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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



Farzi: ‘Fake’ encounter with the team of Amazon Prime Video’s new show and trailer launch

Farzi: ‘Fake’ encounter with the team of Amazon Prime Video’s new show and trailer launch

Creators of the mega-hit web series, The Family Man, Raj and DK are back in action with the crime thriller Farzi, which marks the digital debut of Shahid Kapoor and ‘Makkal Selvan’ Vijay Sethupathi (full name: Vijaya Gurunatha Sethupathi). The series also stars Kay Kay Menon, Raashii Khanna, Amol Palekar, Regina Cassandra, Bhuvan Arora and Kubra Sait, in pivotal roles, and will stream in India and across 240 countries and territories, on Amazon Prime Video, starting February 10. Farzi means fake/not real/counterfeit/ pretensive in Hindi, and the trailer that was unveiled before the audience at the Grand Hyatt, Santa Cruz (East), Mumbai, on Friday, the 13th of January, was truly Farzi. Done in good humour, it was just a curtain-raiser to the true trailer, shown soon afterwards, which was like any real trailer, capturing some key moments in the series. Along with Raj & DK, Farzi is written by Sita R. Menon and Suman Kumar.

The trailer gives us a glimpse into the life of a small-time con artist Sunny (Shahid), who finds himself drawn into the dark while creating a perfect con. However, a fiery and unconventional task force officer (Vijay) has made it his mission to rid the nation of the threat he poses. Spanning eight episodes, Farzi is a fast-paced, edgy, one-of-a-kind crime thriller, with the director duo’s trademark humour, stitched around a clever underdog street artist’s pursuit to con the system that favours the rich.

Shahid made a ‘wowing’ entry at the event, on a motorcycle, with the door panels opening to reveal the star. However, he was not keen on doing a round of the stage, as some media-persons requested him to. He ‘grumbled’, “First, they gave me this huge bike to drive-up, mind you, only to drive up, now you want me to take it for a swirl…I’d rather pose for you sitting on it. Here you are.” And he kept sitting on the bike till the flashes stopped flashing. For a change, the idea to work with Raj and D.K. came from Shahid, and not the other way round, as is usually the case with directors and actors. They were pursuing him about a film, but he suggested they make a series with him. This was eight years ago, when web series were unheard of, and the tale need several hours of narration, not possible in a film. As a result, the writer-director duo waited for the right time to get back to Shahid. Farzi is a result of this eight year-long association.

Speaking about the series, Shahid Kapoor said, “This Amazon Original series has a special corner in my heart. For the record, this is my digital debut, but working with Raj & DK, felt like home. And working with such brilliant co-actors like Vijay Sethupathi, Nanu (Amolji), Kay Menon, and Raashii had its own charm. Playing artist aka Sunny wasn't simple, the character is quite complex, his situations and his greed for a better life make him take some decisions, which he has not necessarily thought through. I am quite sure, that the audience will love the show, they will enjoy the humour, the grit and the overall story, it will keep them at the edge of their seats. And of course, Prime Video will be taking this series to a worldwide audience, what could be better than the fact that people around the world get to watch this amazing content."

"It has been an absolute pleasure working with the dynamic duo Raj and D.K. and alongside Shahid Kapoor, who is both a talented actor and a wonderful person. It was incredible to work with such a brilliant team and create something as mind blowing as Farzi. I can't think of a better digital debut, and I'm excited for the series' global release." said Vijay Sethupathi. Vijay revealed that he had picked-up some Hindi while working in Dubai as an accountant, but he is still not well-versed in the language.

The real team behind Farzi (Photo credit: Umed Jadeja)

Amol Palekar, an accomplished painter and a true artist, said that it was absolutely wonderful working with the young team. “Although my role is almost a Guest Appearance, I am very excited about the series.” Almost in protest, there were voices that asked him to feel that he was the Guest of Honour and that the Guest Appearance was a Best Appearance. Somebody asked Rashii what made her accept the role, and she quickly responded with “Why not? I was cast by a casting agency and when I learnt about the team, I had no hesitation in saying yes.” Bhuvan Arora, who plays Shahid’s partner in crime, revealed, “On the first day itself, I fell at Shahid’s feet and told him, ‘Please think of me as Ishaan, your younger brother. I have so much to learn from you.” Kay Menon, Regina Cassandra and Kubra Sait could not be present.

Raj and D.K. were delighted to partner with Amazon Prime Video for the fourth time. Talking about their names, the two of them averred, in good humour, that “most the cast still do not know which one of us is Raj and which is D.K.” One easy way of identifying them is by their heights. Raj is noticeably taller. Their full names are Raj Nidimoru and Krishna Dasarakothapalli.

Apparently, the film addresses the theme of counterfeit currency notes. The more appropriate word for such notes is ‘Jaali’, not Farzi. There was a film made in 1960, starring Dev Anand, called Jaali Note. Then there is the old joke about the man who was arrested for printing fake currency. At the trial, he was asked what would he like to say in his defence. He replied, “I have committed no crime. There was a competition between me and the government, to see who prints better notes, and I lost.”

Rohini, who is a regular at Amazon Prime events, conducted the proceedings with characteristic ease and due preparation.

Amazon Prime offers an incredible value with unlimited streaming of the latest and exclusive movies, TV shows, stand-up comedy, Amazon Originals, ad-free music listening through Amazon Prime Music, free fast delivery on India’s largest selection of products, early access to top deals, unlimited reading with Prime Reading, and mobile gaming content with Prime Gaming, all available for an annual membership of Rs. 1499.  Consumers can also buy Prime Video Mobile Edition at INR 599 per year - the single-user, mobile-only annual plan provides access to Prime Video’s entire catalogue of high-quality entertainment and LIVE sports.

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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