There’s this interesting relationship that exists between the writer and the audience. And it’s not very different from husband-wife or boyfriend-girlfriend relationships.
Between a couple, if there’s enough evidence of intent and effort, you’re given certain allowances – the liberty to make mistakes and a few letdowns here and there.
Similarly, if the writer has demonstrated their craft well and impressed at the very beginning, then later on, the audience is willing to unsee, look the other way over certain not-so-perfect things.
Farzi is so well written and well made, that you’re fine with a few logic flaws and some avoidable cliches.
The protagonist Sunny has the classic hero’s arc – from an abandoned child on a railway platform by a petty-criminal father, to doing pencil portraits of people, to finding his place next to his grandfather at the printing press. And eventually becoming what his grandfather feared the most.
Similarly, Michael is a fabulously written character. Scenes like him telling his wife “I’m taking a boy and will bring back a man”, joking with his colleagues about his diet, doing interrogation in the form of a visa interview, his phone calls to the minister, and so on… Dark humour at its best.
Megha gets introduced as an intelligent, enthusiastic girl with big dreams, and gets built further over the episodes – the scene where Michael tells her that she is like him is where her character is fully developed. And her part with Sunny is also done with a lot of ease.
And what an opening for Mansoor – he nails it with that ‘juridiction, jurisdiction’. Superb style and styling. His character gets a bit cliched towards the end but that can be forgiven.
Coming to forgiving, the biggest logic bummer was the question of why did Mansoor expect the new kid Sunny who’s good only with portrait/printing, to smuggle in and distribute twelve thousand crores. Mansoor, being a big mafia kingpin with multinational operations, asking the Artist to do this was incredible and illogical.
But the overall screenplay is so good that you’re willing to go with the flow, and not allow this fact to screw your head.
Other cliche is Saira (Kubra Sait). It might be the creators’ hat tip to Breaking Bad (Lydia) or maybe not.
Firoze & Chacha are two superb characters and performed brilliantly by Bhuvan & Chittaranjan. All the actors have given their best – Shahid Kapoor, Vijay Sethupathi, Rashi, Kay Kay Menon, and of course Amol Palekar.
One deadly scene is where Sunny is sitting with Chacha and confiding in him about the fact that he didn’t feel anything and had zero guilt. It’s a deliberate, slow reveal of Sunny’s transformation.
Another one is when Michael meets the minister after calling him mc the previous night. Deadly dialogues.
And if it was in a movie hall, the Chellam Sir cameo would have got full-on whistles.
Family Man is one of the best Indian web series (both Season 1 & 2). And now with Farzi, Raj & DK are on the way to becoming Salim-Javed of OTT.
( The author is Founder at The Script Room)