Director: Sumit Saxena
Cast: Vijay Varma, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Seema Biswas, Yashpal Sharma, Gopal Dutt, Suzanna Mukherjee
Where: Streaming now on JioCinema
Rating: 3 stars
Disclaimer: This review is based on the first three episodes of the show
When a show is headlined by the extremely talented acting duo of Vijay Varma and Shweta Tripathi Sharma, you know you can settle in for nothing less than excellence. This gets proved yet again in the web series Kaalkoot.
The show will premiere on the OTT app on an episodic basis daily. Written by Arunabh Kumar and Sumit Saxena with the latter helming directorial duties as well, the series deconstructs the tale of an acid attack survivor and a reluctant cop, who was on the verge of quitting but retracts to pursue the leads in the case. Varma plays the cop, (ironic that he played a criminal on the run, a few months ago in another series) an idealistic young man who is committed to his personal and professional duties, while being tasked with a case that will push him to his limits. Sharma plays the acid attack survivor who must unearth the truth behind her predicament.
While the intent of Kumar and Saxena’s writing is to dissect and deconstruct the hows and whys in a police procedural, somehow the screenplay seems a tad bit contrived. While I understand that based on my personal viewing experience, it might be a premature judgement to make, it becomes imperative to note that the narrative must hold enough meat to keep you engaged. Here is where both Varma and Sharma play to the gallery with their best foot forward. What also does not help the writing is the different stances it takes in between to propel the story forward. From tackling patriarchy, gender stereotypes and homophobia, these elements become mere accessories to serve little to no purpose in the series. You will find your patience being tested at the long pauses taken in between to string the story together and you have to maintain an immense leap of faith in the actors to sit through the series.
Varma shines as the cop determined to win the race against time and do the right things as his job demands. His good guy act following a series of delicious, villainous roles is a welcome respite and one that’ll make you look forward to many more Mr Goody Shoes appearances. While Sharma spends most of her role recovering from the horrors of the acid attack, she urges you to understand and discover the person behind her situation. The show is also empowered by solid performances by a fine ensemble including Seema Biswas, Yashpal Sharma, Gopal Dutt and Suzanna Mukherjee.
If not for its bloated screenplay that bites more than it can chew, Kaalkoot is definitely far more watchable than the countless bloodthirsty, hinterland flicks that have clouded the Indian web space.
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