We have many espionage shows out there. On Netflix alone, they can be found in abundance. One among them is the Emraan Hashmi starrer Bard of Blood. And I am happy to report that the series successfully ticks nearly all the boxes of the genre. Barring a few tone-deaf dialogues and scenes, the show lives up to expectations, for the most part.
Emraan Hashmi is a formerly disgraced agent Kabir Anand aka Adonis (wonder what they were thinking here), who is called upon a three-person mission to rescue four Indian spies from Balochistan. There is sensitive politics at play here, since we know Balochistan has been under the scanner for claiming independence and the pressure that it has had to face from neighbouring countries while doing so. But despite its cinematic liberty and ultimately pitching Emraan’s Kabir as the ultimate Indian supporter of a free Balochistan, the show does manage to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Nearly every episode ends with a cliffhanger, which is perhaps the oldest trick in the world to keep the audience hooked. But hey, it works here. A couple of revelations, despite being predictable, seem fresh because these are handled well by the captain of the ship, Ribhu Dasgupta. How well the book is translated to screen is a question that I am afraid I can’t answer, not having read Bilal Siddiqi’s novel of the same name.
While Shobita Dhulipala and Vineet Kumar Singh (who also play agents in the show) do their job convincingly, it is Kirti Kulhari and Jaideep Ahlawat who stand out in Bard of Blood. While Jaideep’s part takes more screen space, Kirti’s act is especially laudable as she conveys a lot in relatively little time.
The only problem I had was with the special effects at a couple of places, which didn’t sit well in the scenes. Those moments stick out like a thorn and hurt more than they should since we know that Bard of Blood is being bankrolled by Red Chillies Entertainment, who have paved the path for CGI (Ra.One and Zero) in the Hindi film industry.
Bard of Blood will start streaming from September 27 on Netflix.