Amazon Prime Video’s Bestseller is a psychological thriller based on Ravi Subramanian’s 2015 novel ‘The Bestseller She Wrote.’ It is an eight-part series with a cocky, self-centred author, Tahir Wazir played by Arjan Bajwa, who finds his motivation in a strange fan who is also a complete stranger. Shruti Haasan plays the role of this overly meek and anxious fan with a twisted life story that provides an excellent opportunity for Tahir to exploit. Their interpersonal exploitive motivation that lies in each other is what makes the premise of this story.
There is also Gauahar Khan playing the role of Mayanka, Tahir’s dutiful wife. There is an unsaid patriarchal overpowering by Tahir in their marriage which Mayanka ignores altogether while showering him with her love. In the very first episode, the story takes a massive turn of events and we are introduced to Mayanka’s new intern, Parth Acharya (Satyajeet Dubey) who is also a hater of Tahir. He uses the pseudonym ‘Wazir is God’ to hide behind his trolling account while also stalking Tahir both physically and technologically.
The series has eight episodes, out of which the first two tell you everything that there is in the story after which it is difficult to expect a lot from it. It is difficult to sit through the rest of the show once you know the plot. The cinematography seems hugely inspired by Indian scares like Haseen Dillruba and even Ajeeb Daastaans which leaves no space of originality even in the screenplay. Shruti Haasan is playing the same role she has been typecast into and holds no power whatsoever even though her character could have had more to it. She tries to be better and does get the upper hand for a while though. Gauahar and Arjan try too hard to uplift what’s left of the show and barely reach sea top. Other actors in the show include Viraf Patel, Mithun Chakraborty, and Sonalee Kulkarni none of which add weight to its delivery.
The background score is the same old scare-inflicting, thrill rushing music and notes. The story too lacks momentum in terms of logic, reality and interest. Bestseller has been adapted by Anvita Dutt and Althea Kaushal and directed by Mukul Abhayankar. There is an effort made to bring a thrilling experience by the authors but not executed that well by the creators. There is an actual sequence of events wherein the hacker is almost revealed by a detective who also knows hacking. With this trail of twists and turns and impractical execution, it makes the show look heavily flawed, tiring and inept. There is nothing new that Bestseller offers but the known and old is also baseless.
As an audience to the show, I’m the one terming it a thriller only because the creators are calling it one but is it really? Bestseller lacks suspense, thrill, drama, intensity and even the definition of the genre it is trying to be. One thing for sure, sadly Bestseller titled the show far too quick and far too fetched for its own forthcoming.