‘Mafia’ Review: The Zee5 Thriller Is A Promising Story That Falls Flat

‘Mafia’ Review: The Zee5 Thriller Is A Promising Story That Falls Flat

By Sanjana Subramanian11 July, 2020 2 min read
‘Mafia’ Review: The Zee5 Thriller Is A Promising Story That Falls Flat
A lost opportunity
40%Overall Score

Six college friends have a reunion in a farmhouse they had been to six years ago. Once all the initial awkwardness is out of the way, they decide to play their old favourite game, Mafia. Soon, secrets from their past return to haunt them.

A reunion that goes wrong

The series moves between the past and the present to show the lives of six college friends. There’s Rishi (Tanmay Dhanania) aka Rishi Rich, the classic spoiled, rich boy, whose father owns the farmhouse in Madhupur. There’s his faithful, leech-like sidekick Sam (Aditya Bakshi), who has a penchant for photography. Ritwik (Saurabh Saraswat) and Tanya (Madhurima Roy) were college sweethearts who parted ways. Ananya (Ishaa Saha) is a quiet girl with a troubled past. And there’s Neha (Anindita Bose), who holds this entire group together and is often told off for trying to play “Mother Teresa”.

When this motley group reunites six years after their last trip to the same farmhouse, they realise that apart from Ritwik and Tanya not being together anymore, nothing seems to have changed. All they do is fight and scream over the same issues that used to aggravate them in college, using cuss words in every other sentence until it becomes an overkill. After one of their umpteenth fights, Ananya proposes a game of Mafia, which the gang used to play years ago. As the game progresses, tempers and tensions begin to escalate, until one by one, people begin to drop dead.

This thriller fails to thrill

Then Nitin Kumar (Namit Das), a stranger, shows up. He’s the only likeable person in the show, and Namit Das plays him well, showing himself to be leagues better than the rest of the cast.

The arrival of Kumar does make things interesting, but not for long. The show soon slides into an agonisingly slow unfolding of events. Through the character of Kumar, the show tries to address relevant issues such as the poor treatment of tribal women in village areas, as well as issues of mental health and drug abuse. The idea is for a rural, somewhat wild setting to prompt unsettling reactions in a group of urbanites. However, it all comes across as an amateur effort at best, aided by an uninspiring cast.

Mafia nobly address the plight of tribal women and the unfair treatment the justice system metes out to them, as well as the caste system, which has a cruel grip in rural areas. However, as a thriller, the show delivers no edge-of-the-seat drama. It’s an interesting premise that’s poorly executed.

Creators: Rohan Ghose, Aritra Sen
Writers: Reetarshi Dutta, Rohan Ghose, Konark Mukherjee, Aritra Sen
Cast: Namit Das, Ishaa Saha, Aninidita Bose, Saurabh Saraswat, Aditya Bakshi, Tanmay Dhanania, Madhurima Roy
Streaming on: Zee5

Tags: #Mafia #Namit Das #Zee5
Sanjana Subramanian
Written by

Sanjana Subramanian

Caffeine addict. Serial book sniffer. Constantly channelling her inner Anjali (and sometimes Poo). Still waiting for her Hogwarts letter.

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