Web Series Review | Bandish Bandits: Riveting fusion of music, love & life


Amazon original web series Bandish Bandits review is here. The musical is created by Amritpal Singh Bindra and Directed by Anand Tiwari. Written by Amritpal Singh Bindra, Adhir Bhat and Lara Ahsan Chandni, the web series stars Naseeruddin Shah, Ritwik Bhowmik, Shreya Chaudhry and Atul Kulkarni. Kunaal Roy Kapur, Sheeba Chaddha, Rajesh Taliang and Amit Mistry also play pivotal roles. Music is by Shankar Ehsaan Loy. Bandish Bandits premiers on Prime Video on August 4, 2020.

Watch Bandish Bandits Official Trailer

Immediate reaction when the end credits roll
After a long time, a web series/movie that worships the divine art of music in a heartfelt story of love, life and more.

The Story of Bandish Bandits


Bandish Bandits follows the story of Radhe (Ritwik Bhowmik) and Tamanna (Shreya Chaudhry). Radhe is a singing prodigy determined to follow in the classical footsteps of his grandfather Pandit Radhemohan Rathod Naseeruddin Shah. Tamanna is a rising pop sensation desperate to become India’s first international popstar. Radhe’s world is turned upside down when he falls in love with Tamanna. Torn between helping her achieve superstardom and staying true to his own music and his family’s legacy, will he succeed in juggling both at the risk of losing everything he has?

Bandish Bandits web series review

Opens with music maestro Pandit Radhemohan Rathod (Naseeruddin Shah) offering his prayers to Maa Saraswati (goddess of learning) and bowing to his sitar. He comes out from his room of his ancestral mansion to attend to his pupils waiting outside. He gracefully sits and politely gestures them to begin. The bandish Jago Mohan Pyare is recited one by one. One of his students Radhe (Ritwik Bhowmik) is making an impression much to the jealousy of another student sitting next to him. A competition begins and the student sitting next to him goes on falsetto. This irks Pandit Radhemohan Rathod and the student is asked to discontinue from the next day.

In the age of digital remixes of classic old melodies, auto tone singing, singing apps where people are going crazy, computerized creation of sound and music, comes a web series where you get bandish (musical recitals in classical ragas – Bhairavi, Basant, etc etc).

Naseeruddin Shah in Bandish Bandits on Amazon Prime Video
Naseeruddin Shah in Bandish Bandits on Amazon Prime Video

The respect for the art form of music is wrapped in a heart-warming love story twined with a family drama making it for a riveting watching experience especially if you have an ear for classical music and respect for this divine form of art.

Created by Amritpal Singh Bindra and helmed by actor/filmmaker Anand Tiwari (Love Per Square Foot – previous), Bandish Bandits is a coming of age fusion of music, love & life. Normally dark, gritty thrillers are popular choices in the OTT world, after Panchayat, Amazon Prime has something different and ‘sober’ (read unaffected by the trend) in its basic premise.

The writers Amritpal Singh Bindra, Adhir Bhat (Karwaan screenplay previous best) and Lara Ahsan Chandni create an absorbing fusion of past and present, traditional & progressive in love and music with love and respect for music.

Atul Kulkarni in Bandish Bandits on Amazon Prime Video
Atul Kulkarni in Bandish Bandits on Amazon Prime Video

On one hand we have a love story of a singer prodigy Radhe trained in classical music falling in love with an internet sensation, an upcoming pop diva Tamanna. The contrast in the understanding of music and how these two different individuals sharing the passion for the same art undergo a journey of discovery comes across satisfactorily. This is how a desi Indian musical web series can be made, the makers of Bandish Bandits show the way to a lot of extent.

Apart from the riveting fusion, the series also succeeds in depicting an emotional family drama without getting much melodramatic. The sub plot of Pandit Radhemohan Rathod (Naseeruddin Shah) and Digvijay (Atul Kulkarni) is deftly handled.

Before talking about the performances, this time I am delighted to talk about the music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy

Music of Bandish Bandits

Shankar Ehsaan Loy has given a mesmerising gift. Perhaps, the series has given them the scope/freedom to explore and they have given full justice. As a pure listener and admirer who respects music, the classical renditions are enriching, soothing and uplifting. In various ragas, bhav and raas. You have a thumri like Labb Par Aaye fascinatingly sung by Javed Ali with meaningful lyrics by Sameer Samant.

Virah sung by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is just amazing and pure in its emotions, Sameer Samant’s lyrics makes the listener feel the pain as well (Virah is a take home for me). The energetic Garaj Garaj Jugalbandi by Farid Hasan & Mohammed Aman is something an aficionado of classical music should give an ear to.

Padharo Maare Des and Bandish Bandits theme both sung by Shankar Ehsaan Loy too are fascinating.

From the popular pop culture – Chedkhaniyaan by Shivam Mahadevan & Pratibha Singh Baghel is peppy with catchy lyrics by Tanishk S Nabar. Couple Goals by Armaan Mallik & Jonita Gandhi is enjoyable too.

Naseeruddin Shah as Panditji is class apart. Ritwik Bhowmik as Radhe is fantastic. Shreya Chaudhry as Tamanna is efficient. Atul Kulkarni as Digvijay is just brilliant. Kunaal Roy Kapur as the manager of a top music label is fun and has its moments. Sheeba Chaddha is amazing. Rajesh Taliang is excellent. Amit Mistry is very natural.

The unnecessary need of cuss words is not at all digestible over here. A couple of here and there in the ten-episode series would have been okay but it’s completely unwanted at many places. It spoils the dignity of the human saga related to the Rathod family in the series. The series falls prey to predictability and in between gets repetitive.

Final words
Bandish Bandits is a good absorbing human drama, this riveting fusion of music, love & life is uplifted by Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s ‘class’ music, it’s purely mesmerizing. Bandish Bandits is an example of how music (and that too classical) and storytelling can go hand-in-hand to create a fascinating experience on screen.

pic/poster courtesy: Amazon Prime

Critic Rating