‘Showtime’ Part 1 Recap & Ending Explained: Did Raghu Sabotage Mahika’s Film?

Showtime on Disney + Hotstar will have the attention of everybody who likes juicy stories about the inner workings of Bollywood. This is not a reality television show but a full-fledged series that, at times, becomes satirical and discusses the length and breadth of the filmmaking work and how the producer and director walk on eggshells to make sure their project is green-lit.


Spoilers Ahead 

Why Did Mahika Give Raghu’s Film A Bad Review?

Mahika Nandi was an entertainment journalist who had recently moved to Mumbai. She was close to her mother, and she spoke to her in detail about her life and struggles. Just days into her job, she was asked to review Raghu Khanna’s film ‘Pyaar Dangerous’. She was advised to praise the film and received a hamper with expensive gifts from Raghu Khanna himself. She mentioned a couple of times that the movie did not live up to the mark. Raghu’s attempt to bribe her infuriated Mahika and caused her to rant on camera about ‘Pyaar Dangerous’ being a bad film. She also revealed the gift from Victory Studio and the attempt to influence her with expensive gifts just to make sure the audience would storm to the theater. Her rant on television went viral, and she quickly became a known face in the television media. 


Was Armaan Trying To Interfere With The Period Film?

Raghu Khanna, the head of the Victory Studios, was unaffected by Mahika’s bad review, as the film was making money at the box office. He was busy working on the period film “1857,” starring Armaan, the superstar whom the whole country loves. The problem lies in the fact that Armaan was carried away by his image and tried to interfere in the making of the film. Raghu Khanna was adamant about wanting the film to be the way he wanted. Armaan was given a reality check about his last few films and his age, which forced the superstar to be a part of the film and not to create a nuisance. 

What Was The Reason For The Clash Between Victor And Raghu Khanna?

Victor was angry at his son as the news of Mahika began to spread like wildfire. Victor was the owner of Victory Studios, and the place was known to have produced many classic films. He believed Raghu attempted to tarnish the name of the studio, which had a rich legacy. Victor and Raghu had different opinions and never agreed on any subject related to their professional and private lives. The father and son could not stand each other and would not think twice before having a full-blown argument in the office in the presence of employees. Victor still believed he had the power to make changes, while Raghu was the real kingpin who saved the studio from sinking. 


Who Did Victor Leave The Studio To?

Victor Khanna had a meeting with Mahika Nandi to understand her opinion of what the films should include. Mahika shared her opinion and mentioned longing for the kind of films Victor Khanna made back in the day. The next day, the news of Victor’s suicide was made known to friends, family, and the media. With all the noise around his death coming to an end, the will prepared by Victor Khanna was read out to the family. He gave away enough and more to his wife, Raghu’s mother, but the studio was given to Mahika Nandi, who he declared was his granddaughter from another family. Raghu was more enraged than shocked because he believed he saved the studio, and his father gave it away to an unknown family member.

The news of Mahika’s parentage was broken to the media, and she ended up questioning her mother about its authenticity. The mother shared that her grandfather left them because he wanted a son, highlighting the patriarchy that was rampant in Victor’s family. Victor pulled this stunt to put Raghu on the back foot and keep the legacy of his studio at the forefront. He probably saw a spark in his granddaughter and a vision that was lacking in Raghu. 


Was Raghu Planning To Start His Own Production Company?

Raghu tried to be the person who ran the show by asking Mahika to take care of the digital marketing and social media for the company. He wanted to take control under the guise of mentoring her. Mahika understood her uncle’s manipulative ways and politely asked him to step aside, as she was the new decision-maker. Fueled by his ego and hurt by his deceased father’s moves, Raghu announced he would be starting his own production company and would film under that umbrella. Since he had mentored many by hiring them, he expected many of them to follow him to work on his new venture. 

Several people followed him, but Prithvi, who was his biggest supporter, stayed back for Mahika. Mahika and Prithvi had been together for a while, and he was her source of support in the city. She needed a lot of briefing and understanding of how films are made; Prithvi and Rustom were always available. Rustom was Victor’s right-hand man and the next best decision-maker in the company. He had years of experience in producing films.

What Was Raghu And Mahika’s Plan Of Action?

Raghu and Mahika, both wanted to work on Victory Studios’ flagship project which starred Armaan. ‘1857’, the period film was Raghu’s baby, and he wasn’t willing to give up on it yet. He swallowed his pride and tried to woo Armaan to work on ‘1857’, which would be made under Raghu’s banner. Armaan was in no mood to entertain what Raghu had in mind for the project and chose to keep him hanging instead of committing to the role. Armaan was mesmerized by Mahika and her ability to look beyond the project and see the emotional connection people would have with Armaan as an actor who was foraying into the period action genre. Mahika was aware that the only way to keep Armaan around was to massage his ego, and that would help him get to work as per the vision Mahika had for ‘1857’.

Mahika was successful in bringing on board Sathya Krishnan, a writer and director who had conceptualized ‘1857’ but whose vision Raghu had never been interested in. Sathya Krishnan was sold by Mahika’s interest in his vision. Mahika was slowly getting a grip on how to win people over and convince them to be a part of the studio. Since Mahika was new in the game, many weren’t willing to hear her out, but several actresses were happy with a woman leading a production house. Mahika was all ready to begin working on ‘1857’ as per her vision, which again put Raghu on the backfoot. To rattle Armaan further, he offered a role in a female-centric action film to his wife, Mandira, hoping that would force him to choose Raghu over Mahika.


What Was Yasmin Upset About?

Yasmin Ali was an up-and-coming actress in the Hindi film industry who had worked on several films produced by Victory Studios under Raghu Khanna. Raghu and Yasmin Ali were in a relationship, and he had offered her the role in a female-centric action film, which he eventually passed on to Mandira. Yasmin was slowly losing trust in Raghu since this betrayal. Raghu never acknowledged her for staying with him after losing the studio. 

Yasmin was pregnant with Raghu’s child and was considering aborting the child without informing him. Raghu belittled Yasmin several times when she confronted him about the role being offered to Mandira when it was promised to her. She had a change of mind and decided to inform him about the pregnancy, hoping he would be interested in starting a family with her. The pregnancy would also mean she would be putting her career on hold and having to pass on several roles coming her way. She gathered strength to inform Raghu about the big news. Raghu, who was having a tough time dealing with Mahika, was livid to learn the news of her pregnancy from her and not Yasmin. He confronted Yasmin first and demanded she abort it because he did not have the financial stability to raise a child. Yasmin’s distress was caused by the fact that Raghu accused her of hiding the pregnancy and trying to sabotage their careers. At the premiere of the new film from Victory Studios, Yasmin and Raghu reached separately, and she left before he did without informing him. Yasmin had every reason to be upset, and Raghu never tried to pacify her by offering any words of sympathy or comfort. 


Why Was Armaan Acting Entitled?

Armaan was insecure by the fact that Mina, the new actress, was upstaging him in terms of performance and screen time in the movie ‘1857’. He was a senior actor who wanted all the attention. He did not want Mina to grab the eyeballs of the audience. His insecurity led him to request that Mahika consider recasting Mina, as he complained about her lack of talent. Armaan was finding every reason to get rid of the girl and replace her with an actress who was below par so that he would shine as an actor. Mahika refused to budge. The shoot went along, but not before Armaan began to make Mina feel uncomfortable and wait for crucial shots. Mina caught on to Armaan’s tactics and requested Mahika make a sound decision for the sake of the project. Mina expected Mahika to back the team instead of basing the whole film on a superstar. As a newbie, she was being treated as a use-and-throw object, and she wasn’t comfortable with such treatment of an actress of her caliber. Mina comes from a school of thought where actors treat each other as equals, and she sadly had to walk away from the project. Mahika had to accept the decision, as she needed Armaan in the film for it to sell on release.

Did Raghu Sabotage Mahika’s Film?

Mahika and Prithivi were in for a shock when they learned Mina joined Raghu’s film starring Mandira. Mina was either briefed by the marketing team to mention her exit from the ‘1857’ film was because of the producers or she was willing to sabotage Victory Studios for Raghu’s sake. Mina probably jumped on the first role that was offered to her, and she could not wait to be treated like an equal in a film. She never received any support from Mahika, and Raghu took advantage of her setback and used it for his benefit. 


Armaan turned out to be a self-centered person who never realized the consequences of his action or the impact of his sudden exit from the shoot. The team on set was horrified to learn that Armaan and his team had left the shoot and were unreachable. This was an unexpected scenario, keeping in mind that everything was happening in the film as per Armaan’s whims and fancies, and Mahika only had to bow down to his wants and dislikes while working. It is understood that Armaan never left the project, but the scandal that had broken out made him move to his home away from the media. The news of his affair with another fellow actress broke, and Armaan tried every trick in the book to kill the story. Armaan’s life was surrounded by the image he had to maintain, and this scandal would ruin it. 

Mahika couldn’t get through Armaan, and she was expecting Prithvi to help her salvage the situation on the set. Prithvi has been Mahika’s constant support, and he was the only person who would make sure Sathya did not walk out of the project. Prithvi was at a reading of his film with another director and was forced to take up Mahika’s call and go into problem-solving mode as the crisis was burgeoning with no end in sight. This scandal turned into a protest against Armaan by the public, who were not ready to see him play the role of a freedom fighter. This protest was mirrored by several real-life incidents that have happened against many actors from several film industries in the country. The protest would be against the actor who may have hurt the sentiments of a certain community, and they found them accountable for bad decisions. The growing protest would only make Mahika either shelve the project and replace the cast or, worse, Sathya Krishnan walk out of the project. The first part of Showtime ends with Raghu and his colleague having a last laugh about the state of Mahika’s project. His colleague leaked the image of Armaan with the actress, and it snowballed into a huge problem that would threaten the existence of Victory Studio, and Raghu would want that. 


Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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