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October 22nd at 8:41pm
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I stumbled upon it.
Because one of the projects I work on, Desis.Live, is a portal for desi and Indian content - specifically Bollywood movies and TV series - I came across a gangster show on Amazon Prime called Mirzapur.
I love Mirzapur and I'm not the only one. It's a popular show worldwide. What follows is a review of Season 1 and some guiding questions for Season 2 - things I'll be looking for. Youtube videos - a recap, trailer, and, yes, a compilation of slaps - can also be found below.
Mirzapur is set in the city of the same name in Uttar Pradesh, a state in northern India with a population of 200 million.
As is often the case in mafia shows, we have love triangles, revenge stories, and redemption stories
The story centers around the Tripathi family: carpet makers, drug smugglers, and gun runners. The carpet manufacturing facility is where workers assemble more guns than rugs, and where dead bodies are wrapped in easily flammable cases before they're loaded onto trucks and dispensed with.
Like all organized crime families, the Tripathis are ruthless. They kill rivals, have a well-defined territory, and pay off the police and politicians. The Tripathis own Mirzapur and everyone knows it.
What's a gangster show without complicated relations? The don, Akhanda Tripathi or, as he is commonly called, Kaleen Bhaiya, is the father. He runs the business and all his decisions are final.
Kaleen Bhaiya's father, Bauji, founded the dynasty. He's in a wheelchair because of decades-old work-related injuries. He likes to watch nature documentaries - reminders of Darwin, naturally - when he's not eating mutton, shooting intruders, or having sex with his daughter in-law.
Munna is in love with Sweety, but like a J. Geils song, she loves somebody else
Bauji's grandson Munna, played brilliantly by Divyenndu Sharma, is a hateful sociopath and cokehead. He is a constant source of trouble for Kaleen Bhaiya, who frequently refers to his son Munna as an idiot and a moron.
Enter the brothers Guddu and Bablu Pandit. Kaleen Bhaiya knows of them because Guddu, who wants to be a champion bodybuilder, beat the crap out of Munna one night. Why? Pandit père, Ramakant, is an upstanding lawyer who wants to squash the Tripanthi family, and it was Munna's job to dissuade Ramakant from further action. Guddu didn't like Munna's attitude - or his firearm pointed at pops. Shit went down.
Bablu is the smart one, but he's not afraid to point a gun at people, either.
In order to neutralize all the problems in one move, Kaleen Bhaiya - to Munna's anger and horror - asks the Pandit brothers to work for him. They accept.
Ramakant essentially disowns his sons while they do their best to expand gun and opium sales in Mirzapur. It turns out... they're good at it. Business booms and Kaleen Bhaiya is happy - but there are several problems:
- The state police have taken an active interest in the Tripathis
- A rival from the next town over has begun probing the family for weaknesses
- Munna still hates both of the Pandits, especially Guddu
- Munna is in love with Sweety, the daughter of a corrupt cop - but like a J. Geils song, she loves somebody else
Whom does Sweety love? Guddu, of course! In fact, she happily marries the buff, upwardly-mobile gangster - eyes wiiiiide open - and he swiftly impregnates her.
As is often the case in mafia shows, we have love triangles, revenge stories, and redemption stories. Munna, the son, is involved in all three, which means the plot gets messy, fast.
He likes to watch nature documentaries - reminders of Darwin, naturally - when he's not eating mutton, shooting intruders, or having sex with his daughter in-law
Because of a complicated series of events leading to destabilization of the business and the appearance of betrayal, Kaleen Bhaiya gives Munna permission to kill the Pandit brothers.
Munna and his posse drive to a wedding in another town where the Pandits will be with their partners. In a truly horrible scene, Munna almost kills Guddu, blows half of Bablu's head off, puts a few bullets in Sweety (who's still pregnant), and injures Golu, Sweety's sister and Bablu's almost girlfriend.
Heading into Season 2, Guddu is alive, and Golu is now, we assume, a mortal enemy of the Tripathis. Kaleen Bhaiya has wiped out a team of honest police officers and endangered his relationship with the politicians of Uttar Pradesh (thanks to Munna, of course). Finally, the son of Rati Shankar - whose father Guddu killed while in good standing with Kaleen Bhaiya - has sworn revenge.
Season 1 Video Recap
Check out this good six minute recap of Season 1.
Questions for Season 2
I watched Season 1 twice and came up with these questions before watching the Season 2 trailer (I swear). I did well!
- Will women have more interesting roles other than mothers and partners? Will Golu seek revenge? Will Guddu and Bablu's sister Dimpy?
- Does Ramakant Pandit recover his good guy swagger to step on Kaleen Bhaiya's face?
- How will the son of Rati Shankar avenge his father? Will he exploit the political breach or take a more direct approach?
- Will regional families take an interest in Mirzapur?
- Will the blowback from assassinating police officers cripple Kaleen Bhaiya?
- Will Bauji continue to have sex with his daughter in-law? Will Kaleen Bhaiya find out?
- Will Munna self-destruct? Will he ever be redeemed in the eyes of his father?
- And of course, will Guddu's revenge be served hot, or cold, or not at all?
Season 2 Trailer
Get a taste of what's in store for Season 2!
We see a lot of bridges in between scenes. Like... a lot. I learned to roll with it.
Characters in Mirzapur slap each other a lot, and it's hilarious. The Foley artists earned their money on them, too: they sound authentic. (No English subtitles are available below, but it's actually better without them.)
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