Choona: Is the Netflix Show Inspired by a Real Story?

‘Choona,’ Netflix’s Hindi-language heist comedy-drama, made its much-anticipated premiere on September 29, 2023. The series unfolds a story that revolves around six ordinary individuals who find themselves pushed to the brink of desperation by a corrupt and superstitious politician. Faced with injustice and unable to find a legitimate avenue for revenge, they decide to take matters into their own hands by hatching a poorly planned and disorganized heist as a means of seeking retribution.

Directed by Pushpendra Nath Misra, known for his hit TV series known for ‘Taj Mahal 1989’, the series promises to deliver a unique blend of comedy and poignant storytelling, shedding light on the complexities of human nature when pushed to extremes. The series has hit the ground running with an exceptional and accomplished cast that includes the likes of Jimmy Shergill, Aashim Gulati, Arshad Warsi, Namit Das, Vikram Kochhar, and Chandan Roy. Each member of the ensemble brings a unique dimension to their characters, adding depth and authenticity to the story. Given the nature of the plot, it is very likely that one would ask if it is based on a true story.

Choona is Inspired by Real-Life Elements

No, ‘Choona’ is not based on a true story; however, many elements of the series are based on the operation of Indian society. Penned by the talented Pushpendra Nath Misra and Srishti Dubey, the series adds to the growing lineup of recent films and TV series that place ordinary individuals, or in this case, a group of men, in a high-stakes battle against those in positions of power. The narrative of the series draws its energy from the deeply-rooted feelings of oppression and frustration, stemming from a broken system that often allows gangsters to flourish and exploit their communities.

It’s a compelling story that channels this collective frustration into an action-packed series that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. Jimmy Shergill’s character is a formidable gangster-turned-politician in ‘Choona,’ may not be based on a real individual, but it is a reflection of a recurring theme in Indian politics. The use of muscle power in Indian politics is indeed prevalent, and it can be highly dangerous. This phenomenon has allowed individuals with nefarious intentions to rise through the ranks of elected leaders and subsequently abuse the power entrusted to them to protect and serve their communities.

The prevalence of  “bahubalis,” a term that loosely translates to physically, politically, and socially strong men who have ascended to positions of community leadership, has had detrimental effects on Indian democracy. The series also delves into the intriguing theme of astrology and superstitious practices. Astrology is a belief system that suggests a connection between the positions and movements of celestial bodies, such as planets and stars, and events and personality traits on Earth. The belief in the power of astrology, including the use of rings, charms, and amulets to ward off evil and ensure a safe and secure life, is a common practice among many cultures.

Despite the lack of concrete evidence to prove its effectiveness, these beliefs continue to be widely accepted and followed and the series does a very good job of incorporating it into the story seamlessly. The actors, particularly Jimmy Shergill, have delivered exceptional performances in the series, adding their unique nuances to the script. Shergill has made a remarkable comeback to the screen after an extended hiatus, reaffirming his prowess as a talented actor through his role in the series. Talking about his role in an interview, he said, “I have always been inclined towards stories that push me to explore my capabilities.”

He added, “Also, as an audience, I personally like narratives that are engaging, character-driven, and bring out the flavor of our rich cultural backdrop.” Chandan Roy and Aashim Gulati have skillfully injected a sense of relatability into their respective characters. Their performances vividly convey the simmering frustration and underlying anger that their characters grapple with, adding depth and authenticity to the narrative. Namit Nath’s portrayal in the series is equally captivating, as he infuses his character with vibrant energy, making it both amusing and heartwarming to watch.

‘Choona,’ although not based on a true story, derives its authenticity from the well-drawn and relatable characters that populate its dramatized narrative. Through these characters, the series delves into over-the-top plotlines, using them as a vehicle to convey and underline messages that remain highly relevant to modern India. By blending drama, humor, and social commentary, it not only captivates the audience but also leaves a lasting mark on them.

Read More: Best Police Corruption Movies of All Time