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‘Humble Politician Nograj’ Review: Nograj is back and chutzpah is intact

Express News Service

Humble Politician Nograj, directed by Saad Khan, was released in 2018 and explored Nograj’s aspirations to become an MLA and the kind of opposition he faces. The sequel, coming after four years, has the Humble Politician Nograj, now as an MLA, aspiring to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka, but this time as a web series.

Political topics have been a staple for some filmmakers, and this Danish Sait-fronted socio-political-satire web series by director Saad Khan, recalls the high drama that took place in the Karnataka assembly a couple of years ago. The fictitious 10-episode series revolves around an election season, and is about three political parties —  Most Secular Party (MSP)’s KGB Krishna Gundu Bala (Prakash Belavadi), Karan Kapoor’s (Varun Thakur) Family Run Party (FRP), and OBP lead by Humble Politician Nograj (Danish Sait). With a hung assembly seeming an inevitability, the narrative explores the consequences faced by MLAs during such times.

Nothing is spared as the series discusses resort politics, horse-trading, political fights, blackmail, the issue between authority and the majority, interferences from the powers that be, a helpless Governor, and the role of the media. Over 30-minute episodes, we see whether Nograj succeeds in becoming the CM.
A lot of thought has gone into the writing by Saad Khan and Danish Sait. It is obvious that parts of the episodes have reference to the high voltage drama of Karnataka’s coalition government, and Saad Khan with an ensemble cast gives a satirical peek into the murky world of politics.

Danish Sait shoulders all the limelight, and the actor, an internet sensation, has by now mastered the art of humour, whether it is radio, big screen, on the cricket pitch, or web series, he perfectly fits the iconic character created by him. Danish aces the physicality of the character as much as he rocks the performance. It isn’t easy for everybody to bring out the funny side of a serious issue, and Danish does it well. His character gets complete in the company of Manjunath, played by Vijay Chendoor, and the series is elevated even further by an epic performance by Prakash Belawadi.

The veteran actor, who can effortlessly emote a serious role, shows that his comic timing is equally on point. The conversations between these two characters get interesting in the final few episodes. Disha Madan, as a channel reporter Simi, Varun Thakur as Karan Kapoor, Shalini as Prakash Belawadi’s wife form integral parts of the ensemble cast, and they put up a commendable act. 

The only flaw of this series, which dwells more in the urban space with characters mainly speaking in a mix of Kannada and English, is the length. Having ten episodes of 30-minutes each make it quite a long watch. There is a restlessness that sets in, and we hope for a conclusion to the political affairs at the centre of Humble Politician Nograj. However, the topic is very relevant and acts more as a reality check that also highlights the fickle nature of media attention, including social media influences etc… 

Politics is a serious affair, and Humble Politician Nograj definitely manages to add a comic spin to an important issue that is showcased more as a leisurely watch at the comfort of our homes.

Humble Politician Nograj
Cast: Saad Khan 
Director:  Danish Sait, Vinay Chendoor, Prakash Belawadi, and Disha Madan
Streaming on: Voot Select
Rating : 3/5

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