Woohoo! I exclaim because finally, after Sacred Games, Netflix has something to cheer for. The Fame Game, in one way, brings some fame back to the streaming giant in India.
And I must tell you this is going to be one detailed review of The Fame Game. However, let me just give a summary for those in a rush.
The Fame Game Review Summary
Reflecting on the struggles of fame and popularity, The Fame Game gives a great fictional insight into the life of a famous actress. It keeps you hooked and has an astonishing climax.
Moreover, every actor is dead-prolific in this mystery series. Add to it the charming chemistry between Madhuri Dixit and Manav Kaul. The Fame Game is one hell of a ride you shouldn’t miss watching.
Now, a deeper look at the Netflix series.
The Fame Game Synopsis
Based on the disappearance of Anamika Anand (Madhuri Dixit), India’s most popular actress, The Fame Game is created by Sri Rao and stars Madhuri Dixit, Manav Kaul (Manish Khanna), Sanjay Kapoor (Nikhil), Muskkaan Jaferi (Amara), and Lakshvir Singh (Avinash) in lead roles.
When Anamika Anand goes missing, the eye of suspicion is on everyone, from her husband and children to her crazy fan and co-star. Will or will she not be found forms the main plot of The Fame Game.
Moreover, the series tells an interesting tale of how famous people live when the public eye is not on them. Do they have any space to breathe? Are they even aware of who they are in reality? These are just some of the questions it answers.
What works for The Fame Game?
The Fame Game is filled with astonishing performances from its lead and supporting cast. Madhuri Dixit and Manav Kaul lead the pack while Rajshri Deshpande, along with Lakshvir Singh Saran and Muskkaan Jaferi, carve their own identity through well-portrayed performances.
Specifically, Muskkaan Jaferi is a find for the Indian Film Industry. Her controlled expressions and the outburst of energy, when demanded by the plot, were classy, to say the least. No doubt, the producers cast her over several other big names available in the market.
We got a glimpse of what Lakshvir Singh Saran could do in Amazon Prime’s Unpaused: Naya Safar, where he was a part of one of the anthologies. In The Fame Game, he rises to the occasion and furthers the belief that he can be a showrunner too. Lakshvir is so immaculate and majestic that he easily outclasses others in the same frame.
Then there is Rajshri Deshpande, whom I have loved in all her films. It is just that she is yet to get a lead role. Coming back to her stint in The Fame Game, she depicts a female police officer handling a high-profile case.
What Rajshri does well is she remains balanced and doesn’t try to overdo what is asked of her. Sometimes, we see actors putting in more effort to justify their casting, but this girl is smart and stays within limits unless asked to break them.
Sanjay Kapoor and Gagan Arora are the other players of The Fame Game. While the former is well-known for his acting skills, the latter is relatively new to the world of cinema. Sanjay’s character is a product of passion and arrogance for money. He is outstanding in the role assigned to him.
Coming to Gagan Arora, the actor came to the limelight with Sony Liv’s Tabbar, where he got to play the lead and positively surprised everyone. In The Fame Game, he plays a dynamic character who is both good and evil at heart.
Initially, when he first appeared on screen in the first episode, I mistook him for Adarsh Gourav because of their similar voices and physique. Gagan does a fantastic job and must be lauded for his acting abilities.
The Fame Game is unlike the regular Indian shows we get to see on streaming platforms. It is different in a way that is both exciting and eye-popping. It starts off on a slow note, but things begin to come together as the series progresses.
Notably, it was towards the end of the third episode when I first felt hooked and found myself craving for more. There are numerous sub-plots within the bigger plot of a famed actress going missing.
No character in the series goes unrecognized. They have their stories and are significant to the bigger plot in some or the other way.
The show’s creator does a fantabulous job in stitching the series together with engrossing sub-plots.
There was a reason why I didn’t talk about these two gems separately in the above section of The Fame Game Review. Whenever there would be the talk of this particular series, the names of Madhuri and Manav Kaul must be taken and discussed together.
Their endearing chemistry makes you forget that this is a fictional setup. Manav is one of the most underrated actors of India, in my opinion.
He acts, performs, and even gains traction but doesn’t get the popularity he must. And notice the irony, if you may, he gets to play the most famous actor in India in the series.
Manav’s nuanced execution, subtle dialogue delivery, and the effortless manner in which he walks on and off the screen are mind-blowing. Above all, he looks dashing in a full-grown beard.
Madhuri, we all know, is a sight to behold. There’s nothing she cannot do and everything she can. Her ability to be vulnerable and powerful at the same time is still unmatched when compared to other modern-day actresses. She reminded me of ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ as I couldn’t find her a day older than she was back then.
Manav and Madhuri together bring magic to the screen. They constructively complement each other. Their screen presence, conversations, and romantic expressions are enough to light your day.
The screenplay facilitates the performances to a great extent. I loved how Sri Rao blends the past and the present. Once the thrill sets in, he never lets it go away, and that’s what is so good about The Fame Game.
I had this one request in mind while progressing ahead with the episodes. “Please don’t destroy the smashing build-up with a lame climax.” And they didn’t! The Fame Game rewards you for your patience. It has a well-presented climax, if not the most unpredictable one.
Even if you guess what’s going to happen, you’ll be surprised to a large extent because of how Sri Rao presents it. I always believe in and love the process more than the result. If you do the process right, the job is almost done. The audience will love you for it regardless of what the outcome is.
What Doesn’t Work for The Fame Game?
As I mentioned earlier, until the end of the third episode, The Fame Game is a slow affair. However, that’s the time when things are being set up. It is similar to ‘Paatal Lok’ that also had a slow start but came back strongly after the initial episodes.
A Blooper in The Fame Game
This was entirely unexpected as I wasn’t prepared for it. There’s an incident involving transgender people towards the end of the second episode. The scene occurs in broad daylight.
However, at the beginning of the third episode, Amara is in conversation with her brother Avinash, and she refers to that incident saying, ‘why were the transgenders here yesterday night.’ Well, I was almost shocked by that blooper in The Fame Game.
Dramatic Police Investigation
Imagine India’s most popular actress goes missing. What would happen? How long do you think the investigation agencies would take to launch an all-out investigation? Exactly! Not even a single day. But here, it takes them weeks to gather the first evidence.
What I felt was there could have been an aggressive police investigation. It was almost as if the Police were waiting for the audience to first know about the story before rushing into action.
Some unanswered questions
After finishing the series, you will have some questions in your mind. I would just put them bluntly without giving any spoilers: Who called the painter at night? Why did Manish whisper those words in Nikhil’s ears at the Music Launch? and… well, the last one would act as a spoiler. So, it’s better to watch the series on your own and learn about it.
Should you watch The Fame Game?
Yes, you should absolutely watch The Fame Game whenever you get the time to do so.
Is The Fame Game a real story?
No. The Fame Game is not a real story.
Is The Fame Game based on Madhuri Dixit’s life?
No. However, some instances may be similar to her being a superstar, but the series has no direct connection to her real life.
Who is Manish Khanna?
Manish Khanna is a fictional character in The Fame Game created by Sri Rao and streamed by Netflix.
Who is Anamika Anand?
Anamika Anand is a fictional superstar, purportedly India’s most prominent actress, who goes missing in Netflix’s The Fame Game.
Which is the best dialogue in The Fame Game?
For me, it was:
-You have to have a friend. They make everything brighter. Seriously.
-As long as they don’t make everything darker in the end.
Enjoyed reading my review? Why not subscribe to The Word Street Journal?