As the matriarch, Dimple Kapadia is reliable, but this family drama has too much going on and gets disorganised. In the imaginary state of Rann Pradesh, where Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo is situated, Savitri (Dimple Kapadia) rules from a huge haveli (mansion) while posing as Rani Cooperative. She produces Flamingo, a stronger form of cocaine, with the help of her little army of female employees, and they even export it abroad. As her NRI sons Harish (Ashish Verma) and Kapil (Varun Mitra) return home, Savitri is followed in the Homi Adajania-created and -directed Disney+ Hotstar series. Beginning with the unintentional overdose death of a politician’s teenage son, their arrival sets off a chain of events that threatens to bring down her entire enterprise. Savitri, also known as Rani Baa, is the archetypal woman in a world dominated by men; she is compelled to take charge and develop self-reliance as a result of her husband’s murder. She was once a banjara (nomad), but the trauma from the event has changed her, and she now prioritises her business over everything. She has enlisted the assistance of her daughters-in-law Bijlee (Isha Talwar), Kajal (Angira Dhar), and Shanta (Radhika Madan).
After a few incidents, Savitri declares she will choose an heir, igniting conflict between her offspring, bahus (daughters-in-law), and devoted deputies. As a result, some of them start to turn against one another to control the empire. While it is amazing that Savitri operated this illegal drug trade for so long, largely without being discovered, it seems strange towards the end of the series that after supporting her daughter and bahus to keep her empire going, she is now considering her sons as deserving successors as well? Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo loses too much of its narrative momentum due to too many abrupt stops and starts. There are too many characters to keep track of because they frequently disappear for extended periods only to conveniently reemerge to complicate the lives of the main protagonists. The Frenchman Donze (Mark Bennington), who assisted Savitri in starting her opium business, shows up for a reunion. Bijlee has a side girlfriend named Naina (Monica Dogra), who encourages her to give up her life of crime. Naseeruddin Shah also has a minor role as a shady ally. And of course, there is the law on their tracks with the purposeful ACP Proshun (Jimit Trivedi) who is keen to expose Savitri’s real face and bring down the drug trade.
As one might expect, Savitri has amassed several adversaries over the years, including the relentless Monk (Deepak Dobriyal). They also appear and disappear, causing trouble for the household. Due in large part to Harish and Kapil’s assumption that they can manage the “family business” better than the women who have done it for so long, there are several intriguing layers to the story that aren’t fully explored. But everyone in this series has something to hide because it gives its characters much too much information. After a while, it might become pretty draining.
When the series is focused on Savitri, played by the outstanding Dimple Kapadia, it more than makes up for its flaws. However, things become a little disorganised as we meet the other characters. There aren’t many cast members who stand out, except Trivedi, because their characters frequently fall victim to narrative clichés. Dobriyal’s Monk is supposed to be this huge, terrifying threat, but he just comes out as flat. Many of the series’ scenes don’t produce the desired effects. Even witnessing the fierce bunch of women defeat Monk and his men don’t feel as thrilling as it ought to.
The final episode ends on a cliffhanger, as is to be expected, and while I will confess that I am interested to see what happens next, I am hoping that the second season can bring its several plots together into one coherent one. Savitri’s importance is undoubtedly beneficial.