Showtime: An Entertaining But A Clichéd Take On The Inner Workings Of The Film Industry

Emraan Hashmi has always worked best when playing characters with grey areas and ‘Showtime’ is one more example of that.
  • Main Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Mahima Makwana, Rajeev Khandewal, Mouni Roy, Shriya Saran, and Naseerudin Shah
  • Director: Mihar Desai and Archit Kumar
  • Producer: Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Somen Mishra, and Mihir Desai
  • Music Director: Anand Bhaskar
  • Cinematography: Vivek Shah
  • Genre: Drama
  • Episodes: 4
  • Published in: Southfirst

The story of Showtime has an outlandish but interesting premise.

Raghu Khanna (Emraan Hashmi) is the heir apparent of a studio named Viktory, started by his father Viktor Khanna (Naseeruddin Shah).

The son and father have very different approaches towards filmmaking and the movie business. As a result, they are constantly at loggerheads.

Raghu’s latest production is Pyaar Dangerous. Raghu tries to bribe critics to give good reviews.

A critic of the news samachar is unwell therefore he asks the junior Mahika Nandy (Mahima Makwana) to review the film and say only positive stuff.

Emraan Hashmi in ‘Showtime’. (X)

Raghu’s aide Ziko (Gurpreet Saini) even gifts her the latest smartphone. But on TV, Mahika brutally blasts the film adding that she was given a bribe for a positive review. The review and Mahika’s confession go viral and she loses her job.

But that very night, Viktor Khanna invites Mahika to his home, where they have a heart-to-heart conversation. Mahika expresses her wish for Viktory Studios to return to the heartfelt films they used to make.

After a few hours, Viktor passes away and things take a ludicrous turn when it is revealed that Mahika is Viktor’s granddaughter.

Naturally, Raghu gets the shock of his life but things don’t end there.

The lawyers read out Viktor’s will, which says that the ownership of Viktory Studios has been handed over to the granddaughter.

This changes the lives of Raghu and Mahika forever. Nothing more can be revealed as numerous parallel subplots are integrated into the main story.

Analysis

Showtime works best when it focuses on the characters of Emraan Hashmi and Mahima Makwana.

The interpersonal dynamics and how Mahika takes on the big challenges after the initial shock give the show some of its best moments.

Emraan Hashmi has always worked best when playing characters with grey areas and Showtime is one more example of that.

His Raghu Khanna is supremely brash, hurting people close to him like his love interest Mouni Roy who also plays an item dancer with aspirations of becoming a heroine.

But beneath the brashness, there is also a vulnerability to him that comes through strongly.

Performances

Mahima Makwana in ‘Showtime’. (X)

Emraan Hashmi does a brilliant job of portraying the different shades.

Mahima Makwana also does well in showcasing the switch of a Mahika Nandy from a regular girl to an assertive boss lady.

Among the supporting characters, Rajeev Khandelwal makes the biggest impact. He plays an obnoxious superstar who outlives his stardom but continues to throw tantrums. The actor has a blast in portraying the eccentricities.

Showtime also tackles some important questions regarding South Cinema Vs Bollywood and what should be prioritised more — script or superstars.

What doesn’t work for Showtime is the overtop and formulaic approach taken by the directors.

Directors Mihir Desai and Archit Kumar try to merge real with reel ageing superstars losing touch with reality, and sexy item girls struggling to make a mark as actresses. But this showcase of Bollywood’s dark side offers nothing particularly new.

Also, many actors have been woefully underutilised. These include Naseerudin Shah and Mouni Roy.

Final take

Showtime can be watched if you like some harmless fun and Emraan Hashmi’s acting.

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