“Sunflower” keeps you guessing all the way, all right — but that’s because the show tries to do too many things, diluting the impact of the dark comedy thrills it should have stuck to. It’s starts on a different sort of a high as a murder mystery, showing you the murder (and murderer) right at the start. The screenplay then struggles to weave enough suspense drama to sustain interest through its eight episodes.
Creator Vikas Bahl’s writing tries setting a quirky tone while lacing the plot spins. The fun factor is mostly brought alive by an interesting ensemble cast, for Bahl and co-director Rahul Sengupta have got the casting bang-on. The handpicked set of actors living out the protagonists of the show bring alive even the most insane moments in the story and end up its primary redeeming feature.
At the centre of the plot is the murder of Mr Kapoor (Ashwin Kaushal). He is killed in a rather ingenious manner by his neighbour and bete noire, Mr Ahuja (Mukul Chadda), as the story begins. The cops arrive, with Inspector Digendra (Ranvir Shorey) and Inspector Tambe (Girish Kulkarni) in charge. Everyone in the society plus the support staff is a suspect, but the focus falls on the happy-go-lucky bachelor Sonu Singh (Sunil Grover), who lives a few floors below the victim and gets tangled in the probe in a bizarre manner.
Sunil Grover, towering over all in an author-backed role, proves again he is a talent who just needs to be tapped with the right role. Grover makes Sonu impish and stupid at the same time. He keeps it cool and comical when Sonu is in charge, just as when he is caught with his pants down (literally) and, yes — if you’re a Gutthi fan — he does get to wear the skirt at one point and he pulls it off with vintage aplomb.
Ashish Vidyarthi as the conservative Iyer, Mukul Chadda as Ahuja, Radha Bhatt as his wife, Ranvir Shorey and Girish Kulkarni as the inspectors, and Annapurna Soni as the domestic help are particularly worth mention, adding to the humour and the drama.
“Sunflower” is an okay watch but with some more focus in writing could have had the essential resonance to stick in your mind as an entertainer.