Web Series: Cartel
Cast: Supriya Pathak, Tanuj Virwani, Jitendra Joshi, Ritvik Dhanjani, Divya Agarwal, Girija Oak, Pranati Rai Prakash, Monica Dogra
OTT: ALTBalaji and MX Player
Ekta Kapoor’s crime drama Cartel finally released today on ALTBalaji and MX Player after several release date changes. The action-drama series boasts of a star-studded cast that includes Supriya Pathak, Tanuj Virwani, Jitendra Joshi, Ritvik Dhanjani, Divya Agarwal, Girija Oak, Monica Dogra, Pranati Rai Prakash and others. The crime drama has a total of 14 episodes that do a good job of keeping the audiences’ attention intact.
Cartel is a story about gangster families ruling Mumbai and their strife to control the city and its underworld business. It is led by Rani Maai (Supriya Pathak). Hers is the first family in the business and relies heavily on the shoulders of Rani Maai’s three sons Madhukar(Jitendra Joshi) Abhay (Ritvik Dhanjani), and Arjun (Tanuj Virwani). The story has some similarities with Mario Puzo’s The Godfather as when Rani Maai is shot in her own godown which puts her in a coma, it’s her three sons who must rise to the occasion to take revenge and consolidate and keep their domination on the business intact with regards to the other 5 crime lords who are also eagerly waiting in the fringes to usurp the throne.
Although Cartel’s plot is similar to other gang war dramas like The Godfather, Sarkar, Satya but the characters of the web series keep the novelty intact. Jitendra Joshi brings in the humour element of the show and gives the audience some genuine laughs. Rithvik Dhanjani’s character arc is pretty interesting and he manages to shine in all the varied shades that his character goes through. Tanuj Virwani, on the other hand, brings a cool, calm and composed menace to his character. Personifying an angry young man demeanor, Tanuj manages to carve a niche for himself in the ensemble cast. What came as a disappointment was Supriya Pathak’s limited screen time in the initial episodes as her character is in coma. However she will definitely have a bigger part to play in Cartel in the later episodes. Divya Agerwal has limited screen space but does a swell job with her act.
Cartel’s direction is crisp and taut but lags behind in the suspense department. The thrill quotient is somewhat lacking in the show but where the series earns brownie points are the characters. The music and dialogues are bang on. The series has an ample amount of violence, sex and abuse so if you are not keen on the expletives then you can definitely give the show a miss. Having said that, since Cartel is based on the crime and underworld genre, the sex, violence and swearing do justice to it and viewers who like such shows are definitely in for a treat with the series.