It’s been some time since we’ve had a buzzy new Prime Video comedy particular. What was as soon as the house of the Indian stand-up particular (they’ve near 50) regularly began dwindling in recent times within the face of platforms desirous to distance themselves from the outrage in opposition to “edgy material”. It’s why numerous main comics have began experimenting with releasing new specials on Youtube. Enter Tathastu, a brand new particular from Zakir Khan – arguably one of many largest Indian comics, and positively one of the crucial authentic voices. (Also learn: Kapil Sharma I’m Not Done Yet review: Comedian’s Netflix special is low on laughs but wins on storytelling)
What first struck me about Tathastu – Zakir’s second Amazon particular after 2017’s Haq Se Single – was the lighting. Instead of the theatre-style darkness thought of conducive to the communal stand-up comedy expertise, Zakir’s viewers sits in a brightly lit auditorium with everybody seen to 1 one other. The viewers (which is peppered with acquainted faces like Sunny Hinduja, Vishal Dadlani, and Meiyang Chang) and their laughter are fairly clearly on show. They additionally all appear to be decked up in fancy festive apparel in what seems like a flashy Manyavar business.
Split into three chapters (titled Paradise, Exile and The Return), Tathastu primarily tells the Zakir Khan origin story. The particular’s two focal factors are his relationship along with his late grandfather, the singer Ustad Moinuddin Khan, and Zakir’s journey to turning into the celebrity comic that he’s. From his upbringing inside a joint household to his faculty days and first job, to ultimately navigating comedy earlier than having his profession turbocharged after being found by AIB.
Zakir has probably probably the most devoted fan following of any Indian comedian. Make no mistake, nobody is sitting in that viewers primarily as a result of they love laughter, dwell comedy, and/or a fantastic stand-up set. They’re there as a result of they love him. Repeatedly by means of the present, the viewers shouts out his well-known catchphrases and breaks into applause for even probably the most easy statements. Laughter in Tathastu is usually the sound of passionate fandom greater than it’s the response to a punchline.
I can’t say I laughed a lot throughout Tathastu. Zakir’s distinct model of comedy has all the time, for me, been an acquired style. You’re both all in from the get-go otherwise you really feel comparatively alienated all through – like strolling right into a beloved Indie film midway by means of and attempting to grasp what the hype is about. But it’s to his credit score that that’s not totally a dealbreaker. It’s a particular that exists someplace within the curious intersection between soulful Ted Talk, motivational speech, and poetry peppered with jokes. Even if the laughs don’t come, it’s arduous to not be taken by a formidable storyteller taking us by means of his outstanding journey of getting rejected from RJ jobs left, proper, and centre to then promoting out excursions in New York City in a matter of years. A journey marked by, as he places it, seeing goals he by no means even had, come true.
So easy and informal is the circulation of his materials, that none of this feels written. His fluid conversational Hindi model means you possibly can barely see the design of a Zakir set. The result’s a particular that sails off the again of his nice presence, panache, and poetry somewhat than punchlines (although I personally would have preferred extra of these).
While the primary chapter of Tathastu takes off slowly, when you’re accustomed to the model and tempo, the second, overlaying his early days in Mumbai and writing with AIB is a breezy watch. But it is in Chapter 3 – The Return – during which Tathastu the particular finds actual that means as Zakir explores grief, discussing the passing of his grandfather, the most important artistic affect on his life.
As comedy specials go, Tathastu could not win on laughs, nevertheless it’s nonetheless an oddly rewarding watch to see an thrilling artist recounting his journey thus far. While it is not notably humorous, it’s certain to make the sakht launda’s followers pleased. Not that that’s a tall order as of late.