Bombers review: An underdog story that suffers from sluggish pace and a predictable plot


They seem extraneous and add nothing to the story. Advertising

Bombers, a six-episode series streaming on ZEE5, falters on this very account. Their struggles fail to connect, their victories refuse to move. The premise is simple. We never really know when the incidents are taking place, which further distances us from the characters and plot. But the team, as established in the beginning, is in shambles after a fatal accident. Even though the prospect of a second season is evident, the sluggish pace and the constant meandering of the first season makes it seem like the series is trying to tell too many stories and inadvertently failing to tell even one convincingly. The narrative style of using flashbacks — that could have lent an element of intrigue— further cripples the story for being used in such a stilted way. Bombers fails to get them our attention. An alcoholic, failed player (separated from his wife) decides to coach the team in order to seek redemption, the eleven members are cherry-picked to add diversity to the plot (one of them is shown to be brought up in a red light area, another is a son of a Bengali politician) and there are (rather forced) homosexual and a drug-riddled sub-plots. The underdogs always have our sympathy. One of the most celebrated players of the team Badol (an impressive Varun Mitra) is still fighting nightmares and, as a means of escape from it, is looking for a way to leave the city. Directed by Vishal Puria, the series is set in the quaint city of Chandannagar, West Bengal, a rather unusual choice but this is also where its originality ceases. 0
Comment(s) A community ground is on the verge of being usurped by a scheming minister (Anup Soni) and the only way it can be saved is if a home team (Bombers) proves its worth by playing and winning against a formidable opponent. Threatened with the possibility of losing the beloved ground, Badol’s plans get hampered, a new team is formed and a new coach is sought (a weary Ranvir Shorey). The plot twists can be anticipated and obstacles positioned appear rehashed. If the setting appears jaded (think of Aaja Nachle in a different context), the execution comes across as infuriatingly predictable. The result then is a re-telling of a tale we already know and hence feel little about. But it seeks refuge in stereotypes on both the fronts. Few players succumbed to it and those who survived refuse to talk about it. What Bombers is seeking to achieve is clear: to coalesce a human story with an underdog narrative. Their one-line background then ends up being their only identity and reference point. The problem with Bombers is not that it is trying to tell an extraordinary story in an ordinary way but that it is telling a story we already know in a voice we are all too familiar with. No character is shown in isolation and no struggle is explored.