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The Pre-Independence period is arguably the most exciting period in Indian History. As riddled with controversies as the time was, it inspired rage, frustration and ultimately rebellion to overthrow our colonial overlords. Like every story, ours met a so-called happy ending with the Independence, but certain truths about what really went down still remain shrouded in speculation. One such example is the mystery behind Subhash Chandra Bose’s death. 

ALTBalaji‘s stellar new offering, ‘BOSE: DEAD/ALIVE’ makes a brave attempt at separating the fabled from the truth and upon first look here are 6 reasons that had me binge-watching the episodes. 

1. The show is fodder for Bose-conspiracy theorists.

While history books peg Bose’s death in exile from a plane crash in 1945, the show toys with the idea of Bose surviving and causing a mental uproar among those loyal to him and the fearful British forces. Considering how Bose’s ideologies, his scandalous tryst with Congress and his near-unstoppable Indian National Army were creating a stir, the show subtly hints at possibilities that might have really transpired then. Turns out, history books allegedly might have got it all wrong.

2. Rajkummar Rao’s titular portrayal shakes you to your core.

It’s not easy essaying the role of Subhash Chandra Bose when history itself has parts missing from the jigsaw puzzle that was his life. But Rajkummar Rao slips on the shoes of the forgotten hero with such ease that for a moment, you forget that you’re watching an actor play a part. Rao adds layers of enigma and grit to the figure, shifting effortlessly from the errant Bengali son to the driven nationalist in a manner of minutes.  

3. The soundtrack is edgy, street and riveting.

Rather than focusing on period background scores to give the old-world feel, the sound design by the famous Neel Adhikari featuring Doktorgandu and MC Todfod, bring in an electro-rap flavour to narrative and a noir-esque feel to the entire series. 

4. The show gives us a look at the ‘Bose’ behind the legend.

We all see him as the revolutionary who became the much-needed catalyst stirring the pot of disgruntled and stifling oppression, but do we know much about his life before he became Netaji? The show gives us a sneak peek into his early days showing his ballsy and no-nonsense demeanour. From sticking it to the British since his Presidency College days to the saucy exchanges with his wife Emilie, all show us a side of Bose we wouldn’t have imagined.

5. The narrative isn’t linear but this won’t deter you at all.

For a man as complex as Bose, a simple, linear storytelling just won’t do and this was understood perfectly by the makes of BOSE: DEAD/ALIVE. The plot toggles between his childhood, his rallying and his exile leaving us on our toes, while we complete the puzzle in our heads. 

6. Naveen Kasturia holds his own against Rajkummar Rao & shines in the process.

If you were only rooting for Rajkummar Rao, Naveen Kasturia’s role as the hawaldaar Darbari Singh assigned to spy on Bose will change the way you look at the narrative. We learn to experience the human side of the hero through his impartial eyes and experience the electrifying chemistry between the two. 

With a show, cast and crew as great as this one, it will almost be a sin to give this show a pass. Uncover the mysteries for yourself and watch the show on ALTBalaji here.