Choona, directed by Pushpendra Nath Misra, introduces much-needed levity into the Indian crime drama. There are guns and goons and merriment. When a bodyguard, Madan Singh (Harpreet Bindra), throws someone into the water, we are told, "Madan Singh kisi ko chhodta nahi, drop zaroor karta hai." A criminal lifts his legs a bit to hit a man who is taller than him. What's the name of this crook? Mintu Grenade (Dheerendra Dwivedi). It's certainly not a scary name, but everyone in the show apparently has a different opinion. The quirky meter is further increased through the introduction of animated planets. There is a reason for inserting this element. You see, the main villain - a politician known as Avinash Shukla (Jimmy Shergill) - believes in astrological powers. He even has a pandit (Atul Srivastava) for guidance.
Choona opens with a nightmare, and Avinash's bad luck begins when he tells Madan Singh to "drop" this pandit. Avinash has made a lot of enemies, and the planets during the animation sequence represent those characters who will eventually drop him from his influential position. One of these foes, JP (Vikram Kochhar), gets an amusing backstory telling us why he hates Avinash so much (it has something to do with the placement of a statue). But JP quickly becomes irritating and slowly appears like an unnecessary extra item. Choona, too, suffers from a somewhat similar problem. There are so many characters and threads that keeping up with them, more often than not, feels like a chore. You want to enjoy the humor, but the story can get tedious.
There is so much to admire here. Consider Triloki (Namit Das), the shape-shifter. He fools people by wearing various disguises, and in one of the funny scenes here, we watch him covered in white color while painting a wall and eavesdropping on someone. There are many comical characters in Choona. For instance, a Khali-like wrestler needs to hear the sounds of the trains to empty his stomach. We also have Arshad Warsi as the narrator, but his voice becomes annoying after a while. He seems repetitious when he simply describes what the characters are doing in front of us. There is a female coder named Jhumpa (Niharika Lyra Dutt), and the show wastes the potential of this character. It merely thinks that the presence of a lady hacker will itself act as a source of pleasure. This means Choona is like those bodyguards who derive joy from watching a kick-ass woman in a VR headset.
There is another strong female character named Bela (Monika Panwar), and compared to Jhumpa, she gets more meat to chew on. In one of the most delightful scenes in the series, two men discuss a plan regarding how to rescue her from someone's clutches while she single-handedly beats the bad guys and saves herself. Bela is no damsel in distress, and Panwar is a superb actor. Another impressive performance comes from Shergill, who makes you wonder, "Why doesn't he appear in more shows and films?" As soon as we lay our eyes on his character, we immediately believe that this man has been living in this world for a long time.
Misra knows how to keep the story busy but fails to consistently charge the material with mirth. Yes, the scene involving a police officer and two prisoners (the real version of this incident) is a hoot, and you chuckle when someone gets up from a wheelchair when a woman slaps a man. Nonetheless, Choona doesn't always succeed in dispensing humor. Many of the jokes fall flat, and some of them are too basic (a politician says that Avinash won't be able to find their meeting place, and then suddenly, the devil appears with a bang - literally). Even the heist sequence is pretty much predictable when it should have kept you on the edge of your seat. This series should have been less generic and more delicious.
Get all latest content delivered to your email a few times a month.
Bringing Pop Culture News from Every Realm, Get All the Latest Movie, TV News, Reviews & Trailers
Got Any questions? Drop an email to [email protected]