To be very honest, I considered City Of Dreams because of its star cast, especially the lead actors, Priya Bapat and Siddharth Chandekar. If you are a Marathi manus, you too might give this web series a shot only due to its star cast. Having said that, City Of Dreams turned out to be a real surprise.
I will not say that City Of Dreams is WOW because it is not. Why is it not WOW? Because it’s a political drama which narrates a story of greed, power, cruelty, and backstabbing. This is not a story you haven’t seen or heard before. It’s like every other political drama.
Having said that, City Of Dreams is still recommended. Why? I cannot recollect the exact quote now but someone has said that there is no story that has not been told, how you tell the story is what matters. This is what makes this Hotstar Special interesting. With expected and unexpected twists, City Of Dreams (with almost nothing new to say) is a gripping tale of individuals fighting for their respective positions, for the positions they deserve – then may it be Wasim Khan or Poornima Gaikwad.
That’s about the story. Now let’s talk about the characters and the actors. One of the main reasons why this tale is gripping is because of its actors. How convincing they are! I will start with Siddharth Chandekar who has played Ashish Gaikwad, a spoilt brat, dumb-ass, drug-addict, womanizer, ruthless son of a powerful politician. If you watch Marathi films or serials, you already know this guy. What do you know him as? A chocolate boy? That’s what he is for the Marathi audience. The way he has portrayed Ashish Gaikwad is outstanding. I was all praises for him the moment he walks into the hospital when his father is shot – what amazing body language. Throughout the series, the way he acted “with his eyes” is unbelievable. The way he continuously stares at people he hates or cries like a child when threatened is simply amazing. Emoting with eyes, and only eyes is a tough job.
The next actor/character I would love to talk about is Wasim Khan, played by Eijaz Khan. He is every person who loves his/her job and yet is struggling hard to get the opportunity he/she deserves but do not get it due to internal politics. From the police to the corporate world, every 9 to 5 job person would relate to this character. He adores his job and does everything in his capacity to get back his position. From requesting his superiors to risking his life and threatening the most ruthless people in the business. Not being the political mind, poor guy fails every time. And you really pity him. He represents every common man who is trying to give back to society by balancing the blacks and whites in life but most of the times fail as he doesn’t allow ‘black’ to dominate his life.
Coming to another lead actor, Priya Bapat who played Poornima Gaikwad in the series. I loved her as a housewife who is trying to maintain a balance between sensitive and practical. The shades of her character are lovely but I personally felt that when Poornima is ferocious, Priya Bapat did not live up to the expectations. At places where I wanted more of Poornima, I got only Priya Bapat.
How can I forget Uday Tikekar? I just observed his body language. How flawlessly he changed his body language depending on who he is talking to – a minister, his boss’ children – his favourite and his not-so-favourite, his boss’ business partner, or his employee. He has always been a great actor and he has once again proved it.
Last but not least, Purushottam played by Sandeep Kulkarni. He is the typical middle-class man you meet daily in the local in the rush hour. He does not care whether what his boss is doing is right or wrong, he does not question, he does not judge. He is loyal to his job and his employer. He is involved in one of the riskiest jobs. He is in the business of money yet is struggling to make ends meet. I cannot end this post without mentioning two scenes here: one, where Ashish is thrashing him and he is crying not out of fear but out of guilt that he should not have cheated on his wife – completely out of context but apt for a middle-class man. This scene was hilarious. And the second scene where he gives Poornima vital information about the money-making business of her father which was worth a few crores or a partnership in the business and what does he ask in return? A salary hike. LOL!
In short, the story is not the hero here, the actors and the Director, Nagesh Kukunoor is.
The way City Of Dreams Season 1 ended, City Of Dreams Season 2 is definitely planned. I am waiting for it, are you?
Where To Watch? Hotstar