Let's just say that it is not often that we come across a presentation about freedom struggle which manages to enrapture you to an extent, where you just feel crestfallen that it has concluded. Over the years, we have had a barrage of films and TV shows coming on-screen which have either glorified a certain freedom fighter or have been materialized to the limit, where the essence of the plot takes a backseat.
All that can now be put to rest as we witness Alt Balaji's latest presentation, Bose: Dead/Alive, which stars the formidable Rajkummar Rao
as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose along with an equally alluring supporting cast. Having seen a few episodes now, I couldn't wait to review it.
What Is It About?
Based on the fantastic novel, India's Biggest Cover-Up' by Anuj Dhar, I found it difficult to envision a dramatized feature presentation of the same. But, then that's exactly why I am not a creator or director (at least not till now). However, absolutely ridiculing this doubt is creator- Ekta Kapoor
, creative producer- Hansal Mehta
and director- Pulkit.
Subhash Chandra Bose has apparently died in a plane crash, or has he? This is where the saga begins and in a matter of no time, we see how Subhash has been a mountebank of sorts all his life, especially when it comes to fooling people with his sudden disappearance. However, the big picture is about Bose's unconventional ways of fighting for freedom, being an outcast and faking his own death to startle the British government.
Spanned from the 1920s to 1945, Bose's childhood and adolescence sequences explain how his motto is only one thing - freedom. Amidst a British officer Stanley (Edward Sonnenblick) and Bose's German wife, Emilie Schenkl (Anna Ador), being the only two people to NOT believe that Bose is actually dead; lies an entangled plot of shockers and revelations, which unravel the bigger picture on a blistering pace. How has Bose managed to maintain his hidden identity? What are his plans for freedom struggle? And will Stanley be able to gather enough evidences against THE man? It cannot get more captivating.
is almost synonymous with the word brilliance, when it comes to the art of acting. The intricacies and details that Rajkummar exhibits is what makes him the phenomenal actor he is. As Bose, you do not once feel that you are watching Newton Rajkummar or Shahid Rajkummar and that is the win an actor would like to be proud of. Rule-breaker, leader and an anomaly, there couldn't have been a better Bose than Rajkummar Rao
Special mentions for Patralekha
a, Edward Sonnenblick and Naveen Kasturia, who do absolute justice to their characters and present their career's finest performances in the show. For all the Pitchers fans out there, who must wonder if the Indian-man-but-British-darbari is Naveen from Pitchers; yes! He is the same Naveen, who also does a fairly decent job as the narrator of the show.
I keep mentioning how instrumental music and background score is so underrated in a feature presentation, especially in our country. With the adrenaline music scales the show has to offer, it doesn't let you blink your eye for a nanosecond thus making you glued to the screens. Apart from the background score, the Bengali infused rock tunes and lyrics are absolutely soul-stirring and thus I would do something not many do. And that is give special credit to Andrew T. Mackay, who is responsible for the background score and Dr. G and Neel Adhikari, who helm the music department. I bow my hat down to you.
The biggest plus of the show is the same I mentioned in the beginning. A freedom fighter's story is usually full of cliches and monotonous sequences, where forced patriotism is as common as it can get. And barring all the above is Bose: Dead/Alive, as there is nothing vituperative about the presentation of an engaging storyline. The mystery is where the true fruit of the story lies coupled with the constant revelations that make this a fascinating watch. Thank You for redefining the way such presentations are perceived.
There is nothing underwhelming in the show to be marked or faulted upon per se. For the sake of mentioning, it would have been a tad better to have a baritone voice narrating the series, which Naveen doesn't possess. But again, that doesn't axe the ease with which Naveen narrates the story.
An intertwined yet engaging plot with intricate storytelling combined with difficult-to-get-out-of-your-head music tunes and some of the absolute best acting performances make Bose: Dead/Alive a must-watch which strictly cannot be missed.
Rating - ****1/2 (4.5/5)
P.S. - Ekta Ma'am, can I please get the source as to where can I find the songs to be added to my playlist?