Hasmukh review : An dark & intimate relationship between comedy & tragedy

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Netflix HASHMUKH review is here. The dark comedy web television series directed by Nikhil Gonsalves is streaming on Netflix from April 17, 2020. The series stars Vir Das, Ranvir Shorey, Ravi Kishan, Inaamulhaq and Manoj Pahwa.

Immediate reaction when the end credit rolls

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If idea would have been the only criteria to judge a moving pictures content than HASHMUKH gets 10/10.

The Story of HASHMUKH

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An aspiring comedian in Saharanpur, Hasmukh Sudiya (Vir Das) is assisting the famous local stand up artiste Gulati (Manoj Pahwa). One day the fumbling Hashmukh gets into an argument with Gulati for a chance, break on stage, resulting in Gulati getting killed accidently. Hashmukh replaces Gulati on stage and the incident transfers the fumbling Hashmukh into a confident stand up who knows how to win over the audience with his jokes. Gulati’s manager Jimmy (Ranvir Shorey) knows what has happened and both Hashmukh and Jimmy form a team but there is a dirty dark weird ‘killing’ kick/motivation that brings out the comedian in Hashmukh. Hashmukh has to make a ‘kill’ literally before is deadly (awesome) act on stage. There is a policewala played by Inaamulhaq who also joins the club and an on stage performance of Hashmukh goes viral resulting in Hashmukh and Jimmy landing in Mumbai to take part in the famous Comedy Baadshaho show on television. What more would have Hashmukh asked for?. But at what price and how long will Hashmukh continue his ‘killing’ acts at both ends before and behind the camera.


Incredible in its basic idea, both funny and sad in its process and in between offering some food for thought as well. HASHMUKH directed by Nikhil Gonsalves and written by Nikhil Gonsalves, Suparn Verma, Amogh Ranadive and Neeraj Pandey (not the WEDNESDAY, SPECAIL 26 one) is a proof how comedy and tragedy can get into such an intimate relationship in a web series that has a philosophy behind though it may take its time to make that ‘kill’. It’s a smart filmmaking where the joke is on everyone that leaves you with a lot to chew on.

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The 10 episode dark, twisty tease has metaphoric representations that keep questioning the limits of an artiste, a black joke on that ‘killer’ instinct, the price for success the death of morality and the continues stab/attack on humanity.

The first five episodes are brilliantly absorbing as the battle takes shapes as the current champion comedian (Suhail Nayyar) suddenly finds a tough competition in Hashmukh coming from nowhere.

The harsh reality of the reality circus and the cut throat game of one – upmanship happening in top media houses get exposed. Here Amrita Bagchi, Santanu Ghatak and Deeksha Sonalkar give a perfect picture.   

But routine crime flavor takes over when the Mumbai cops played by Rahul Pethe and Jaywant Wadkar enter and a ganglord (Raza Murad) gets involved.

Vir Das is fantastic and shows great honesty in portraying the vulnerability from a fumbling low on self esteem wannabe comedian to a sturdy killer and a confident stand up with aplomb. The top Indian standup comedian nails it.

Ranvir Shorey is pitched perfect, as Jimmy the manipulative manager.

Suhail Nayyar as the current champion is marvelous.

Manoj Pahwa is outstanding.

Other good support comes from Santanu Ghatak, Amrita Bagchi and Deeksha Sonalkar.

Other actors like the cops Rahul Pethe and Jaywant Wadkar and the UP politician played by Sandeep Yaadav are competent.

 Special mention for daroga (cop) by Inaamulhaq and the veteran Raza Murad is a must.

And last but not the least, Ravi Kishan as the media boss and Mantra Mugdh as the current superstar are fabulous.

Final verdict

If black humour is your forte then HASMUKH won,t disappoint you. This dark and & intimate relationship between comedy & tragedy with Vir Das at the centre stage is enough to make you safe and alive at home. As you know, in this Corona Lockdown, if you move out you might ‘die’.

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