Bestseller 2022 review


A wise person once said that the surest sign of good direction is when every performance in a movie or show—from the award-winning lead to the journeyman character actor with a two-line walk-in role—is excellent. People always conflate good direction with visual style, or other kinds of flamboyance, but rarely with acting. It’s possible for a skilled-enough performer to do a good job despite a poor script. But when the entire cast is in-sync—think of the recent The Power of the Dog, or Inglorious Basterds—it’s likely always down to good filmmaking; a sign that the actors were handled by someone who knew what they were doing.

But what about the opposite of this theory? Who’s to blame when every performance in a project is uniformly terrible? Is this the director’s fault? Or do the problems, especially in a writer’s medium like television, begin at the script stage?

There are no clear answers, but when you watch a show like Prime Video’s Bestseller— a tribute of sorts to Hindi pulp fiction, just like Haseen Dillruba and Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein—you don’t blame mere mortals. You direct your anger towards the gods.

Forget pointing fingers at the director (Mukul Abhyankar), but even Meryl Streep couldn’t polish this script, written by Anvita Dutt (Bulbbul, uh oh) and Althea Kaushal, who has to her credit films such as Happy New Year, the Abhishek Bachchan-starrer Game, and Sonakshi Sinha’s Noor. A formidable record.

I never thought Prime Video would put out anything as deplorable as Breathe: Into the Shadows ever again. Tandav and The Forgotten Army came close, but Bestseller’s all-consuming ineptitude goes beyond just Amazon. It might truly be one of the worst originals ever produced by any mainstream Indian streamer. And I’ve sampled Ullu and Hoichoi titles.

Only Gauahar Khan somehow manages to escape relatively unscathed by this mess, which also features Shruti Haasan, Arjan Bajwa, Satyajeet Dubey and Mithun Chakraborty, who is top-billed, but shows up for the first time only in episode three.

Google Drive – Gdtot






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