Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar Review

Deepanjana Pal

Adundance of Beauty

Sanjay Leela Bhansali wants to dazzle you to distraction. With a cast led by Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha and Aditi Rao Hydari, there is an abundance of beauty in Heeramandi, but is that enough? The show is streaming on Netflix.

Viewers Perspective

We see Heeramandi through a visitor’s eyes. The muted tones of the palatial buildings now have the glint of jewel-bright accents and darkness is filligreed with light and colour.

Sophisticated Cinematography

Here is also the sophisticated cinematography that is able to turn an elaborate set into an intricate miniature that doesn’t feel awkwardly cramped when it’s made to fit the dimensions of the small screen.

Bhansali's Elements are Present

It’s difficult to summarise the central plot of Heeramandi because the show takes more than five episodes to settle upon its focus. Bhansali has the credit of being one of the few directors in Indian cinema whose name works as an adjective.

Down Bad Lacking

All it lacks is emotional complexity, narrative coherence, and a general sense of intelligence. Arguably, if we expect such qualities from what is rumoured to be the most expensive Indian production on OTT, we’d be justified. 

Meandering through Heeramandi

Even though there is no shortage of incidents, sub-plots, revelations and twists, Heeramandi feels slow until its last three episodes, when it becomes disjoint, hurried and overcrowded.