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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Insta Millionaire: Rediscover the lost aura of audio storytelling – Audio Series Review

By Ila Sankrityayan

Audio Series: Insta Millionaire (Pocket FM)

Rating: ****1/2

I have reviewed numerous movies, OTT/web series, plays, and even food and restaurants. But I have rarely reviewed any audio shows.

Lately, there has been a lot of noise around Pocket FM and their love for a long-form audio series. I would call them marathon audio fiction series, similar to any TV/OTT series.

In a recent media announcement, they claimed one of their series, ‘Insta Millionaire’, had surpassed a collection of Rs 10 crore in three months, and they expect to exceed Rs 50 crore for this series. I therefore decided to be the first to review an audio series, and started with ‘Insta Millionaire’.

‘Insta Millionaire’ is a rags-to-riches tale of how a young man hits paydirt after playing a game of luck. I reviewed the Hindi series critically while binged on the English version like any other listener.

This is the story of Laxman Lal Aggarwal, aka Lucky, who hails from a humble background and is undeterred by his never-ending hardships. Strong and selfless, the young man works relentlessly to keep the love of his life happy but her lady luck keeps going away.

Lost and broken, Lucky’s luck suddenly turns sweet. He receives a message on his phone stating that his hardships have ended and he has been endowed with huge wealth.

Would ordinary mortals be befuddled or turn arrogant with such a change in fortune? Well, the journey of millionaire Laxman Lal Aggarwal begins here.

Will Lucky stay grounded and unaffected by his newfound wealth?

When there is a rich man, there has to be the dope of romance. Laxman Lal Aggarwal gets second-time lucky with Radhika — a character with a struggling past. But will this relationship flourish, or will it have the same fate?

The 250+ episodes (the English version has over 850 episodes) remind me of any popular TV series with the right twists and turns to keep the audience engaged.

More importantly, I had not subscribed to the show in the first place. Instead, I tried out their first six episodes for free before buying the next 10 episodes for a small amount. And then, when I got hooked onto it and decided to review it, I bought the entire series.

From the technical standpoint, it has the best of both worlds, content and audio package. The background sound effects for the audio series are beautifully curated so that even with closed eyes, one can visualise and build one’s world of imagination.

Swapnil is the mind behind this intriguing storytelling. And I will not be surprised if I find him writing for Bollywood in future.

Suraj Kumar is the voiceover artist who has done a fabulous job modulating his voice according to the demands of the script. The modulation for each character in the series is well presented and has been instrumental in bringing more drama into the storytelling.

The content, storytelling format and pricing model are the factors why people are binging on this audio platform. I am impressed by their content and storytelling. I recommend everyone to listen to this series…it is a paisa-vasool package.

They are changing the face of audio entertainment as Balaji Telefilms did to TV. Mark my words. They might become the Netflix of Audio with their experimental and high-quality content.

I will soon be back with another audio series from Pocket FM. Till then, keep binging on ‘Insta Millionaire’.  (Agency)

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