Bombay Begums Web Series Cast: Pooja Bhatt, Shahana Goswami, Amruta Subhash, Plabita Borthakur, Aadhya Anand, Manish Chaudhary, Vivek Gomber, Danish Husain, Rahul Bose, Imaaduddin Shah, Sanghmitra Hitaishi
Bombay Begums Director: Alankrita Shrivastava
Bombay Begums Streaming On: Netflix
Bombay Begums release date: March 8, 2021
As its big Women’s Day 2021 release, OTT giant Netflix brings for audience Bombay Begums, which it describes thus: From boardrooms to society's margins, five ambitious women from various walks of life navigate dreams, desires and disappointments in modern Mumbai. Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, the woman behind the works like Khoya Khoya Chand (2007), Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016) and the more recent Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare (2019), the series revolves around five women in Mumbai. What makes Bombay Begums apt for Women’s Day 2021? Who are really these Begums of maximum city? Do we know them? Are they one amongst us? Are they us? Can the modern Indian woman really be able relate to Bombay Begums? Does this new release of the week deserve your time and attention? Read the full review below to find answers to all these questions…
What's it about
Rani (Pooja Bhatt) is the CEO of a major bank. From the outside, her life looks perfect. But there are carcasses in her closet that rather not come out in the open. Things become a tad more difficult when Lily (Amruta Subhash) enters her life. This bar dancer turned prostitute wants it all for her son, who has been in an accident. The fact that it is connected to Rani gives Lily a chance at trying to change her situation. But Rani believes in finding solutions to her troubles and Ayesha (Plabita Borthakur) an employee at her bank, helps her deal with the Lily situation and in fact, turn the accident into an opportunity. But while this is taken care of, Rani has Shai (Aadhya Anand) her rebellious step-daughter to deal with. Rani has been doing it all to win Shai’s love but all in vain. And then we have Fatima (Shahana Goswami), who is Rani’s close aide, or is she? She has been trying to conceive and turns lucky at her very last try. She is expecting a child and has on offer the deputy MD position at Rani’s office.
Check out the trailer here...
When you talk about women, what aspects of their life do you talk about and which ones do you leave out? Well, you leave out none, if you want to tell a good, real and relatable story. That’s what Alankrita Shrivastava does with Bombay Begums as she brings to life stories of five women at five different stages of life.
Rani is at the top, but she is afraid of losing it all and while she may be an achiever at work, she has her relationship with her daughter to fix.
Fatima is at the cusp of making it big in her career but with relationship expectations and pressures bogging her down, she is forced to find solace outside work and home.
Ayesha is the typical small-town girl with big city dreams and is toiling and tumbling through the way while she figures out the destination she wants to reach and finds the right route to get there.
Lily has lived an unabashed, unapologetic life but she wants to change her situation for the sake of her child and his better future.
Shai is all for freedom and living by one’s own rules and yet when it comes to the matters of the heart, she gives in to peer pressure, to become what the society expects of women and loses her true, unique identity.
Bombay Begums touches upon all the crucial matters that various women go through - Sexuality, peer pressure, relationship complications (between a husband-wife, colleagues, mother-daughter et al), workplace harassment, difficult choices, compromises, convictions, drug abuse and more. The stories of all these women have something that every woman out there will be able to relate with. The web series makes a strong case about how every woman is a Begum in her own right, while she looks to get to a better place, at every stage wanting more from life. It is about women who may crib, cry, complain but never ever stop. It is about all those women – young and old, from urban India and Bharat, who want to change their situation – be it at home, work, society, for their loved one’s sake, in their own eyes. Bombay Begums is basically all of us.
And a special mention for the men in Bombay Begums – for how can there be a Begum without a Nawab? Along with the five women we get to see, we also meet the different types of men that exist amongst us – the protector, the predator, the powerful, the power hungry, the passionate.
Apart from the gritty story, the performances by every member of the cast will leave you spellbound. And a lot of it has to do with the right casting, the perfect look and costumes – that bring out the characters’ nuances in the most persuasive way. Pooja Bhatt’s (Rani) calm and composed demeanor with powerful undertone, Shahana Goswami’s (Fatima) ‘I won’t take it lying low’ attitude, Plabita Borthakur’s (Ayesha) happy-confused naivety, Amruta Subhash’s (Lily) inspiring chutzpah and Aadhya Anand’s (Shai) arrogant innocence – go perfectly with the storyline and everybody plays their part convincingly. They are supported by an apt cast, which makes the web series win big.
The web series is a little slow paced and at some points it feels like a drag. Editing could have been crisper. Shahana Goswami’s track of Fatima was not as convincing as the others and had scope to be panned out better.
Bombay Begums is set in Bombay but is a story that women around the country and beyond can relate to. Every woman will find a little bit of her in one or more characters that Alankrita Shrivastava beautifully sketches on screen. Bombay Begums delves deep into the lives of working women and brings to light the realities, challenges they face at every step at home and work. Be it a woman in Bombay or Bareilly, Bombay Begums celebrates every woman for being a Begum in her own right.
3 out of 5
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