With Amazon Prime’s latest series ‘Bandish Bandits,’ one can peep into the Royal Gharanas and juxtaposition classical and pop music. The show outlines two completely different genres of artists matching notes together. The soundtrack is equally absorbing.
Why should you watch Bandish Bandits?
- No doubt, it has an amazing star cast. You will fall in love with Radhe and Tamanna.
- If you are a music lover, this series is a must-watch for you. Music is so phenomenal. We are listening to it in the loop.
- The story is raw yet powerful, you can feel emotions and can connect with them so easily.
- No spoiler but the show did talk about women empowerment. Radhe’s Mother was the perfect example of it.
- It’s a family entertainer, they do talk about family values.
Anand Tiwari’s directorial debut ‘Bandish Bandits’ is finally streaming on Amazon Prime. The 10-part musical romance-drama stars Naseeruddin Shah, Ritwik Bhowmik, Shreya Chaudhry, Atul Kulkarni, Sheeba Chaddha, Kunal Roy Kapur, and Rajesh Tailang.
With this series, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio is also making its online debut.
The contrasting lives of the protagonists Radhe and Tamanna, played by Ritwik Bhowmik and Shreya Chaudhry, are depicted.
Are you wondering what the title ‘Bandish Bandits’ mean?
In layman’s terms, ‘Bandish’ means ‘tied to.’ But wait, this is a musical series. Just like each domain has its own set of quirks, the music sphere has its vocabulary.
Bandish means a fixed musical composition around which a singer improvises with Taan, Sargams, etc. The term is popularly used in Indian classical music.
Bandit means a thief or robber. But in an urban dictionary, Bandit is used for someone or something that will steal your heart. And what exactly will the show do!
Bandish Bandit’s Story
The story opens in the panoramic visual landscape of Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Radhe is introduced as a young man wearing kurta pajama with neatly parted hair. Sitting on the floor, he is learning Indian classical music from Pandit Ji.
Radhemohan Rathod, commonly known as Pandit Ji, is played by Naseeruddin Shah. He is a revered classical singer and grandfather of Radhe.
On the other hand, in the opening scenes, Tamanna is portrayed as a YouTube pop star. Blue colored hair and smoking cigarettes- a typical example of millennialism.
While Radhe is desperately trying to impress his over-particular grandfather, Tamanna is searching for a new hit song to save his career. Their paths converge when she realizes his singing expertise can be used to churn out a semi-classical pop fusion.
Next is the unidimensional tale of Radhe- love-life crisis, family drama, and juggle between the opposite worlds. The narrative also takes several routes to provide insights into Radhemohan’s family.
His prodigal son Digvijay, played by Atul Kulkarni, returns to claim his musical legacy or Gharana. And thus starts the melodic spat between Digvijay and Radhe. A Gharana is a family lineage of musicians and performers.
Other subplots include a love triangle between unlikely pair, Tamanna’s back story, Radhemohan’s troubled past such as forbidding his daughter-in-law Mohini (played by Sheeba Chaddha) singing, etc.
The story is driven with invaluable music legacy or Gharana, musical Jugalbandis, fusion tunes, conservative family perspectives, overwhelming romance, a struggle between generations, and grandeur of Rajasthan’s royal traditions.
Naseeruddin Shah is perfectly cast as the formidable classical teacher and a patriarch. His word is a law. He demands absolute discipline and perfection. When Radhe arrives late by ten minutes in the ‘sacred thread tying’ ceremony, strict Radhemohan leaves in anger. Shah’s rich voice, silence, and expressions, especially slight flicker and disapproval, make him a character to be respected and feared.
Bandish Bandits Music: A blend of Classical and Pop
The broader theme of Bandish Bandits is pretty apparent- traditional versus modernity and morality versus commercialization. The show is a union of classical and pop music, but after some episodes, it will tilt on ‘saving one’s legacy.’
The musical composers have done a great job of producing a wide range of tunes. The Ragas are simultaneously taken over by electro-pop themes. The soundtracks composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy steeps in the Carnatic traditions to slowly moving towards classical pop.
The hallmark song of Bandish Bandits is ‘Sajan Bin.’ Jonita Gandhi and Shivam Mahadevan sing the fusion. The peppiest song is ‘Chedkhaniyaan’ by Pratibha Singh Baghel and Shivam Mahadevan.
Another popular song is ‘Couple Goals, ‘ which is a groovy song about young love. The lyrics are a mix of Hindi and English words.
The pure classical playlist includes Shankar Mahadevan’s ‘Padharo Maare Des,’ and Javed Ali’s ‘Lab Par Aaye.’ The final segment of the album is the ‘Garaj Garaj’ Jugalbandi.
With an array of classical, semi-classical, and pop fusions, the Bandish Bandits playlist is topping the charts.