Mandaar (2021) Review: Hard-Hitting Series is a Win

Mandaar is a TV series directed by Anirban Bhattacharya and starring Debasish Mondal, Sohini Sarkar, Debesh Roy Choudhuri, and Anirban Bhattacharya, alongside other cast members. The series consists of 5 episodes, each around 40 minutes long.

Hoichoi describes the series as:

Power corrupts. And the pursuit of power devastates. As the battle for Geilpur reaches its peak, lust for power overpowers human conscience in this tragic tale of greed, lust and prophecies!

– Mandaar review does not contain spoilers –

Anirban Bhattacharya’s directorial debut, Mandaar, is a hard-hitting TV series. There’s not a moment that is wasted here and from minute 1 you are treated to how twisted and horrible people can be. Based on Macbeth, the series is gnarly and oftentimes difficult to watch.

Mandaar is extremely well-crafted. As I mentioned previously, the series wastes no time to get the show running. The storyline flows smoothly and with enough mystery and intrigue to keep you thoroughly invested in what happens next. The camera-work and cinematography are also to be appreciated for that as well. The series looks excellent and the way the series is shot gives an extra air of mystery to the entire thing.

Mandaar is set in Geilpur and for people who have read Macbeth, this is going to be something to look forward to. Not just for the characters and understanding who is whom, but also for the story itself. How does the series encapsulate everything that William Shakespeare wrote all those years ago? How do political ambitions shape a person’s life? The ramifications of greed are a part and parcel of Macbeth and Bhattacharya does well with setting it in a small town with small-town people. Power is power, whether you live in a castle or hut.

Either way, Mandaar breaks the Bengali notion that we don’t make good TV shows. Although not for everyone because the series is extremely brutal and in-your-face, it’s a good watch for those who like shows based on reality. Because, let’s face it, being the handyman for the local bad guy comes with its fair share of problems – problems that we will never understand. Its reality is what makes Mandaar a good watch.

However, I understand the notion that we, as a country, are probably a bit saturated with media focusing on violence to push it forward. There’s a certain tiredness that comes with watching the worst of humanity every time we open a streaming platform. And thus, as I mentioned previously, this isn’t for everyone. But, if you’re willing to take in another show with (kind of) similar things to showcase, Mandaar should definitely be on your watchlist.

Also Read: Hoichoi’s Robindronath Ekhane Kawkhono Khete Aashenni Review: Exposition and More

The characters in Mandaar are absolutely brilliantly portrayed. The way Bhattacharya has taken the characters from the original material and given it a twist is excellent. These characters are complex, flawed and very unlikeable. Mandaar, Leili, Dablu Bhai and the Three Witches are characters that will surprise and shock you and will give you something to think about. But, going deeper into this might just push this Mandaar review into spoiler territory, so watch it to make your own connections!

Debasish Mondal wins this series. The series is based on him, obviously, and he does really well with what he is given. You won’t be able to look away from him and neither from Sohini Sarkar, who also gives a terrific performance. The others are great too, including the Three Witches (wink regarding the third witch), and will all of people giving their best towards the show, you know one of the biggest hurdles are already won.

Summing up: Mandaar

Mandaar is an excellent series. There’s nothing else to say. The way Anirban Bhattacharya has based his show on Shakespeare’s classics is commendable and everything from the camera work, cinematography, acting and background score to creating the characters and mythos is top-notch. Yes, there gratuitous amounts of sex scenes and people just being their humanly worst but it’s a necessity to showcase this story and works really well for it.

Mandaar is that Bengali show you were waiting for – definitely give this one a watch.

Mandaar is streaming on Hoichoi.

Also Read: Netflix’s Game Changer Review: Four Aides Caught in the Tale of Deception

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Mandaar, based on Shakespeare's Macbeth, is a gnarly watch. One that that might just stay with you for a while.

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