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Sultan Of Delhi Season 1

Story: The show chronicles the life of a survivor of Arjun Bhatia, a survivor of the 1947 Partition, as he rises to power in Delhi’s underworld.

Review: ‘Sultan of Delhi’ is a gripping gangster drama series that transports viewers to the tumultuous era of 1962 Delhi, exploring the city’s underworld. The show is based on Arnab Ray’s novel “Sultan of Delhi: Ascension” and is brought to life by director Milan Luthria, who has co-directed and co-written this nine-part series with Suparn S Verma. The narrative is rife with drama, romance, action, and the enduring bonds of friendship, making it an engaging watch.

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Arjun Bhatia’s (Tahir Raj Bhasin) journey is central to the storyline. As a young boy who survived the horrors of the Partition, he arrives in Delhi, a city in the throes of political and militant upheaval. His determination to rise above the scars of the past propels him into the criminal world, starting with the arms trade and partnering with his friend Bangali (Anjumm Shharma). Together, they enter the realm of illegal business under the tutelage of Jagan Seth (Vinay Pathak). The series is replete with classic elements of a noir narrative: betrayal, power struggles, clashes of egos, and the rise of empires. Amidst all the violence and intrigue, Arjun’s love story with Sanjana (Mehreen Pirzada) adds a warm and human dimension to the crime saga.

One of the strengths of the show is its pacing and the way it unfolds the story in layers, keeping viewers thoroughly engaged. Also, it refrains from pigeonholing characters into clear hero or villain roles, allowing for nuanced character development. That said, the series jumps between timelines and generations to highlight the ups and downs in the protagonist’s life. While the on-screen years help viewers keep track, the show only partially captures the look and feel of the 1960s, and the dialogue occasionally feels out of place within that setting.

Tahir Raj Bhasin delivers an outstanding performance as Arjun Bhatia, undergoing a compelling transformation throughout the series. Anjumm Shharma’s portrayal of Bangali captures the essence of a loyal friend, reminiscent of iconic Bollywood duos like ‘Jai Veeru.’ Vinay Pathak’s portrayal of Jagan Seth strikes a perfect balance between empathy and cruelty. Nishant Dahiya’s performance as the antagonist, Rajender Pratap Singh, is notable, but Anupriya Goenka’s portrayal of Shankari Devi steals the spotlight. Among other female leads, Mouni Roy looks glamorous as Nayantara. Both Mehreen Pirzada and Harleen Sethi win hearts with their simplicity in playing Bhatia’s love interests.

On the whole, ‘Sultan Of Delhi’ successfully adapts Arnab Ray’s book into an engaging series that captures the essence of a dramatic and tumultuous period in Delhi’s history. While it may be enjoyed as a bit of pulp and pop culture, it does justice to the source material, making it a compelling watch for fans of crime dramas set against a historical backdrop.

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