The main director of 'Sunflower', a crime-thriller comedy series named after the housing society in which the principal events and actions take place, is Vikas Bahl and he is also the solo writer. He takes his own interesting subject and writes and then films it indulgently to the extent that he takes the audience completely for granted. In short, he pulverizes his own good idea beyond repair.
Shuttling between a murder mystery and a quirky social commentary, Vikas Bahl’s (earlier works – Chillar Party, Queen, and Super 30) Sunflower is a cool, vivid and wittingly wicked series that further clarifies the difference between fact and reality.
Filled with metaphor at paces, the title Sunflower is the name of a reputed society in the Mumbai metropolis. The society comprises of interesting characters that include a righteous Hindi chemistry teacher Mr Ahuja (Mukul Chaddha), a rich arrogant neighbour Mr Kapoor (Ashwin Kaushal), a flag bearer of moral policing Dilip Iyer (Ashish Vidyarthi) and an innocently quirky Sonu (Sunil Grover).
One fine morning, Mr Kapoor is found dead. Two police officers, the calm and controlled Inspector Digendra (Ranvir Shorey) and his flashy junior colleague Tambe (Girish Kulkarni) are investigating the case.
As the police investigate the case, the Sunflower society begins its hunt for a righteous secretary who can maintain the so-called dignity and serenity of the society. Dilip Iyer (Ashish Vidyarthi) serving as the perfect metaphor of the moral policing comes with rigid rules and regulations in the name of culture and tradition.
Vikas Bahl’s Sunflower is filled with moments of black humour, bizarre surprises; it’s a quirky freaky whodunit that grabs your attention with its sheer naughty, saucy, outlook that keeps a constant check on fact and fiction with enough giggles and mystery.
The two suspects – righteous Hindi chemistry teacher Mr Ahuja (Mukul Chaddha) and the innocently weird Sonu (Sunil Grover) who constantly carries a smile on his face and never fails to update his mom on phone are poles apart. In fact, there is another side to them. In fact almost every character in this series has a strange vulnerable side. Be it the maid (Ms Annapurna Soni), Sonu’s office crush Aanchal (Saloni Khanna) and others. Saying further will act as a spoiler.
While you’ll love Sunil Grover's acting and doing justice to his character, the direction has failed to bring variety to the faces of Ashish Vidyarthi, Ranvir Shorey and Girish Kulkarni. Despite this, the character of Kulkarni definitely leaves an impression.
So the eighth episode of Sunflower is stitched around the fabric of the plot and how policemen Inspector DG (Ranveer Shorey) and Sub Inspector Tambe (Girish Kulkarni) find the real criminal.
In terms of craft, there is hardly any noticeable thing here in this series. The scattered script that deviates from topic to topic is a major letdown. They have added this track of society interview to show the narrow-mindedness of the people who run these housing societies. But it had no natural blend with the main narrative and what you see is some unnecessarily added comedy bites that don’t contribute to the whole story.
Some of the twists and the twisted characters here will remind you of those exaggerated daily soaps. Towards the end, when you finally see the police tracking down the culprit on the basis of unconvincing evidence, the climax starts to feel like a lamely written one. The flat lighting in the cinematography has no element of drama in it. Some of the cross cuts in the series, especially towards the final episodes, have no regard for emotional continuity, and they are randomly inserting any of the sub plots.
This Zee5 show left everyone on a cliff-hanger in the hope of spicing up the eagerness of the second season. The flower has the fragrance but that is of petals, not the roots. The focus of the story is on character building, leaving the main story with less impact.