Review of ZEE5's Bombers: A stirring tale of guts and glory played on the football fields
Rising as the most shimmering, radiant Phoenix highly renewed, revitalized and ready to reclaim its best place in the most magnificent bird's paradise is the recently released web series, Zee5's Bombers FC.
Named as the Bombers FC, the Phoenix of Zee5's latest web series has raised eponymously with this series. This 10-part web series is the story of Bombers FC, a football club of Chandannagore, whose journey to football glory gets struck with a disaster strikes as the team meets with a bus accident, perishing all the team members except one.
Captain of the team, Badol (Varun Mitra) becomes the lone player who survives this catastrophe at a cost. He gets into a lot of anxiety and debilitating nightmares coming right from the incident, taking him to the recourse to medication for fighting off the demons in his mind.
The premise of Bombers has been inspired from the annals of several such real-life tragedies, including the most recent one that took place with the entire Brazilian football team, Chapecoense, where the entire team was wiped out in a plane crash in 2016. Similarly, popularly reckoned football club, Manchester United lost eight of their team members in the Munich air tragedy of 1958. Legendary English footballer, Bob Charlton, was however a lucky survivor of that disaster.
Bombers have been jointly produced by Horseshoe Motion Pictures and Banijay Asia. Written by Vishal Singh and directed by Vishal Furia, it is streaming on streaming platform, Zee5.
The first episode of the series is aptly titled 'The End' as the accident happens within the first five minutes of the series and existentially at least, it is the end of Bombers FC. Right before the town of Chandannagorecan somehow survives to trail through the incident, Manik Dasgupta (Anup Soni), the West Bengal Urban Development Minister, comes in just like a vulture to grab the club's grounds for his grand plans of building a glitzy mall on the premises.
There comes in the grit and gumption of a few brave hearts who staunchly believe that the remains of their club can be rebuilt and resurrected for reclaiming the lost glory in the West Bengal football league. Foremost, the club and ground's owner, Somu Da (Zakir Hussain), leaps ahead in collecting the pieces together for the team with the potential to revive Bombers FC.
He first brings in Badol, adding several youngsters, later and also a new coach for the team, to join him in his mission for rebuilding Bombers FC. Viewers may remind Akshay Kumar's similar endeavors in Gold, though Bombers is not even a patch on that hit flick.
The team finally takes shape comprising of a bunch of individuals but, hold a highly diverse origin from each other. The series also has a few other prime characters including, a waiter, Tokai (Meiyang Chang); a delivery boy for an Ecommerce company; a petty thief and jailbird, Toto (Shivam Patil); a closet gay, Mithun (Ali Tahir); the scion of a political party, Shiva (Rohan Rai); and the most intriguing of all is Arjun (Danish Pandor), a prostitute's son from Sonagachi, which is India's largest red light area.
Apart from anything, this extraordinary diversity has simply proved that there is no greater leveller than the game of football, in a differential society like West Bengal's.
Subsequent episodes transform the initial disappointments into breath-taking resurgence of Team Bombers FC. Six episodes of the show have been released so far, with more four to come up in the sequence and the grand finale, slated for 10th July.
Anandita, aka Andy, (Sapna Pabbi) plays as a journalist who comes down to Chandannagore for documenting the stunning revival of a team while the entire world had given up for dead.
The story unfolds through the prism of her endeavor - through the numerous chats, talks and interviews she holds with the key stakeholders, including Sanjana (Ahana Kumra). Sanjana is Badol's ex-girlfriend and the prime witness to the trials and tribulations, the guts and glory of Bombers.
Consequently, taking the narrative flits between past and present, Andy puts together the galvanizing story, piece by piece, interview by interview.
The star of the show is unquestionably the brilliant casting, it has taken over. Varun Mitra is superb as Badol, as is Ranvir Shorey as the ex-footballer striving for a last shot at redemption and glory while; Ranvir plays as a matured actor with every subsequent outing.
Anup Soni has given a compelling portrayal of the mean-spirited politico. Zakir Hussain brings his trademark acting skills to his role with a lot of passion and pathos infused into her character. The series also features Prince Narula as a top Bangla footballer. His role hasn't developed much as yet. Maybe he'll come up with more in the later episodes. Flora Saini too makes her presence felt in a bit of the role.
The anthem of the series is a thumping and foot-tapping number, making a supremely inspiring and invigorating bolster for the narration.
However, the series has missed on the powerful dialogues.
The series can be lending an overall 4/5 rating for Bombers.