India doesn’t have a great relationship with black comedies. Although there are a few good black comedy films that have impressed the audience, you’ve hardly come across a dark comedy show or series that leaves you impressed. Vir Das manages to change that notion this weekend with Hasmukh. The Netflix series released on Friday and revolves around an aspiring comedian who finds his performance enhance after he kills someone. It starts when he accidentally kills his comedy guru Gulati, played by Manoj Pahwa, after he fails to keep up his promise.
“A promise is a promise,” he declares as slits Gulati’s throat. The rush helps him deliver a memorable first act. Soon, he learns the trick behind his brilliant performances involves blood. This leads to a couple of deaths in his town. But he doesn’t kill the innocent. He gets his performance spell by killing only those who harm. Yes, it does have a nip of Dexter vibe to it but Hasmukh successfully manages to limit the international show to a mere reminder.
After three shocking deaths, the aspiring comedian’s life changes when a producer from a comedy show back in Mumbai knocks his door and takes him to the city of dreams. With his “bade bhaiya” aka manager Jimmy The Maker by his side, the duo embroils in numerous problems in the big city while their killing spree doesn’t stop. Hasmukh encounters a long-time gangster Jameel Indori, an insecure comedian KK and more toxic people as he makes his “bloody” way to the finale of the comedy show. Does he win? Do the cops nab him before the finale? How many people does he kill to reach the finale?
All these questions can only be answered when you watch the show. What we can tell you is that you should watch the show. It is that good! Vir soaks himself in the colours of the small town, maintaining the charm and essence of his character even as he strangles people to death. By the third episode, you start inclining towards the character, justifying that what he’s doing isn’t all that wrong. This thought convinced me that the writing and Vir’s acting have already won, within the first three episodes.
Vir has already proved his comic timing is flawless. This time around, he reminds you that he’s got a good game on the acting front as well. There is hardly a moment that you take your eyes off Vir, even when he’s sharing the screen with Raza Murad (who plays the Mumbai gangster.) His versatility is explored in the series.