Review of the web series TAJ MAHAL 1989 is here. Streaming on Netflix, the series directed by Pushpendra Nath Misra stars Neeraj Kabi, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Danish Husain, Sheeba Chaddha, Anud Singh Dhaka, Angad Trivedi, Anshul Chauhan and Paras Priyadarshan in pivotal roles.
Immediate reaction when the end credits roll
Pushpendra Nath Misra’s different moods of love streaming on Netflix is the love we desired , dreamt Kal or Aaj (yesterday and today) to cherish hamesha (forever). This love letter to your Mumtaz urf Valentine is sublime, poetic, nostalgic and syrupy indeed.
The Story of TAJ MAHAL 1989
Its Circa 1989 Lucknow, three love stories run parallel in this seven-episode series where a Muslim philosophy professor Akhtar Baig (Neeraj Kabi) and his wife a Hindu physics teacher Sarita (Geetanjali Kulkarni) intercuts with the college romance of Dharam (Paras Priyadarshan), Rashmi Malik (Anshul Chauhan), Angad (Anud Singh Dhaka) and Mamta (Shirin Sewani). The conflict between the Kal – (Akhtar and Sarita) juxtaposes with the teen, romance, infatuation, coming of age of Dharam, Rashmi Malik, Angad, and Mamta, gets an understanding of love and belonging through the poetically divine love between an ex-philosophy gold medalist Sudhakar (Danish Husain) and his ex-prostitute wife Mumtaz (Sheeba Chadda). How these characters come together and get an education on love finds the crux of this charming web series.
TAJ MAHAL 1989
A web series on love before the tinder age, gazed by the meta of Shahajahan’s love for Mumtaz and the heart that beats the poetry of Ahmad Faraz with pleasure. Pushpendra Nath Misra’s TAJ MAHAL 1989 reciprocates his understanding of love by using the above elements to create a nostalgically mesmerizing feeling of love that is progressive, divine, sugary and melancholic as well.
Beginning by creating a feeling of nostalgia of circa 1989 by showing us those dusty Lucknow mansion, pencil box, dusty library, rotary dial phone, typewriters, scooters plus a single theatre playing the movie VARDI. The on and off period feel is covered by a restrained graph, craft, humour, and dimensions in the principal characters and a laid back but rhythmic narrative control by Pushpendra Nath Misra.
Undesirably over ambitious at places in its political statements and comments on society with an indie observation on William Shakespeare. Pushpendra Nath Misra’s TAJ MAHAL 1989 still achieves that sublimely poetically divine status due to the charmingly mesmerizing and haunting love story of Sudhakar (Danish Husain) and Mumtaz (Sheeba Chadda). A pious understanding of love, togetherness and commitment that cuts all the social, economical and religious barriers that underlines the gift of humanity and power of kindness.
It may seem dreamy and unrealistic to many to find an ex-philosophy gold medalist Sudhakar doing tailoring to earn his bread and butter while keeping his ‘gyan’ on life and philosophy as an example for the audience and a lesson for his friend. The the magic works and works so well, creating an intimate relationship with the audience.
The last two episodes are sheer magic of finding that lost love and feeling rejuvenated – the twist in Akhtar Baig and Sarita episode.
The sepia tone sand the love for Urdu poetry adds to the poetic and nostalgic charm.
The romance of Dharam (Paras Priyadarshan), Rashmi Malik (Anshul Chauhan), Angad (Anud Singh Dhaka) and Mamta (Shirin Sewani) is also a token o friendship as well.
Powered by astonishing acts where Neeraj Kabi is just brilliant. Geetanjali Kulkarni is superb. Danish Husain is class apart. Sheeba Chaddha is incredible. Anud Singh Dhaka is charming. Anshul Chauhan leaves her mark. Dharam Awasthi is fantastic. Shirin Sewani makes sure that she gets noticed.
Told from the point of impact with a heart that bleeds eternal love, TAJ MAHAL 1989 is piously written love letter that flawlessly rekindles that lost love and initiates that feeling of longevity and respect for poetry.
I end with this immortal poetry of Ahmad Faraz used brilliantly in the web series which goes like Ab ke hum bichde to shayad kabhi khwabon mein mile, Jis tarah sukhe huye phool kitabon mein mile (should we now be parted, in dreams we might be found, like dried flowers found in books, fragile, fraying browned). TAJ MAHAL 1989 has that lasting impact for those who understand love, poetry and togetherness.