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Garmi review: Tigmanshu Dhulia's web series is like buckets of water pouring over a dull fire

Mukesh Tiwari as Dilbag Singh is the best part in the series

Garmi review: Tigmanshu Dhulia's web series is like buckets of water pouring over a dull fire

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  • Shaheen Irani

Last Updated: 10.47 AM, Apr 23, 2023

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Arvind Shukla goes to college to become an IAS officer against his own wish. Unaware of what lies ahead, he makes friends, enemies and those divided by a thin line between the two. He leaves such an impression that he could now be joining student politics. This threatens many and they seek revenge. Can Arvind get out of it all?


"Yahan, ya toh log bante hai ya total barbaad ho jaate hai." This is one of the more famous dialogues in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s latest offering, the Sony LIV web series, Garmi. Guess which category the show falls into?

You end up investing nine hours on a story that revolves around student politics and three central characters. The main lead cannot fully convince you to hear his story out. This series has bheed in the name of the cast. There are over 40 characters on the show and they all get their due space on screen, even if there’s not much to tell with them. Garmi is one disappointment after another, till the show finally comes together as it reaches the last episode.

Garmi, set in Delhi, is a web series which drags on-and-on. The student politics explained is cliched but is a relevant topic nonetheless.

Director Tigmanshu Dhulia probably wanted to tell the tale of his three central characters but unfortunately, even before you get to understand what a character is all about, he switches to the next. There are a lot of gaps missing in the storyline. It is often tough to understand how two rivals come together and behave like brothers. What is their past? None of it is explained. Some characters kill themselves without any given reason. This leaves you disinterested in what is to follow, which is what happens with Garmi.

Vyom Yadav in the role of Arvind Shukla does not leave a first impression per say on the show. Obviously, the scenes with his temper work well but that’s all that is there to him. Vyom tries his best and that shows. However, it is still not enough. Having one of the lead antagonists in the form of Mukesh Tiwari definitely does not work in his favour. Or rather, Mukesh takes the energy of the show up by many folds. Which is something that Vyom should have been able to. It looks like Tigmanshu wanted to show his lead character as subtle and someone who fits in with the rest of the crowd and he definitely pulled that off.

The first scene of the show leaves very little impact. Nonetheless, it introduces you to the lead character and gives you a hint of what is to follow.

Soon after, you get the expected – a hint of college politics. This is followed by what is full-fledged college politics, with guns blazing and students being killed on campus without a warning. Just for the sake of politics and power.

Puneet Singh as Bindu Singh has a very raw, villainous vibe to him. He turns out to be one of the most dangerous characters on the show. There are scenes where he gives you nail-biting moments with his acting. You wonder just how ruthless can he get and this one almost doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the character graph. When it comes to acting though, Puneet has a same wavelength throughout, except for the few scenes where he gets to show his (almost) deadly side.

Anurag Thakur as Govind Maurya is a surprise. He has layers to his character which unfold slowly. This is a man who never gets his hands dirty but has his priorities straight. He is like a horse with the blinds, someone who looks in one direction and follows just that. Anurag as an actor is impressive given how he establishes himself even in the lesser screentime he receives.

The story tells you about how deep the student politics is, on the show. There's something much deeper going on with the series. It is in regards to the past. Not the past of the characters on the show but history.

The famous Hamlet is a part of the show. It comes during a dark time, much like Shakespeare's play. The purpose of adding that? Once again, unclear.

Mukesh Tiwari as Dilbag Singh is the best part in the series. His entry is one that catches your attention. You instantly know he's going to play a huge part. Sadly though, he enters the series quite late. For whatever time he has on screen, Mukesh changes the wave of the show. He brings deadly with a hint of humour. This is one character you should watch out for till the end.

His re-entry on the show is just as powerful. From the scene to his attire and the music, they all re-introduce his character well. The actor's intense expressions work really well in the scene. Vyom's also match his.

The action in the last episode is raw and thus, powerful. It is the kind of stunts any common man can also perform, that make the action scenes more intriguing.

Veeneet Kumar as Bairagi Baba is one of the most dangerous characters on the show. That happens when you see his new side. The actor has played a villain many times on screen and he continues his streak with the show.

Jatin Goswami as Mrutyunjay Singh is scary from the first scene. There's almost always violence and gory scenes involved with him. This is a character any actor would want to play. He has all the power on the show and can take things wherever he wants, however he wants. An actor’s spontaneity becomes important with such characters and Jatin does a fair job with that.

Satyakam Anand as Lal Bahadur is seen almost like a jailor. His entry and exit from the show both are mysterious.

Dhirendra Gautam as Ajay Jaiswal makes a great first impression. He is the unusually glee character on the show. This one too has layers though, which get unveiled as the show progresses. He does things you can never imagine. Like Salman Khan’s character sings, “Mere Rang Mein Rangne Wali,” the character of Ajay sees a major transformation because of the situation he has been put in at home and in college.

Disha Thakur in the role of Surbhi also makes a good first impression. Although she is mostly there for the glamour quotient, Disha plays her role almost well.

Khushboo Arjwani in the role of Pragya Suman is good in her role too. She doesn't have too many layers but her character still works.

Alok Panwar as Ranjan makes an impression from the first scene. He is very meak but still fits into the role of a gangster.

Himanshu Dhulia, who plays English professor Khare, has very little to show. Music helps his character but only to an extent.

Jatin Sarin as Latif has an interesting role. He makes up for a major part of what happens in the story.

Rahil Bhardwaj in the role of Anjani Kumar leaves very little impression in his first scene. Even as the show progresses, he does not ever shine out the way his character demanded.

Sandeep Patil as Hamlet advisor plays his part well. At least in the first scene. He turns ruthless but somehow, doesn't leave that much of an impression of that. In his smaller role, Sandeep is good to watch.

The series has one song - Bhaage Bhaage - and even that is commercialized. It comes at a time when songs are least required and doesn’t even go well with the scene.

Garmi goes on in circles till the last episode. Even then, you do not get to witness a drastic change (obviously) but there’s a huge hint of season 2 and what is to come with it. The story could get interesting further if commercialized at the right places and the emotions do get reflected with most of the actors.


Garmi is not hot. It is cold as ice. While there are action scenes which work and justify the title to an extent, there’s not much that can save this series. Hopefully, season 2 will have more to offer.