Hotstar has released its third original series City of Dreams, and the second outing within it for Applause Entertainment after Criminal Justice.
In this latest series, two siblings battle for the political throne after an assassination attempt on their politician father, cause that’s just how nepotism and politics work in India. Why should we look for the next leader to be someone who’s actually worked within the party and in politics for a decade or more, because democracy, qualifications and experience be damned? Ironically, it is called City of Dreams as it is based in Mumbai.
The story shows that when Ameya Gaikwad (Atul Kulkarni) is left in a coma with three bullets into him, the son Ashish (Siddharth Chandekar) finds himself in an unexpected succession war with his far more competent sister Poornima (Priya Bapat) decides to challenge him. In completely normalized misogynist Indian values, the dock worker turned politician father always wanted the son in his position. Watch the trailer.
Also involved in this game of thrones are the current Maharashtra Chief Minister Jagdish Gaurav (Sachin Pilgaonkar) who is close to the Gaikwads, Jiten Kaka (Uday Tikekar) who worked closely with Ameya, and a police officer, Wasim (Eijaz Khan), looking for a chance to redeem himself and possibly the only one looking for which of these insiders ordered the hit. Watch the trailer.
The very Marathi flavour (and cast) series is directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, who has directed some really special independent films in Iqbal (2005), Dor (2006) and Dhanak (2016).
If the Gaikwads Chembur base reminds you of the Thackerays of Maharashtra, or the brother-sister reference of the Gandhis, or the crassness of the Yadavs of Uttar Pradesh, the writers Nagesh Kukunoor and Rohit Banawalikar would say the resemblance is pure coincidence.
The 10-episode Hotstar series, each about 50 minutes long, released on May 3 in seven languages – Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. Is the political series with the usual ingredients of greed, betrayal, family dysfunction, casual misogyny and an assassination a cliche or not? You tell us. Go watch.