May 3, 2019 3:57:10 pm
Mirroring the present election atmosphere across the country, Nagesh Kukunoor’s Hotstar series City Of Dreams is a gripping watch. Like any political drama, it has elements of greed, power and vengeance.
Marathi actor Priya Bagpat aka Poornima is the elder daughter of sitting Member of Parliament Ameya Gaikwad (Atul Kulkarni). She has a life away from her father’s political world. She is ‘just a housewife’ (as she refers to herself) who lives with her son and husband in a high rise Mumbai building.
Her younger brother Ashish (Siddharth Chandekar) is fully immersed in the family business and thinks of himself as the rightful heir to his father’s political legacy (of course, he is the son after all). To make matters worse, he is a drug addict prone to violent outbursts.
After an assassination attempt on Ameya Gaikwad, Poornima and Ashish’s world converge. In this critical time, they have the support of Maharashtra chief minister Jagdish Gaurav (Sachin Pilgaonkar) and Jiten Kaka (Uday Tikekar) who worked closely with their father. The latter seems more like Lord Baelish from Game of Thrones who manipulates scenarios from the backroom.
Apart from them, the show has a lot of characters. There is a police officer Wasim (Ejaz Khan) wronged by his department, a middle-class man Purshottam who is employed to handle a king’s ransom but has to sell a watch to get some extra money for his family, a young man working in a finance company, a sex worker waiting for her fortune to take a turn, an over-enthusiastic journalist and many others.
By the end of the first episode that takes its time to introduce us to the characters of City Of Dreams, you feel the need for a character guide to remember who’s who and how they are connected to the Gaikwads. However, all of them deliver an effective and convincing performance, especially seasoned actors Sachin Pilgaonkar, Priya Bagpat and Siddharth Chandekar.
After introducing the characters and their motivations in life, a little bit of drama unfolds in the second episode. Since, from the trailer, you know Priya’s character will lead her father’s political party, you want to know how she takes over from her impulsive brother. It would have been great if the show moved at a faster pace and focused more on the story of Gaikwads who are at the centre of the narrative.
The City Of Dreams demands your patience. It is tiresome but compelling. I would recommend you to sit through its first two episodes to see the story pick momentum from the third episode where you witness friction between the Gaikwad siblings.
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