home, to this kind of pulp fiction that I had to mostly hide under the pillow even during a train journey amidst strangers, it was like exploring two extreme worlds.
This is what Bicchoo Ka Khel does to you as well. The elite amongst the urban crowds may well have a living room conversation over a round of drinks around Scam 1992. However, out there in the interiors or in the local trains or amidst the mass centric crowd, one could well hear the escapades of Divyendu Sharma in Bicchoo Ka Khel. Every such outing has an audience of its own and rest assured, this Ekta Kapoor offering which is streaming at ALT Balaji as well as ZEE 5, will manage to attract those in the late teens and the ones in their 20s and 30s.
The central protagonist of the show, Divyendu Sharma, is pretty much enjoying a double bill currently. His Mirzapur 2 is still being talked about and from being a key member of the ensemble cast to now leading the show in Bicchoo Ka Khel, he is indeed on a roll. What is remarkable though is that despite the UP setting this time around as well, Divyendu brings in a slightly different color to his performance in this web series that has been directed by Ashish R. Shukla (who have a terrific Undekhi earlier this year). There is a childlike innocence in him.
That’s required as well due to the core premise of the show where he is out there to take his ‘baap ki maut ka badla’. In a true pulp fiction fashion, this too starts with a murder where the killer [Divyendu] surrenders to the police [Syed Zeeshan Qadri] and starts narrating his tale in the flashback. He is out there to avenge the death of his father [Mukul Chadda], both of whom get a kick out of stationing themselves in the deserted ‘havelis’ of the rich folks of Banaras. One such adventure proves to be costly for them after the murder of a high profile personality.
While his girlfriend [Anshul Chauhan] and best friend [Abhinav Anand] go all out to cover up his crime, another couple (Rajesh Sharma, Trishna Mukherjee) who own a sweets shop has an agenda of its own. Meanwhile, the kith and kin of the ‘baahubali’ who has been killed are out for revenge as well, even as the other women on the show [Prashansa Sharma and Akanksha Thakur] are perpetually sexed up in each and every of their on-screen appearances. Moreover, as is the case with majority of web series, this one too has expletives all over the narrative.
‘Isme action bhi hai, emotion bhi hai, humor bhi hai, sex bhi hai, drama bhi hai’ – This could well have been the pitch for Bicchoo Ka Khel, which has been picked from the pulp fiction novel of the same name. While this means that there is all around ‘masala’ in this quick-fire show that runs at a rapid pace, it also means that there is no dearth of cinematic liberties that are taken. At number of points in the narrative you wonder that how could this have actually happened or why the characters are behaving in a certain way. However, the fast pace saves it all.
There is a point that comes in this web series around the third episode, where you stop thinking much about the motives and intentions of the protagonists and just stay on the ride. Had the attention span been constantly ensured with the writers plugging in some loopholes, Bicchoo Ka Khel would have turned out to be even better than what it currently is. However, on the flipside one can see that this one has been put together in a record time and considering the fact that it has anyways been sold as a pulp fiction affair, one goes with the flow.
All in all, considering the fact that this one gets through in around three hour sitting, you are fine with what the team has had to offer. Of course, while Divyendu Sharma oozes a certain likeability factor that is the mainstay of the series, another actor who impresses the most is Syed Zeeshan Qadri. He actually even looks and acts like Anurag Kashyap, who himself has a unique sense of humor, something that comes across in Bicchoo Ka Khel as well.
This is what the series is all about too; the kind where humor runs right through the proceedings even in the deadliest of the situations.