The big-budget Netflix series, co-produced by Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies, is a taut, ambitious spy/espionage thriller.
Emraan Hashmi is back in our lives, ladies and gents. And after binge-watching seven episodes of Netflix‘s Bard of Blood, I can say for sure that it’s a good thing. The source material for the show is a popular book written by Bilal Siddiqui and it’s intensely geopolitical in nature. But the Netflix series ends up holding your attention, even if you aren’t clued into politics and current affairs. This is perhaps its biggest win: not having to resort to unnecessary humour or subversion to be engaging. It’s true to its genre: a thrilling spy series — nothing more, nothing less. But hold on to your horse’s people, we’re going to give you all the good and the bad aspects of the series for you to make up your own mind. So bear with us as we analyse Netflix’s Bard of Blood.
Bard Of Blood Review- The Plot
Four Indian spies are taken hostage by the Taliban in Balochistan and ex-RAW agent Kabir Anand (Emraan Hashmi) is called back to help rescue them. Kabir aka Adonis left the organisation after a previous mission failed (also in Balochistan) and he lost his friend. Kabir is now an English teacher in a university, teaching Shakespeare (hence the name of the series). Kabir doesn’t want to go back to Balochistan but he is forced to when he realises that his past mission is somewhere linked to this one. Isha Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) also accompanies Kabir to Balochistan. She’s a desk agent who yearns to be on the field and is finally given the chance. They team up with a longtime agent, Veer Singh (Vineet Singh), who has infiltrated the Taliban for years undercover. Together, they must save the four Indian agents and stop the Taliban from whatever nefarious activities they are planning.
Bard Of Blood Review- All The Good
Emraan does a spectacular job as the lead performer, something which is a breath of fresh air in Hashmi’s career. He portrays a real character who’s flawed in his own way, yet doesn’t flinch when he gets a chance of redemption. He carries pain in his eyes, but no fear of death. He loves and hates with all his heart. And even though he has a lean frame, when he punches, he punches hard. But Hashmi is not the lone warrior in the show. Sobhita Dhulipala, after the success of Made In Heaven, has another feather in her cap. Vineet Singh and Kriti Kulhari have done exceptionally well in their respective roles. The show’s writing, though is an adaptation at the end of the day, feels fresh. The action sequences have been choreographed to nail-biting perfection by Ryan Sturz of Captain Marvel fame.
Bard Of Blood Review- All The Bad
On the downside, Bard of Blood has no memorable antagonist. The Taliban leader has been modelled to be menacing but his villainous” nature just doesn’t kick off even though on paper we have more than many reasons to hate him. Jaideep Ahlawat, playing Tanveer Shehzad, an ISI agent handling the Taliban. Ahlawat is a great actor (most recently seen in Raazi), and he could have been the perfect foil to Kabir, but unfortunately fell victim to poor character development. His track more or less ends up being flat and one-dimensional. By the time you reach the last few episodes, there’s a lot to keep track of and suddenly too much is squeezed in to race to the climax. Bard of Blood tries to pass this off as intelligent politicising, but it ultimately comes off being complicated and messy. And then suddenly everything seems to conveniently be working in Kabir, Isha and Veer Singh’s favour. Maybe if the series had spent more time establishing these characters and how they bond in the face of death, we would have something to root for.
Bard Of Blood Review- On The Whole
The series works due to a lot of reasons. Despite having a few flaws here and there, Bard of Blood is a good watch and would be perfect for your weekend binge-fest. We’re going with 3.5 out of 5 stars for Bard of Blood. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.