Mirzapur is a story of two families--a mafia family that rules Mirzapur and an average middle-class family. Millionaire mafia don Akhandanand Tripathi a.k.a Kaleen Bhaiyya (Pankaj Tripathi) uses his legitimate carpet business (hence the sobriquet Kaleen) as a front for his weapons and drugs trade. His incompetent and hot-headed son Munna (Divyendu) unleashes a reign of terror on the town and his college campus, much to the disapproval of his father.
To set him straight, Kaleen recruits two brothers Guddu (Ali Fazal) and Bablu (Vikrant Massey), the right combination of brains and brawns, into his inner circle, only to further antagonise Munna. What follows is a series of back-stabbings, gang wars, abuse and blood and gore.
The show starts well with a gripping first episode that puts the middle-class family headed by the righteous Ramakant Pandit in the crosshairs of Kaleen Bhaiyya. The sons pay for their father’s hefty decision by becoming Kaleen Bhaiya’s henchmen. This sets the stage for a gripping neo-noir saga telling the story of a very real and upsetting reality that families in small towns of UP often face.
Unfortunately, that’s when this Amazon Prime original begins its downward spiral and the badly written plot gets boring and predictable by every passing moment.
Mirzapur also disappoints by continuing the chauvinistic tradition adopted by most Indian gangster movies and TV shows--leaving the women in the background as objects to be kidnapped, abused, and discarded at the will of the men in their lives.
There are a few empowering moments--a mousy housewife (Sheeba Chaddha) firing a gun to protect her children, a regular college topper who campaigns against Munna in the student council elections, her equally brave elder sister who refuses to do as Munna says and falls in love with Guddu instead. But none of these ladies are given a chance to shine. Their stories, along with that of the other side characters, remain undeveloped and eventually lose their flak.
Even Pankaj Tripathi’s stellar portrayal of a mafia don, which reminds us of Don Corleone from The Godfather, isn’t enough to save the terrible script.
Mirzapur is yet another story featuring the infamous ‘gundaraj’ in the lawless state of UP dominated by trigger-happy, testosterone-filled power hungry men. What started as a promising show ends up being an excruciatingly long, predictable and poorly written script with bad dialogues. Even a strong ensemble cast with powerful acting fails to rescue this dull and silly show.