Recently, like most of us millennials, I spent the whole weekend procrastinating on my chores while binge-watching Netflix's latest series, Taj Mahal 1989. While the guilt of all the pending tasks was heavy on my mind, Neeraj Kabi and Geetanjali Kulkarni's flawless performance in the series kept me thoroughly distracted.
For that reason, along with many others, web series and streaming platforms deserve our love. Because they bring us greater access to talented performers like Neeraj Kabi and Geetanjali Kulkarni. Talent who we may have missed out on, because of how little importance mainstream cinema has afforded them.
Neeraj Kabi is undoubtedly a brilliant performer, who brings a uniqueness to each character he plays. Whether it's a corrupt police officer (Sacred Games), a man rediscovering love (Once Again), or as a romantic philosophy professor (Taj Mahal 1989), Neeraj Kabi lends authenticity to every role.
But, Neeraj Kabi has been delivering memorable performances for far longer. He debuted with the National Award-winning Oriya film, The Last Vision in 1997. A theater actor and director, he next appeared in Ship of Theseus in 2012. In fact, he won the Best Actor at the 4th Sakhalin International Film Festival, Russia for his role as Maitreya.
The next year, he earned the nomination for Golden Camera award at Cannes Film Festival, for playing Inspector Khan in Monsoon Shootout. And the list just goes on.
From commercial potboilers (Talvar, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!) to short films (35mm), to international projects, Kabi has done it all.
In almost a decade long career, Neeraj has consistently proved his mettle as an actor, but it was with Sacred Games that a majority of the audience recognized and loved his talent.
Much like Neeraj, Geetanjali too is a theatre actor who has also been a part of a National Award-winning Film, the 2014 legal drama Court.
Geetanjali has also been a part of the Hindi and Marathi cinema, and her filmography includes movies like Delhi-6, Photograph, and others. A regular on stage, Geetanjali has also acted and produced several plays.
But, her stint with the web series Gullak, Selection Day, and the most recent, Taj Maha 1989, is what the younger generation is most aware of.
Both Neeraj and Geetanjali are brilliant actors, and their on-screen chemistry in the latest Taj Mahal 1989 is as warm as it is relatable. It offers a glimpse into the love lives of people we often falsely consider to be devoid of romantic feelings - our parents.
It is truly commendable that talented stars are getting the opportunity to reach out to a wider, more diverse audience through streaming platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, Hotstar, etc. And we can't help but be thankful for getting a chance to witness such talented stars in action.