The very beginning of Taish, which has been presented in a movie as well as six episode (and much longer) series format, says it all. In the washroom lobby of an up-market pub, Pulkit Samrat is in full ‘taish’ (rage). He is beating away Abhimanyu Singh, who is double his size, into pulp. Only rage could have made it possible. The man’s spinal cord is punctured, he turns into a vegetable for life, and now Pulkit, and his friend Jim Sarbh, for whom he did it all, are in danger for life.
The man, who is immovable now, is the ‘mover and shaker’ of the crime syndicate in UK. A rustic Punjabi with a legacy to boast of, he has Harshvardhan Rane as his close confidante, and now the two families are at warring end.
But then who started it all? Was it Pulkit? Abhimanyu? Jim? Harshvardhan? Or someone else?
What was the trigger point? What’s the current situation? And how will it all end? Will each of these four men who is carrying ‘taish’ deep inside let it go eventually, and so easily?
Well, this is the build up that filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar [Shaitan, David, Wazir] puts together for Taish which is quite comfortably one of the best straight-to-OTT offerings that audiences are seeing ever since it all started with Gulabo Sitabo many months back.
It’s the narrative style that sets the tone. Considering the fact that I watched this as a series (I would be catching the film version soon), there is a lot of back and forth that happens in the storytelling where Bejoy explores different time-zones. The story is basically told in two halves. The first half is about the series is events that took place in a span of 8 days in a ‘shaadi waala ghar’ and the second half is what happened two years down the line.
The first half actually takes you to the world that was shown in that brilliant web series Undekhi which hit the screens a few months back. There is a marriage underway and guess what, the groom is just the same as well in both the affairs, Ankur Rathee. Just like Undekhi, even in Taish he is the victim of circumstances. Even as he tries to settle to reality with his would-be bride Zoa Morani, there is another marriage that is possibly in the making, the one between Jim Sarbh and his Pakistani doctor girlfriend Kriti Kharbanda.
This could well be a Yash Chopra/Karan Johar’s ‘shaadi waala ghar’ on steroids, what with pool side parties, weed consumption, coordinated dance rehearsals, skeletons coming out of cupboards, conversations happening via mirrors, impromptu jumps into the lake, the make-outs soon after, the hook ups in the process and then the big bang, everything happening in quick succession. If the cruise party in Dil Dhadakne Do had to be more real, this countryside lavish destination wedding in UK could well be a real time example.
What makes Taish exciting is the unpredictability of it all, what with a parallel track running of a love story between Harshvardhan Rane and Sanjeeda Sheikh in a ‘well to do’ gangster world with Saloni Batra, the lady of the house, as the silent spectator. They are ‘Punjabi by Nature’, and they make no two bones about it. They converse only in Punjabi, even if that means that for a section of audiences, some of the dialogues could well go as bouncers. Also, the irony is that the elite in the world of Jim and Pulkit are flamboyant while the gangsters are all subtle!
All hell breaks loose though when the two families cross paths. None of it is filmy, there is no ‘masala’ out there either; it is all very organic, and that’s what makes Taish exciting. However, the best is reserved for the second half when the story takes some true exciting turns. Watch it to know more but this is where the style quotient too goes many notches up and so are the performances, what with the true ‘taish’ of each and every character being out in the open.
This is where one marvels over the inherent talent that each of the actors boasts of in Taish. Pulkit Samrat has to be seen to be believed, particularly in a couple of scenes where he brings on the rage. Carrying an altogether different body language and dialogue delivery, he is a revelation! Harshvardhan Rane comes up with a fantastic act as a Punjabi gangster in UK. He reminds of Sanjay Dutt of the 90s with swagger and sway that is truly heroic. He has the kind of intense screen presence which makes the character perfect!
I noticed Jim Sarbh first in Neerja and then from there to Made In Heaven and now Taish, he is picking up different characters each time around. As a sensible man with his rage in check, he is fun to watch in light hearted moments as well. He has his own unique style! As for Kriti Kharbanda, she has shown earlier too in Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana that she can play mature parts quite well. As a Pakistani doctor in UK, she stays on to be gorgeous woman next door who picks up a major responsibility – To unite the entire family. She needs to be seen more!
Taish is a truly ensemble affair with everyone from Sanjeeda Shiekh, Zoa Morani and AnkurRathee to Abhimanyu Singh, Saurabh Sachdeva, Saloni Batra and Viraf Patel fitting well into the narrative and making a good contribution. If you are in for intense thrillers, watch Taish at ZEE5 where it is streaming now. This one is a tense dramatic affair which marries style with substance.