Choona, the Lucknow-set heist comedy series, just got a trailer. Netflix dropped some new footage for its Jimmy Shergill-led (A Wednesday) series, which traces a revenge drama targeting a corrupt and highly-superstitious politician Shukla, as an unlikely group of six bands together to take his empire down. Much of the narrative’s direction pivots around astrology — the alignment of planets and stars — as that’s how Shukla determines his day-to-day activities, including the right time to commit some form of violence. Pushpendra Nath Misra — best known for Taj Mahal 1989 — serves as the writer-director for the satirical series, which is slated to drop August 3 on Netflix.
The Choona trailer opens with a voiceover from the corrupt Shukla (Shergill) as he arrives in Lucknow, looking to overthrow the government and become the next Chief Minister. “Your stars decide your luck in politics,” he says while flaunting his fingers adorned with all kinds of gems. “And on the strength of these stars, Shukla is flying high.” He likes comparing himself to a ‘Calculator,’ having planned every minute detail beforehand, ensuring the planets are always aligned in his favour. As you would imagine, Shukla loves taking advantage of the needy, even asking one of them to self-immolate before him to show their devotion. “We want to emotionally torture Shukla,” a voiceover says, while we’re treated to visuals of him harming the people who dared utter a word against him.
When word gets out that Shukla is to receive Rs. 300 crore in cash — presumably by illegal means — the unlikely group unite on a mission to steal it and destroy his political position. The heist team includes an astrologer (Atul Srivastava), a love interest (Monika Panwar), a mute man (Chandan Roy), a shape-shifting informer (Namit Das), a small-time criminal and student leader (Aashim Gulati), a drunkard (Vikram Kochhar), and a demoted police officer (Gyanendra Tripathi).
With a common enemy and the prized amount climbing to Rs. 600 crore, all that remains is finding a way to infiltrate Shukla’s party office. “Have you ever seen the party office?” the unnamed drunkard — once a successful contractor — asks the group. “They have 10 armed police officers. There are 100 goon-ish party workers, there are CCTV cameras everywhere, and on the top floor sits Shukla.” While it does seem like an impossible task, the politician can be fooled or applied choona through astrology, essentially clearing the path for our heroes — or rather, robbers.
“There’s no way we’ll get away with stealing 800 crore rupees,” the student leader says, as the Choona trailer blends into a montage of action sequences involving local goons, cash money floating around, some cheap-looking VFX of planetary bodies moving around, and thrilling chase sequences. As for the getaway plan, one of them suggests that the drunkard jump off a window and descend down a zipline, to which he gives a quick-witted response saying, “Hey bhai, I’m not Tom Cruise.”
All episodes of Choona are out August 3 on Netflix.