With digital shows becoming the go-to mode of entertainment, content creators are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that Indian shows match up with their international counterparts, be it in terms of production value, concepts or performances. We saw this with Sacred Games, Ghoul and Breathe. Hungama Play’s new original, Bar Code, is the latest one to join the list of premium digital shows being made in India.
Since the two lead characters own nightclubs, Bar Code also serves up a few revelations about Mumbai’s glitzy and sparkling nightlife. The intoxicated and dancing patrons have absolutely no idea about whatever is happening in the ‘personnel only’ areas of these plush nightclubs.
With only 10 episodes, each with a run time of about 20 minutes, Bar Code is able to intensify the drama pretty quickly. Among other things, the show’s pace is an asset that doesn’t leave any room for a dull moment.
A show like Bar Code could have gone horribly wrong if not complemented with a production value to suit the subject. It demands a certain scale and needs to showcase a particular lifestyle to make the story look believable. The show has been designed to give a movie-like experience and that adds to the overall impact the show leaves on us.
Karan and Akshay are the perfect actors for their respective roles. The disdain that each of their characters have for each other is reflected in every confrontation scene. Even when they are not sharing screen space, the audience can almost read their minds and sense them scheming and plotting against each other. Their acting proves to be a tool to build the tension throughout the run of the show. Parina and Simran are the prefect metaphors for the damage that the men’s hostility causes to the people around them. Their expressions, dialogue delivery and often silence, conveys their pain and destruction caused by Sahil and Vicky’s egos in a mature manner.
Other actors like Teena Singh, Rohan Khurana and Bharat Dabholkar play pivotal roles in the series and aid in amplifying the toxicity that accompanies the two leading men’s rivalry.
Writer – Director Vignesh Shetty manages to create a show that is relatable and believable. He skilfully manoeuvres through Sahil and Vicky’s egotistical world of nightclubs and their broken personal relationships and manages to stitch them together in a seamless manner. The characters created by him are contemporary and exhibit traits that the generation of today can easily identify with. And this helps him narrate a story that has a universal appeal even though it is set in Mumbai.
Bar Code gives the audience something that is missing in the Indian content landscape – a strong story with powerful performances in a lavish production setting.
A must watch for those who want to see Indian content go from strength to strength!
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