Farzi Review: Shahid Kapoor - Vijay Sethupathi’s web series is not a ‘farzi’ entertainer but a thrilling cat-and-mouse game from 'OG' creator Raj and DK

Show: Farzi

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Vijay Sethupathi, Raashii Khanna, Kay Kay Menon, Bhuvan Arora, Amol Palekar, Regina Cassandra, Zakir Khan, Chittaranjan Giri, Jaswant Singh Dalal, Kubbra Sait

Creator: Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K.

OTT: Prime Video

Rating: 3 Moons

Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi’s highly awaited web series debut Farzi is finally here. The Raj and DK directed series stars Shahid, Vijay, Raashii Khanna, Kay Kay Menon,Bhuvan Arora, Amol Palekar, Jaswant Singh Dalal and others. The crime thriller follows a clever underdog street artist’s pursuit to con the system that favours the rich through counterfeiting currency notes. However, crime as we know does not pay in the long run and we get to see a thrilling cat-and-mouse game between Shahid’s con artist and the law enforcement team led by Vijay Sethupathi.

Farzi starts off by establishing the hand-to-mouth situation of Sunny (played by Shahid) an artist who sells 5-minute portraits as well as rip-offs of famous artists and his friend Firoz (played by Bhuvan Arora). Together they work to make ends-meet as well as help Sunny’s righteous and virtuous grandfather (Amol Palekar) run his revolutionary magazine, Kranti. However, there are no takers for the magazine and the firm is on the verge of a shut down due to mounting debts. In order, to repay the loans and save the press they inadvertently embark on the idea of counterfeiting money since our protagonist is an artist par excellence and has an eye for details that escapes many.

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On the other hand, Michael Vinayagam (Vijay Sethupathi) is a no-nonsense, single-minded law enforcement officer who is hell-bent on busting the fake currency racket prevalent in the country. His prime suspect is Mansoor (Kay Kay Menon), the king pin of counterfeiting racket; he assembles a team of special recruits from all government agencies to nab him. Raashii Khanna as Megha Vyas joins the team as a printing expert from RBI who stumbles on the fake notes printed by Sunny and Firoz.

Farzi is not in the same league of the directors’ previous work The Family Man starring Manoj Bajpayee in the lead. However, it does have its moments of triumph. Shahid as the con artist par excellence does a swell job but he shines when his malice comes through of not repenting about his deed. He is cool, calm and composed giving off the calculative whiff of a man in single-minded pursuit of money, irrespective the risks. He is able to perfectly depict the pathos of a man who wants to become rich but grapples with his downtrodden status while at the same time emotes his devil-may-care attitude about his predicament in life.

Vijay Sethupathi’s one-liners and scenes bring out the humour in the series. He commands the scenes with his presence and brings out a somewhat reckless and nonchalant character with aplomb. However, scenes from his domestic life with estranged wife Rekha (played by Regina Cassandra) and his son are stereotypical and on the same beaten path that of an absentee, irresponsible father with an overbearing mother-cum-wife. His camaraderie and understanding with Jaswant Singh Dalal in the task force that he creates are some of the humorous and noteworthy scenes.

On the other hand, Bhuvan Arora as Firoz is commendable and is at par with the more popular lead actors. As Sunny’s friend he gives ample competition to Shahid in all their scenes together. He upholds the hero’s not-so-polished friend stereotype with aplomb and together with Sunny brings out one of the most impressive con jobs seen on Indian web series. Raashii Khanna impresses as the woman with brains who wants to be taken seriously for her skills as well as her devotion towards her duty. Kay Kay Menon as the kingpin is suave, sophisticated and sly; a feat that he accomplishes with little effort.

Raj & DK’s web series is an entertaining watch but does not have the same zing as their earlier works. The humour is less and several things seem repetitive. Amol Palekar’s righteousness and ideology towards his failing paper that spurs Sunny and Firoz towards a life of crime seems immensely irritating, after all as the dialogue in the series goes, “it is more important to put food on the table than bring a revolution.” However, there is a crossover scene between Farzi and The Family Man which should not be missed and brings back some alacrity to the series. The series lacks the urgency needed for a crime thriller but is a well researched show on how currency notes are minted and what goes into the nitty-gritties of it. Kudos to the makers for delving into it whole heartedly. All in all, Farzi is a good and entertaining watch but could have been better with a more fast-paced narrative. gives Farzi, 3 Moons.