Humble Politiciann Nograj
Creators: Danish Sait, Team Applause
Director: Saad Khan
Writers: Danish Sait, Saad Khan
Cast: Danish Sait, Prakash Belawadi, Vijay Chendoor, Disha Madan, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Tiku Talsania
Streaming on: Voot Select
I watched two series this week without checking out their trailers. First was Kaun Banegi Shikharwati (Zee5) and the second being Humble Politiciann Nograj (Voot Select). Kaun Banegi Shikharwati showed some spark but went on to become a royal rambling. Humble Politiciann Nograj on the other hand kept me captivated throughout. Both shows are produced by Sameer Nair’s Applause Entertainment who I hear first make the content and then take it to a streaming platform unlike many others who get the nod from a platform first.
Humble Politiciann Nograj is a satire on the Indian political system. We are living in a satire which is not funny. Thankfully, Humble Politiciann Nograj is a laugh riot. It comes as a respite from all the mind numbing nonsense which we see in real life through the media. In today’s times where people are just waiting for the next thing to get offended, a joke has to pass an offence-check from different groups of society (politics, gender, orientation, religion, pets and what not), creating a comedy which spares no one, is brave. And Danish Sait and Saad Khan do a brilliant job with their sharp writing.
The lead character Nograj of One Big Party (OBP) played by Sait is a self-aware, manipulative politician who wants to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka. Nograj forms a coalition with Family Run Party (FRP) to beat Krishna Gundu Bala (KGB) of Most Secular Party (MSP) which has won the most number of seats in the election but requires 3 more seats to form the government. Prakash Belawadi plays KGB, suffering because of inadequacy of language. Belawadi and Sait are hilarious in their parts. So are the supporting characters: Geetanjali Kulkarni as Mrs. Dalal, Tiku Talsania as Indian PM, Vijay Chendoor as Nograj’s right hand Monjunath.
Just like its lead character, the series is self-aware of its silliness and the reality it is trying to show. And that’s what makes it so irreverent. It spares no one; right, left center. Resort politics is a known reality of India. Whenever there’s mixed election results, the MLAs are taken to an undisclosed resort, the deals are made. It is plainly called ‘buying the MLAs’. And the MLAs are willing to sell themselves and their integrity for a more powerful ministry.
Humble Politiciann Nograj uses inadequacy of language as the main tool for comedy. I don’t understand Kannada. So I had to rely on the subtitles to understand what’s going on. But soon after the subtitles didn’t matter much as the visuals were conveying everything important. Danish Sait infuses Nograj with infectious energy. Prakash Belawadi easily gets into the skin of KGB. He makes every character his own. These two drive the narrative throughout the 10 episodes without any dull moments. There are many subtle and smart clues for visual comedy. For that, you must check out this laugh riot on Voot Select. I also got to know that Sait started with the Nograj sketches on radio and that there’s a 2018 feature film by the same title. Going to check that out now as well.