The Underrated Mastermind (Bose: Dead/Alive Review)

The Story

Bose: Dead/Alive is a very short web series created by AltBalaji and based on the book “India’s Biggest Cover-Up” by Anuj Dhar. The series comprises of 9 episodes, each lasting around 20-25 minutes. The language is primarily Hindi, some dialogues are English and other languages like Bengali, Japanese and German are used (YES you must know all these languages to understand the series) (Okay, not really, Hindi and English is fine)

The series revolves around Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and how he was the true mastermind that sparked a revolution which ultimately led to the British leaving India, making us free from foreign rule.

The series talks about a controversy. According to it, even though the plane carrying Netaji crashed and burned, he did not die and led a life in secret. The series jumps from post-crash to pre-crash in every episode, mainly focusing on pre-crash.


I had heard about this series from my friends a few months back and was not impressed. I preferred to watch comedy series exclusively and drama/thriller or any sort of ‘serious’ TV series did not appeal to me. It was only when I got a subscription to Vodafone Play app after purchasing a Vodafone monthly 4G data pack that I decided to check out the movies and TV shows available on it.

I was already rolling in the wave of nationalism which I wrote about in a previous article “Are we having an identity crisis?” I saw the series listed under “AltBalaji” and I decided to watch it. Just 9 episodes, yay! What proceeded was an intense, thrilling journey which renewed and increased my awe for the people of my country.

Acting – Bengali – Music

Rajkumar Rao shines brilliantly as the lead actor playing the role of Bose. He enlivens the role and stays true to Netaji’s roots by speaking fluent Bengali. Since I lived five years of my teenage life in Kolkata, I have a soft spot for the language and culture. Needless to say, I was loving every bit of it. The series has a rousing music score focusing on strong Bengali vocals and upbeat yet mystery-inducing music.

The Unsung Hero

Most of all, this web series shows how Bose was the real hero of the Indian struggle for independence and how Gandhiji and Nehruji (although right in their own ways) did little. Bose was the one being proactive and working relentlessly. His philosophy countered the Gandhian ahimsa (non-violent) struggle. Gandhi believed that non-violence, although slow and gradual was a sure way to winning the heart of the invaders who would eventually be morally compelled to grant them independence. Bose threw this out of the water and established that strategic planning had to be made and blood would be shed to snatch our country back from the British government.

Where Can You Watch It?

The show is available to stream (for FREE!) on AltBalaji app, AltBalaji website and Vodafone Play app.

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