AltBalaji's Cartel Review: An interesting thriller series about revenge and power

AltBalaji's Cartel Review: An interesting thriller series about revenge and power

Rating: ****/5

Cast: Supriya Pathak, Tanuj Virwani, Jitendra Joshi, Rithvik Dhanjani, Pranati Rai Prakash, Divya Agarwal, Girija Oak Godbole, Amey Wagh, Monica Dogra, Vikram Kochhar, Vibhav Roy, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sanaya Pithawala, Mayur More, Mrinal Dutt, Krishna Kaul, Aditi Vasudev, Keval Dassani, Kannan Arunachalam, Sushrii Mishra and Anil George.

Streaming on: ALTBalaji and MX GOLD

India’s homegrown OTT giant ALTBalaji and India’s entertainment super app MX Player have been entertaining the audiences with many entertaining binge-watch shows. The magnanimous platforms just dropped 14 episodes of their latest thriller entertainer CARTEL

 Cartel is the story of the first family of the business, who define power and rule Mumbai, and is led by Rani Maai (played by Supriya Pathak). The fate of this family’s rule lies upon the shoulders of her three sons - Major Bhau (Tanuj Virwani), Abhay (Rithvik Dhanjani), and Madhu (Jitendra Joshi). Set in present-day Mumbai, Cartel takes us through the journey of 5 crime lords and how their world, the underworld, is connected to every corner of the city's political, judiciary, and corporate bodies.

 The story begins with all five gangs coexisting peacefully, without causing each other any trouble, thanks to a treaty put forth by Rani Maai. Each has an area that they control and don't interfere in each other's work. Rani Maai has complete control over Aarey. However, as the story unfolds, everyone realizes that the peace and silence were only the calm before the storm. An unexpected series of events causes various problems that only create a loop for greater ones. The story ahead is filled with twists and turns, taking the viewers through a rollercoaster of emotions through manipulative, exhilarating, dramatic, and action-packed events.

In the first episode itself, we see Rani Maai being shot. While efforts are being made to revive her, she goes into a coma and thus her three heirs have to step up and take charge.

The series comprises of 14 episodes and each episode is 30 to 45 minutes long. We have only seen the first eight episodes of the show and this review is based on these. The story is set in modern-day Mumbai and there are many twists that keep the show interesting. However, there are some points that are oversimplified and thus add to the monotony. 

The show has an impressive star cast and everyone has done a good job in terms of acting. In the first eight episodes, we got to see Supriya Pathak for a very limited time frame. Guess that will change by the time we see the rest of the series. She is definitely one of the strongest points of the series and her acting is spotless. 

Jitendra Joshi helps in bringing the elements of humour and does a great job at it. Rithvik Dhanjani has an interesting character sketch and he manages to shine in this role. From being a clueless son, who suddenly needs to take charge to a possessive/ conservative boyfriend, he gets to play varied shades and he manages to nail them well. 

Divya Agarwal who is currently a part of Bigg Boss OTT is also a part of the Cartel. She also has a limited screen time but has a good screen presence. 

ALTBalaji's series is very well etched out and an interesting watch. For viewers who like thrilling series or gangster/crime-drama, for Cartel is a good watch. Viewers can watch Cartel on ALTBalaji and MX GOLD (MX Player’s subscription VoD service). 

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