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Web Series Review | Vitthal Teedi: Pratik Gandhi is back to his roots and how!!

Vitthal Teedi is a well-made series on life and the gamble that it throws on us.

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Vitthal Teedi Review is here. The Oho original Guajarati web series stars ‘Scam 1992’ (2020) fame Pratik Gandhi. Directed by acclaimed Guajarati filmmaker Abhishek Jain (Kevi Rite Jaish, Be Yaar, Wrong Side Raju) Vitthal Teedi is streaming on OTT platform OHO Gujarati from 7 May 2021.

Vitthal Teedi Review

Taqdeer se bigadi hui tasveer bana le.. this unforgettable gem by Geeta Dutt from Guru Dutt’s classic ‘Baazi’ (1951) starring the evergreen Dev Anand has become the anthem for Bollywood movies based on gambling, poker. Vitthal Teedi is a welcome addition with a difference to the glory of India’s gambling stories on screen.

The man responsible for the new wave of Guajarati cinema ‘Kevi Rite Jaish’ (2012) Abhishek Jain who also won accolades for ‘Wrong Side Raju’ (2016) at the 64th National Film Awards as best picture in Gujarati, unites with his and our favourite Pratik Gandhi in this first Guajarati web series on Oho.

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Based on the short story of the same name by Mukesh Sojitra, Vitthal Teedi Season 1 is a six episodes saga. Its circa 1980. Young Vitthal Tripathi (Vishal Thakkar) son of a local priest Tribhuvandas Tripathi (Ragi Jani) has just lost his mother. His elder sister Vandana Tripathi (Bhavya Sirohi) and his father take care of him. Mastery over cards is inherited in Vitthal’s genes and one day due to an unfortunate incident in school, Vitthal gets the exposure to the game of poker – Teen Patti (flash). He gets nicknamed as teedi (3 in cards) much to his delight.

Vitthal Tripathi grows up to be the local master of cards – Vitthal Teedi (Pratik Gandhi). Vitthal helps his father in work as the temple priest and during free time enjoys the card game which is slowly bringing him recognition. Cards, his father and elder sister Vandana (Brinda Trivedi) – these are three aces of Vitthal Teedi’s life.

Abhishek Jain’s Vitthal Teedi might on the surface feel like a predictable story of a gambler but there are certain nuances which we don’t find in a normal / routine gambler saga. Vitthal Teedi is a player who believes in his game more than luck. He has mastered his game through observations and has his own school of understanding the game.

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Vitthal is not that typical ‘juari’ gambler who knows those card ‘tricks’ like Raj (Raj Kapoor) in Shree 420, who takes to the den due to poverty. Vitthal is honest and is not ruled by greed like others. Vitthal Teedi is about taking risk during challenging times, it’s about the gamble the kismet (fate) plays on a person’s life and the karma (action) he takes knowing his cards (strength and weakness).

Abhishek Jain gives it a filmi colour but sticks to the desired roots. The series is shot well and narrated as a family musical with right dose of emotional ingredients at the right time. The problem is the predictability in the story, even after you get the philosophy behind the seed of the idea.

The love for Amitabh Bachchan by the maker is evident. The characters are properly developed and are very believable. Bhargav Purohit’s writing is convincing and comes with controlled populism.

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Performance

Pratik Gandhi before his rise to fame with ‘Scam 1992’, the actor is no stranger to the Guajarati theatre and cinema. Here Pratik is simply superb and is enjoying his comfort zone like never before. He is a treat.

Ragi Jani as Tribhuvandas Tripathi excels. Prashant Barot as Dasha Bapu is fantastic. Prem Gadhavi as Kanu Datti is excellent. Brinda Trivedi as Vandana Tripathi is brilliant.

Good support comes from Jagjeet Sinh Vadher as Jaglo, Shraddha Dangar as Manisha. Special mention for Vishal Thakkar as young Vitthal Tripathi and Bhavya Sirohi as young Vandana Tripathi is a must.

Technicalities

Scores high in technicalities. Tapan Vyas’ camerawork is outstanding. Gunjan Srivastava’s sound design is amazing. Music by Bhargav Purohit and Kedar Upadhyay are perfectly in sync with the proceedings. Editing by Harsh Anandani and Hiren Chitroda is apt.

Final words

Vitthal Teedi is a well-made series on life and the gamble that it throws on us. Pratik Gandhi is outstanding in this emotional and enjoyable Gujarati web series by the acclaimed Abhishek Jain. It leaves you at the hook. Baazi, The Great Gambler, Zannat, Teen Patti, Gambler, Ocean’s Eleven, Casino Ryale, the list goes on.

But dil aaj shayar hai, ghum aaj nagma hai, Baazi, The Great Gambler, Zannat, Ocean’s Eleven ko dekhne, sunne or pyaar karne wale.. is baar ho jaye Vitthal Teedi par bhi karam.

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