Director: Pushpendra Nath Misra
Starcast: Jimmy Shergill, Namit Das, Monika Panwar, Aashim Gulati, Niharika Dutt, Vikram Kochhar, Chandan Roy, Gyanendra Tripathi, & Arshad Warsi
Duration: 50 minutes approx (per episode)
While thrillers have been a new obsession in the web space, Choona has been pegged as a heist comedy. But honestly, the show doesn’t fit either of the genres. Neither is Choona thrilling nor is it funny. In fact, the Jimmy Shergill starrer Choona looks like an unnecessarily stretched political drama that has literally no agenda. The performances are no doubt good, but the story makes it all a futile effort. The flaw is not in Choona’s conceptualization or subject, it is more in the execution. Choona is dragged to the extent that it fails to hold you as a viewer.
Also, it is so confusing right from the start that you will not know what is happening and when. It begins on an abrupt note and even ends in a very underwhelming manner. Despite a good job from the actors, the dialogues take away all the charm. In fact, Choona will confuse you so much, that till the end, you will not be able to figure out what Jimmy’s character wants.
Story of Choona
Choona is a heist comedy-drama revolving around a power-hungry politician Shukla (played by Jimmy Shergill). His misdeeds have led to him having a lot of enemies, Bishnu (Chandan Roy) and Ansari (Aashim Gulati) being the biggest ones. While there is friction between Ansari and Shukla, it is hard to decipher what is the issue between them. Trilok (Namit Das) who is a thief also has some vengeance against Shukla but where it stems from is unexplained. JP (Vikram Kochhar) is a small-time builder who suffers great loss in business due to Shukla and hence seeks revenge. He is helped by a police officer Bankeya (Ganjendra Tripathi). So, Ansari, JP, Trilok, Bishnu, and Bankeya plan a heist against Shukla and they get help from Jhumpa (Niharika Dutt) who is Trilok’s girlfriend. Meanwhile, Bela (Monika Panwar) is a news anchor and Bankeya’s sister, who is in love with Ansari.
While so many cast members make the story jumbled up, all you can figure is they plan a heist and break into Shukla’s home to steal an amount as big as Rs 300 crores. In the process, there is fight, deceit, backstabbing, clubbed with lots of cuss words and crass dialogues. To explain it better is Arshad Warsi’s voiceover, but that also doesn’t help. Do they succeed with their heist? Well, for that you need to watch Choona on Netflix.
Highlights of Choona
Jimmy Shergill as Shukla
The dialogue and the character arch don’t seem to be fair to the performance Jimmy Shergill has given in Choona. Jimmy has done a fabulous job playing the daunting politician, if there has to be a reference it is an updated and fierce version of his role from Tanu Weds Manu. He really leaves you intimidated right from the first scene, in fact, he has gotten the grip of the character so well that you want to know more about where is Shukla’s baggage coming from.
Namit Das as Trilok
If I have to choose a favorite from the series for me it would be Namit Das. He has just excelled in his act, throughout, you can feel the weirdness he carries as Trilok. There is a whacky side to him that comes out very well. Namit has really elevated his character so much that it shines.
Drawbacks of Choona
Aashim Gulati and Monika Panwar
While others have done a decent job in the show, Aashim has been a disappointment as Ansari. He just doesn’t fit in looking like a misfit. There is no daunt or grit he brings in, though it looks like he is trying very hard to be the baddie he is supposed to be. His performance is really very bland. Monika on the other hand has performed well, but sadly her character is one that is not needed. Its absence from the story wouldn’t make too much of a difference.
Storyline and execution
The plot of Choona is very confusing, what is happening at what point, you just don’t understand. Also, they jump so much with the many characters that you lose track. What spoils it is the touch of astrology that only complicates the story further. None of the characters leave you with an impact, it just feels like you are lost in a complicated maze. The build-up to the heist is also very slow, it actually begins at the end of episode two.
Duration of the show and episodes
The episodes are longer than they should be, while every episode is 50 minutes plus, it can easily be brought down to 35 to 40 minutes. Even the number of episodes can be reduced. As mentioned above, the heist has been spread over a few episodes rather than being in one impactful sequence.
Choona is that run-of-the-mill pseudo thriller that is badly panned out. But for good performances from actors you can watch it once.
Also Read: Choona Trailer: Jimmy Sheirgill starrer web series is a witty and chaotic tale of politics, power, and revenge
Nawaz Kochra has been an experienced journalist in the entertainment arena for the last 9 years. Worked with the biggest brands in the media fraternity, he now heads the editorial desk at Bollywood Bubble. In addition to that, he even hosts a podcast called, Let’s Talk with Bollywood Bubble. Someone who is calm, yet a firecracker, and holds a balanced opinion about things, Nawaz is strong-headed and determined. He loves films as well as web shows and TV (yes, he is from that generation!), and that’s why writing about them is more of a passion for him than just a job.