When the trailer of Taqdeer surfaced at the beginning of this month, everyone was reasonably impressed with the quality of the cinematography and the overall making of the trailer. Regular OTT content viewers were quite curious to know whether the latest Hoichoi release would do justice to all the hype.
The casting choices for the series were phenomenal as well. Taqdeer casts Chanchal Chowdhury, one of the most talented actors in Bangladesh, as the protagonist of the series. Taqdeer also boasts of other prominent actors like Partha Barua, Sanjida Preeti and Monoj Kumar Pramanik, who have proven themselves in earlier works.
Watch the trailer of Taqdeer here
Going into the series, the first thing that catches your imagination is the captivating opening music. Right at the get go, Taqdeer lets the viewer know that it is not just another ordinary Bangladeshi TV show. In fact, a lot of work has gone into producing this gem.
For instance, the opening score is accompanied by the fitting illustration in the intro. Furthermore, the melancholic tone of the intro prepares you for what's to come next.
The story of Taqdeer also sets off with an intense beginning that would instantly hook you up to the show. The story is about a freezer van driver, Taqdeer, who delivers deceased bodies to the graveyards for burial. One morning as he was casually going by his day, he discovered an unknown dead body in his van.
The story revolves around this dead body and wraps every character involved inside a seemingly inescapable convolution. As the story progresses, every character trapped in this labyrinth keeps trying to discover clues from the mystery box and connect the dots to find the body. The police, the hit man, and pretty much everyone went after the body while Taqdeer and his surrogate Montu were just trying to get out of this mess.
In fact, the screenplay of Taqdeer gives off the vibe of legendary Western crime thrillers like, Zodiac or Memories of Murder. The story incorporates major twists and turns as it progresses and keeps the viewers, quite literally, on the edge of their seats. But unlike most average thrillers, Taqdeer refuses to confine itself to a cheap, shock-driven roller coaster ride.
Firstly, a fine-tuned presentation of past and concurrent events provides justification to the twists and turns in the story. The screenplay, brilliantly written by Shawki Syed, preferred a slow build-up in order that each of the major turn of events felt deserved to the audience. Furthermore, relatable characters with nuanced background and motivation nudged the audience into emotionally investing in the story and silently cheering for their favourite protagonist.
Unlike other shows, Taqdeer does not trick its audience into investing in the story with cheap thrills but rather tells the story in a masterful manner. The story itself gently hypnotizes its viewers before they realize they have binge-watched an entire series on one sitting.
Many web series with outstanding premise fell apart either because of bad writing or controversial, undeserving ending. Taqdeer is not one of these shows. The climax in Taqdeer does justice to the emotional roller-coaster ride its audiences have been through. The viewers could hardly hold their tears when they were exposed to the heart-felt last minute monologue by Chanchal Chowdhury. His gut-wrenching description of the cruelty and hypocrisy in the so-called civilised world took the audience by a storm as they actualized their own reality.
The performances of all the actors were outstanding irrespective of their screen time. Partha Barua portrayed the role of the quintessential hit man. His dialogues were entertaining as well as thought-provoking, quite befitting to the story. Sanjida Preeti effortlessly portrayed the spirited journalist Afsana, who is willing to go the distance to get the truth out.
Manoj Kumar beautifully depicted the confusion within Rana as he hopelessly ran around in the labyrinth of life.
Last but not the least, Chanchal Chowdhury wonderfully portrayed the average laymen in Taqdeer, the Freezer Van Driver. A guy whose specialty lies in not being special; someone who never wanted any glory and just wanted to lead a simple life. The despair in Taqdeer could not be better displayed by any other actor.
Yet the biggest discovery of the show would be Sohel Mondol. His performance as Montu, a surrogate of Taqdeer, felt authentic, spontaneous and realistic.
Background scores in Taqdeer were a treat to the ears as well. Unlike other Bengali TV shows, the music does not overwhelm the audience but rather complements your emotions.
As an initial Bangladeshi web series, the makers of Taqdeer have given the viewers very little to complain. The commercial success of Taqdeer is a monumental achievement and serves as a testament to a changing Bangladeshi drama industry. Its success will inevitably lead to the creation of more shows like this, something Bangladeshi fans can be hopeful of.