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FARZI is a fun and thrilling series with the performances of Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi being the icing on the cake.


Farzi Review {3.0/5} & Review Rating

FARZI is the story of a cat-and-mouse chase between a con artist and a righteous officer. Sunny (Shahid Kapoor) is an artist and painter. His special talents are creating portraits of people within 5 minutes and the ability to copy any painting flawlessly. He sells his paintings at a café but is fed up with customers bargaining and not respecting his talent. He lives with his paternal grandfather, Madhav Gangadhar (Amol Palekar), who runs a newspaper named Kranti Patrika. His mother died when he was 6 while his father, who was heavily in debt, abandoned him, ran away and ended his life when Sunny was young. Sunny survived on a railway platform where he befriended Feroz (Bhuvan Arora), a fellow orphan, before Madhav found him and adopted him, as well as Firoz. Sunny is dating Ananya (Kavya Praveen Thapar). She belongs to a rich family and detests the fact that Sunny is of a lower class. Sunny can feel it though she never communicates about it. Meanwhile, Ratan Lal (Shiv Dev Singh) and his son Aashirwad (Happy Ranajit), who had lent money to Madhav, give him just one month to repay the loan. Madhav owes a huge amount and he realizes that he’ll never be able to repay at such short notice. Hence, he prepares to discontinue Kranti Patrika and shut down his printing press. Sunny knows how much the newspaper means to his grandfather. He tries various means to raise money but his efforts prove futile. This is when he chances upon the idea of publishing counterfeit currency. Thanks to his talent, he’s able to draw an exact replica of the Rs. 500 note. He then finds the materials required and using Madhav’s printing press secretly at night, he and Firoz publish the notes. Through trial and error, they are finally able to come up with a note, which can fool anybody. Through their good friend Anees (Saqib Ayub) and his acquaintance Sketch Manjha (Suyash Zunjurke), they meet Lakdawala (Lokesh Mittal), who agrees to buy their notes and pay them handsomely. Through the money earned, they are able to repay Ratan Lal’s loan and save the press. Meanwhile, Michael Vednayagam (Vijay Sethupathi) is a righteous officer who passionately believes that the threat of counterfeit currency should be eliminated once and for all. Through his association with finance minister Pawan Gahlot (Zakir Hussain), he’s able to have his own task force, specially dedicated to this cause. He enlists Megha Vyas (Raashii Khanna) of the RBI as he’s impressed with her invention, a chip named CT-600 that can easily detect fake notes instantly. However, the target of Michael and his task force is not Sunny but Mansoor Dalal (Kay Kay Menon), the biggest player in the counterfeit currency network. What happens next forms the rest of the web series.

Farzi

Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK, Sita R Menon and Suman Kumar’s story is superb and has all the trappings of a fun entertainer. Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK, Sita R Menon and Suman Kumar’s screenplay is entertaining and yet simple to comprehend. The series is peppered with several fun and thrilling scenes that keep the interest going. However, the pace is a problem and a few plot points are difficult to digest. Hussain Dalal’s dialogues (additional dialogues by Raghav Dutt) are one of the best parts of the show. The dialogues between Michael and the finance minister, especially, are too funny. Also, Sunny’s dialogue on middle-class and loans is hard-hitting yet hilarious and can go viral.

Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s direction, as always, is effective. Simplicity is their biggest strength. Though the series speaks about fake currency, cross-border terrorism, covert operations etc. it never gets heavy or confusing. At the same time, they don’t attempt to spoon-feed the audience as well. For instance, one has to see how they have explained the art of making the perfect fake note, to the extent that it might inspire people to try it at home! Moreover, they have a certain kind of sense of humour that works big time with the audience. That kind of fun is very much present here and adds to the overall entertainment quotient.

On the flipside, the show also has its share of shortcomings. Raj-DK’s last outing was THE FAMILY MAN, which has set a benchmark. Its success has also increased the expectations for FARZI. In that regard, FARZI doesn’t reach the level of the Manoj Bajpayee-starrer. The series, at times, moves at a snail’s pace. Instead of eight episodes, ideally it should have been 6 episodes long at the most for a better impact. Secondly, there are loopholes in the narrative. The track of Madhav suffering from a brain condition is weak. It’s bewildering that Sunny didn’t immediately consult a doctor when he found out that Madhav had started forgetting things. Madhav, despite being righteous, doesn’t inform the cops when he learns about Sunny’s fake currency business. Also, Madhav never remembers that he had caught Sunny red-handed. Maybe, this is a part of the condition but it is never properly explained to the viewers. He also never tries to find out how Sunny became so rich all of a sudden. The same applies to Sunny and Megha’s track. Megha hardly gets suspicious despite Sunny being unavailable for days on end and it’s unconvincing. The finale, lastly, is a bit underwhelming, especially with regards to Michael’s track.

FARZI begins on an intriguing note. Sunny’s introduction is engaging, especially the circumstances that compel him to take up the illegal currency printing route. The quirky humour scenes work big time, be it a young Sunny cutting bun for his birthday, Michael taking his son out a treat (which ends in a disaster), Sunny and Firoz getting almost caught for using fake note at a wine shop, Sunny, Firoz and the gang stealing paper etc. However, the best is reserved for the scenes of Michael and the minister, particularly when the former drunk-dials the latter. Had this been a film scene, it would have led to a frenzy in cinemas. Three scenes that stand out for being nail-biting are Megha inspecting the printing press, madness in Bangladesh and the ship sequence. The scene where Sunny and Megha are listening to the same phone conversation, without being aware of it, is smart. On the other hand, the track of Sunny and Madhav, though touching, doesn’t work as intended as the base is not strong. Some scenes also seem unwanted and needlessly drag the show.

Farzi – Official Trailer | Shahid Kapoor, Vijay Sethupathi, Kay Kay Menon, Raashii Khanna

Speaking of performances, Shahid Kapoor looks dashing and as expected, delivers a splendid performance. He also shines in the action scenes. Vijay Sethupathi is outstanding and rocks the show with his deadpan expression and sense of humour. In the scenes with his in-laws, he also moves viewers. FARZI also is a good way to introduce him to the Hindi audience before his big Bollywood breaks, especially the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer JAWAN. Raashii Khanna puts up yet another confident show after RUDRA: EDGE OF DARKNESS [2022]. Bhuvan Arora leaves a huge mark. Zakir Hussain brings the house down and the show goes on a different level in his scenes. Kay Kay Menon is dependable as always and two scenes where he stands out are his entry sequence in the Nepal hotel room and when he tells Sunny to come on board. Amol Palekar is lovely, though his track is weak. Regina Cassandra (Rekha) is superb as Michael’s wife. Chittaranjan Giri (Yasir Chacha) has an important part and does well. Chittaranjan Tripathy (Lawyer), Anna Ador (Svetlana) and Ajay Jadhav (Inspector Shinde) are damn good and are memorable despite limited screen time. Vijayakumar (Jitu Kaka) gets limited scope. Kubbra Sait (Saira) is fair but doesn’t have much to do and hopefully, will have a meatier role in the next season. Saqib Ayub is damn good and raises laughs. Others who do a fair job are Shiv Dev Singh, Happy Ranajit, Suyash Zunjurke, Lokesh Mittal, Kavya Praveen Thapar, Jaswant Dalal (Shekhar; Michael’s associate), Saurav Chakrabarti (Jamal; Mansoor’s henchman), Vivek Madaan (Arjun Nayyar; Rekha’s friend), Nilesh Divekar (Bilal), Divyam Shukla (Vyom), Padma Damodaran (Journalist Kamala Thakker), Govind Pandey (MLA Kesaribhai Doshi) and Jehangir Karkaria (Kersi Dubash). Finally, Uday Mahesh (Chellam Sir) is a big surprise and will surely put a smile on the viewers’ faces.

Sachin-Jigar’s music is passable. Except for the title song, the other tracks are not memorable. Ketan Sodha’s background score is excellent, especially the tension-filled theme in Mansoor Dalal’s scenes. Special mention should also be made of the smart use of the old song ‘Zara Naino Se Nana’. Pankaj Kumar’s cinematography is neat. The various locales of India, Nepal and Jordan are well-captured. Parichit Paralkar’s production design is realistic. Aejaz Gulab’s action is real and minus any gore or bloodshed. Neha R Bajaj’s costumes are appealing, especially the ones worn by Raashii Khanna and Kay Kay Menon. Anisha Jain’s costumes for Shahid Kapoor are stylish. VFX is impressive. The use of animation in the opening credits matches global standards. Sumeet Kotian’s editing could have been crisper.

On the whole, FARZI is a fun and thrilling series with the performances of Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi being the icing on the cake. However, the impact is affected due to the long length and certain loopholes in the script and hence, it doesn’t reach the level of Raj-DK’s previous outing, THE FAMILY MAN.

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