CAST: Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, Rajeev Khandelwal, Mahima Makwana, Mouni Roy, Shriya Saran, Vishal Vashishtha, Vijay Raaz, Denzil Smith, Neeraj Madhav

DIRECTOR: Mihir Desai, Archit Kumar

Streams on Hotstar and Hulu

Set against the bustling backdrop of Mumbai, the narrative unfolds within the walls of Viktory, a towering name in the Bollywood industry. Home to a plethora of secrets, Viktory stands as a cinematic fortress under the skeptical gaze of its patriarch, Viktor Khanna (portrayed by Naseeruddin Shah), who harbors doubts about his progeny, Raghu Khanna (played by Emraan Hashmi), inheriting the reins of the empire. Amidst the familial discord, Raghu finds himself at odds with his father within the very halls of their dominion.

The plot thickens with the introduction of a controversial film review for ‘Pyaar Dangerous,’ authored by the forthright journalist Mahika Nandy (played by Mahima Makwana), which not only lambasts the film but also uncovers a conspiracy of bribery for favorable coverage, orchestrated by Raghu’s camp. This revelation is merely the beginning of a whirlwind of events.

Karan Johar, Emraan Hashmi, Shriya Saran, and Rajeev Khandelwal's 'Showtime'  web-series review | Disney Plus Hotstar – Firstpost

In an unexpected turn of fate, Mahika finds herself in the opulent office of Viktor Khanna, where she is confronted with a shocking truth and a burdensome legacy; before taking his own life, Viktor bestows the studio upon her, unveiling her as his granddaughter. The ensuing narrative weaves through Raghu Khanna’s struggle to rise from the ashes of disgrace and Mahika Nandy’s journey to wield the sudden power thrust upon her.

Emraan Hashmi truly owns the series with his portrayal of a power-driven producer, embodying the role with an intensity that suggests a deep understanding of his character’s psyche. Even as his world crumbles with the loss of Viktory, his arrogance remains unscathed—a testament to Hashmi’s grasp on the essence of his role, making it appear as though he’s channeling a real-life figure he’s studied intimately.

Rajeev Khandelwal merits special recognition for his depiction of the egocentric superstar Armaan Singh. He captures the quintessential traits of the archetypical celebrity we’re all familiar with. While his portrayal borders on the cliché, Khandelwal brings a certain charm and humor to the character that is unexpectedly delightful. His adeptness at portraying a cunning side adds depth, showcasing his ability to leave a significant imprint within the industry narrative.

Emraan Hashmi On Disney+ Hotstar's Bollywood Drama 'Showtime'

As for Mahima Makwana, her performance mirrors the ambitious journey of her character in the series. In her dual roles as a journalist and a producer, there’s a palpable effort that, at times, seems to overshadow her natural presence in the narrative. Her dedication is commendable, yet it occasionally detracts from the authenticity of her character. This is particularly noticeable in scenes requiring powerful monologues, where the struggle to convey authority feels more forced than persuasive, slightly diminishing the impact of her portrayal.

Mouni Roy’s performance in the series leaves much to be desired. Throughout the show, despite the clear indication that her character harbors profound emotions and conflicts, Roy struggles to evoke empathy or align the audience with her perspective. Her portrayal of distress, particularly following confrontations with Raghu, fails to resonate or convincingly translate the depth of her character’s turmoil to the screen.

‘Showtime’ is a remarkable creation from the minds of Sumit Roy, Lara Chandni, and Mithun Gangopadhyay, offering a compelling exploration of Bollywood’s less-celebrated facets. The narrative thrives on its eclectic mix of elements – from the aspirational journey of a model, the diva-like tantrums of seasoned actors, to the ambitions of a power-seeking producer, and the opulent lifestyle of a celebrated superstar amidst scandals and controversies. The series stands out for its rich tapestry of characters, each a composite of myriad industry rumors and gossip, meticulously crafted with attention to detail that deserves recognition.

The direction and editing of the show are commendably executed, ensuring the pacing remains engaging across episodes, even those extending beyond the 40-minute mark, with no moment feeling superfluous. The allure of the series mirrors the captivating essence of Bollywood itself, augmented by a fitting musical score and visually striking cinematography that splendidly captures the industry’s splendor.

Showtime: Emraan Hashmi, Mouni Roy's Bollywood Series To Premiere On THIS  Date | Web Series News, Times Now

However, ‘Showtime’ falters in its depth, presenting a narrative that, while entertaining, skims the surface of the intricate dynamics it seeks to portray. The show, replete with juicy tidbits reminiscent of social media gossip, lacks a revelatory or profoundly engaging element that might captivate viewers beyond the initial intrigue. Despite its initial draw, the series struggles to maintain viewer engagement, offering a narrative that, though rich in spectacle, falls short of delivering a novel or substantial commentary on the industry it depicts.

‘Showtime’ sets out to expose the underbelly of the film industry, yet ironically, it embodies the very essence of the superficiality it seeks to critique. Packed with spice, conflict, and theatrics, it parallels the empty glitz of Raghu Khanna’s ‘Pyaar Dangerous.’ If you’re in search of light, effortless viewing to accompany your weekend tasks, ‘Showtime’ serves as an ideal choice.


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