Farzi is the story of a grossly underpaid and unappreciated artist, Sunny, played by Shahid Kapoor, who dreams of making it big. And by "making it big," we mean earning a lot of money. In fact, the trailer opens with the line, "Mujhe itna paisa kamana hai, ki mujhe uski izzat hi nahi karne pade." If it instantly gives you the Shahid Kapoor from Udta Punjab vibe, let’s say you’re not entirely wrong. Sunny is always looking for an opportunity to earn money while also saving his grandfather’s printing press. He decides to team up with his best friend Firoz to make counterfeit money. They face challenges from Mansoor, a gangster, and Michael, a cop.
There is no black or white in Raj and DK's characters. Be it Sunny, who is the anti-hero of the series, or Michael, who is unlike any cop you might have come across on screen. Neither of them is totally black or white. The writers have done a brilliant job here with meticulously etched-out characters and a gripping plot. A special shout-out to the dialogue writer, too. The entire series is full of 'seeti maar' dialogues. Exchanges between Vijay Sethupathi and Zakir Hussain are hilarious.
As the screenplay unfolds, it feels like a coat with a lining that has not been stitched properly, and it gives way in the rough and tumble. It appears at times that the script contains the writers' research notes on counterfeit currency and that we are watching an instruction manual on how to make fake bills. Curiously, the writers have spent hours explaining the business of counterfeit currency but have left the nuts and bolts of the story loose. Some of the twists are too convenient to mass muster, the back stories are not compelling, and an important character is dispensed with without due diligence. This incongruous approach makes Farzi feel like Sunny’s super note—a sham beneath the shine.There's too much use of curse words like F, MC and BC, which are all too familiar to such shows on OTT, but here a few of them feel awkward. Overall, though, the dialogue is very relevant and well-suited to each character. I found Farzi to be a refreshing, intense, and compelling scamster thriller with a lot more pros than cons.
Farzi is a web series that also marked the epic debut of Shahid Kapoor on OTT, receiving rave reviews and breaking records all around the world. Even though they might never have thought that people would try to replicate the same procedure, in a case from Jalgaon, Maharashtra, where a man tried to counterfeit notes, he said he got the idea from Farzi and learned how to make fake notes from YouTube. It stands out as how a lot of people might view a particular subject, but creators can’t literally stop making content because people might replicate it?
Talking about the effects the web series might have is also on the positive side. When they mention counterfeit currency notes, it also brings about a thought in the audience to maybe cross-check a currency note they received. The show also raises awareness about fake currency being used in our country.
In our opinion, Farzi is a pretty accurate representation of how today’s society works. Michael, the cop played by Vijay Sethupathi, whose job is to catch counterfeit notes, also uses the caught notes to buy an iPhone for his son. The kingpin of counterfeiting, played by Kay Kay Menon, is worried about Sunny becoming a competitor, so he decides to buy him out rather than kill him or let him stay in the market because he understood his real potential from the notes that he was creating.
There might come a day when counterfeiting is taken seriously in our country because it already is a huge problem. A device like the DhanRakshak shown in the web series might really be effective for the situations in our country. In our opinion, the social impact of the show will be positive, as people will take serious action against counterfeiting and always keep in mind that they might have a fake note in their hands.
- Mehul Singhvi and Kartavya Arora