Exploring the Underworld of Mumbai in ‘Bombay Meri Jaan’
Intriguing Tale from 1940 to 1980
‘Bombay Meri Jaan’ delves into the intriguing era of the Mumbai underworld between 1940 and 1980 when the mafia was solidifying its presence in the city. Smuggling via the sea was rampant during this period. This series unfolds the story of Dara Qadri’s entry into the world of organized crime and his journey to becoming a kingpin. As Dara’s influence in the criminal world grows, his honest policeman father’s troubles mount. The series explores Dara’s struggle as he grapples with his father’s legacy and his ambition to become the “Badshah of Bombay.”
The Plot and Inspiration
‘Bombay Meri Jaan’ is set in post-independence India when Mumbai was still referred to as Bombay. The series provides an intense crime drama that delves into the city’s history, drawing inspiration from films like ‘Company,’ ‘Satya,’ ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai,’ and even the recent documentary ‘Mumbai Mafia: Police vs. the Underworld.’ This ten-episode series, directed by Rensil D’Silva and Shujaat Saudagar, sheds light on the criminal activities that plagued Bombay at the time. It also touches upon the rise of Dawood Ibrahim’s infamous ‘D Company.’ What sets this series apart is its focus on the emotional conflict between father and son.
A Tale of Family and Crime
The series revolves around the Qadri family’s struggles. Ismail Qadri (KK Menon) is an honest policeman determined to make Mumbai crime-free, even if it means jeopardizing his family’s well-being. In contrast, his son, Dara Qadri (Avinash Tiwari), dreams of becoming the kingpin of Bombay, alongside his siblings Sadiq (Jitin Gulati), Ajju (Lakshya Kochhar), and sister Habiba (Kritika Kamra).
In the narrative, Mumbai is under the rule of mafia kingpin Suleman Haji (Saurabh Sachdeva), an expatriate from Hyderabad, and his partner Azim Pathan (Nawab Shah) from Afghanistan. They join forces with Anna (Dinesh Prabhakar) to expand their illicit empire, plunging the entire city into a quagmire of crime. To combat this menace, Ismail Qadri and fellow officers Younis (Rohit Kokate) and Ahmed (Tauqeer Alam) form a team called the ‘Pathan Squad.’
‘Bombay Meri Jaan’: Balancing Crime and Emotion
‘Bombay Meri Jaan’ successfully weaves a gripping crime thriller that also delves into the emotional lives of its characters. Instead of relying solely on violence, the series effectively balances brutality and emotions. It narrates the thrilling journey of Dara’s rise to becoming “Bombay’s new Godfather” while exploring his evolving relationship with his father. Additionally, the series portrays the tender romance between Dara and the vivacious Parsi girl Pari, brilliantly played by Amyra Dastur.
Production and Stellar Performances
The series is produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, known for their OTT hit ‘Mirzapur.’ It boasts an engaging story by S. Hussain Zaidi, powerful dialogues by Abbas Dalal and Hussain Dalal, well-paced episodes by John Schmidt, and impressive music by Arniban Sengupta. KK Menon delivers a stellar performance as an honest policeman and a desperate father. Avinash Tiwari passionately portrays the character of Dara, though in some intense scenes, he is overshadowed by his co-stars who have portrayed similar characters. Kritika Kamra shines as Habiba, a courageous and strong-willed girl.
Supporting Cast Shines
The supporting cast, including Shiv Pandit as a corrupt policeman, Vivaan Bhathena as Dara’s loyal associate, Lakshya Kochhar and Jitin Gulati as his brothers, and Nivedita Bhattacharya as mother Sakina, also deliver commendable performances. Saurabh Sachdeva, Nawab Shah, and Dinesh Prabhakar excel in their respective roles.
‘Bombay Meri Jaan’: An Engaging Watch
‘Bombay Meri Jaan’ comprises ten episodes, each lasting around an hour. Some viewers may find the longer episodes a test of patience. Nevertheless, ‘Bombay Meri Jaan’ is a series worth remembering.
If you enjoy intense crime dramas, ‘Bombay Meri Jaan’ is a must-watch series that promises an enthralling viewing experience.