‘Bhaag Beanie Bhaag’: Funny and familiar
‘Bhaag Beanie Bhaag’ doesn’t have many gut-busting moments as it should. What it does have is a well-scripted plot that shows the life of a 20-something girl who wants to lead her life on her terms
The talented Swara Bhasker plays Beanie Bhatnagar in Bhaag Beanie Bhaag. The title of the six-episode miniseries streaming on Netflix reminds of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, the Farhan Akhtar sports drama about the legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh. That’s not a great thing.
The miniseries under review is a lively romantic comedy about a middle-class girl with an MBA degree. Not only does she walk out of her engagement to an affluent man who dreams of a baby after one year of marriage, but she also chucks her corporate job to pursue her dream of becoming a stand-up comic. Bad idea? Her dad thinks so. She doesn’t.
Created by Neel Shah and Ravi Patel, who also plays an NRI comic who hides a personal secret and strives to establish himself as a stand-up comic in India, BBB doesn’t have many gut-busting moments as it should. What it does have is a well-scripted plot that shows the life of a 20-something girl who wants to lead her life on her terms.
Beanie cannot get along with her conservative father (Girish Kulkarni) who resents her career switch and can do everything possible, including visiting an astrologer to get a magic ring, that can transform her into an average girl with predictable ambitions. He is not sexist, but he fails to appreciate her choice of profession and also cannot come to terms with her decision of calling off her engagement.
Beanie’s mother (Mona Ambegaonkar) is a strong woman who can and does counter her husband’s voice with her own. But it is Girish Kulkarni who gets most of the funny lines, and his character is particularly hilarious during his visit to a greedy astrologer and a psychologist with several daughters of his own, resulting in moments no viewer will forget in a hurry.
A major part of BBB has dialogues in English, which is not surprising because an NRI comic's interaction with Beanie constitutes a significant portion of the story. The humour, too, is understandably urban, which is why English works just fine although Hindi could have been equally effective.
The series has good performances by the ensemble cast, with Patel, apart from Kulkarni, being the standout performer among the supporting actors. However, the show belongs to Swara Bhasker, who portrays the emotional and professional journey of an ambitious girl with sincerity and conviction. Her Beanie is an unusual and powerful protagonist striving to make an impact in a man’s world. And Bhasker makes us watch her intently as she explores a new path in life with optimism and just a tiny hint of uncertainty.
BBB will find fans among the young urban crowd, which consists of those choosing new careers that their parents may not relate to. It will also appeal to those who know that obstacles in the path of choice of career continue to be commonplace. Finally, the story tells the viewer that stand-up comedy can be a full-fledged career option if one has the talent. That will be news for many urban Indians who don’t have much idea about it – despite YouTube.