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The Fame Game Review: Madhuri Dixit’s suspense drama treads between boredom and substandard

Web Series description: 
The Fame Game
Creator: Sri Rao 
Directors: Bejoy Nambiar, Karishma Kohli
Cast: Madhuri Dixit Nene, Sanjay Kapoor, Manav Kaul, Muskkaan Jaferi, Lakshvir Singh Saran, Suhasini Muley,
Streaming Platform: Netflix 
Rating: 2.5/5 
The Fame Game’s creator-writer Sri Rao in an Instagram post ahead of the show’s release stated that he created the show for Bollywood’s Dhak Dhak queen Madhuri Dixit. “My intention was to give her a platform that would do justice to her talent as an actress, and introduce her to global audiences to be dazzled by her star power,” Sri Rao wrote. The Fame Game does exactly that as it puts Madhuri as Anamika front and center of the Netflix India original. 
Anamika Anand is a superstar under the spotlight but as any other woman, juggles multiple roles as a mother, wife, homemaker, and actress. Her picture perfect family on the surface includes her husband Nikhil (Sanjay Kapoor), daughter Amu (Muskkaan Jaferi), son Avinash (Lakshvir Singh Saran) and her mother played by veteran actress Suhasini Muley. 
Directors Bejoy Nambiar and Karishma Kohli set The Fame Game in the perfect landscape. Sprawling homes, flashy vanity vans, fancy cars and the never-ending media gaze. Set across six, 45-minute episodes, the series touches upon different aspects of Anamika’s family and public life after her sudden disappearance. 
Sri Rao, Nambiar and Kohli then begin to deconstruct this picture perfect family that sells the glossy pages and clickbait content online. We start to get a grim glimpse into the not-so perfect lives of these individuals who struggle to communicate on a daily basis as the cops upend their home to find Anamika. 
All episodes of The Fame Game frequently oscillate between the past and present as the timeline goes back to six months ago when superstar Mukesh Khanna (Manav Kaul) walked into Anamika’s life. As the police investigation furthers at a snail’s pace, the writers and directors reveal lies, deciet, secrets and tragic family bonds that have left them helpless in the present.  
The show beats around the bush without fully arriving anywhere. Anamika, as a mom and superstar, tries to fulfill her duties as much as she can. But is aware of the fact that it is never enough. 
Her disappearance springs up multiple wounds but leaves a lot unsaid and open ended. Rajshri Deshpande, who plays the investigating officer Shobha Trivedi, breathes some solid life into the show but even her character arc is not entirely satisfactory. For a show primarily based on the investigation of the disappearance of a superstar, The Fame Game’s one entire episode does not touch upon the progress of the case. 
It starts off on a promising note and well establishes the world it is meant to be in but starts to fall apart too quickly. An ex-lover, a crazy fan, a painter and a controlling mother make up for intriguing elements of the narrative but never quite hit the mark. 
Madhuri Dixit as Anamika lives and breathes the part of a superstar and does it convincingly. The show’s high points include normalising gay relationships and Anamika’s kids Avi and Amu’s meltdowns which are rendered a sensitive touch. However, it is the confusion among individual stories and unanswered questions that fail to make the larger picture gripping enough. Even Madhuri Dixit’s much-loved dance and eternal smile are not enough to salvage The Fame Game. 
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The Fame Game Review: Madhuri Dixit’s suspense drama treads between boredom and substandard.
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