Ok Computer review: A sci-fi mocumentary that grows on you like old wine

What’s It About
Set in 2031, Ok Computer talks of a new age India with towering smart holograms, artificial intelligence robots, self-driven cars, drone superhighways and a lot more. So, what happens when a self-driven cab is hacked in order to kill an anonymous human being? Detective Saajan Kundu (Vijay Varma) is called out of retirement to solve the mystery. Will he be able to find out the killer? Or will he also consider it as an accident like the rest of the police department? Well, you’ll have to watch the show to know that.

What’s Hot
The germ of the idea behind Ok Computer is a masterpiece. Not just people in India, but all over the world everyone is talking about how the world is moving towards a direction where computers and robots with artificial intelligence will take over the world. What if this artificial intelligence gets hacked and, as in this case, someone takes undue advantage of it and kills a human being? Food for thought!

Talking of the performances, without a doubt the best performance was by Kani Kusruti. Playing a Malayalee-yet-speaking-Hindi police officer, she is filled with sarcasm and funny innuendos. Her performance is nuanced to the extent that you’re not feeling like she is overdoing it, yet you’re laughing at all her antics. Supremely measured and a brilliant performance. To add to it, you’ve Jackie Shroff practically naked throughout the storyline. His acting is so natural and he has gotten into the skin of that eccentric character so well, that you tend to forget that he’s such a good-looking and dashing superstar. He makes you believe that he’s that megalomaniac character who is doing everything for the betterment of the human race. Vijay Varma, who is there in pretty much every frame of the web show, manages to pull off another decent performance. I wouldn’t call it one of his bests, but indeed having the entire weight of the story on one’s shoulders can pull down your performance a bit, and that’s exactly what’s happened with him in Ok Computer.

Moving on, the writing of the story by director Pooja Shetty, Neil Pagedar along with co-producer Anand Gandhi is fantastic. When you’ve got a brilliant idea, many a times people end up not writing it well enough up to its potential. In this case, the writing is fantastic. We’ve seen sci-fi films becoming boring and, at times, too intellectual. However, Ok Computer makes sure that you’re not bored. The script is written like a mockumentary on today’s times. They’ve taken subtle jibes every now and then at the current situation in the country, and how these might lead to such apocalyptic situations in the near future. The jokes are not slapstick funny, and you will need to have a great understanding of today’s times and politics and then only you’ll be able to find laughter in every dialogue. Even the way they’ve made all the characters slightly peculiar, even in the way they talk, shows that if we continue to be so obsessed with technology like we’re in today’s times, there would soon be a generation of people who’ll grow up not being confident and questioning everything they say. Quite a hard-hitting thought, but shown in a subtle and layered way through the script.

What’s Not
Radhika Apte is the biggest let down in this web series. She has been doing such great works recently that when a mediocre performance comes out of her, it feels bad to a connoisseur. Her performance is somehow overshadowed in every frame, and that’s not entirely her fault. While she portrays an introverted crack-head who loves to spend more time with robots than with humans, but her performance isn’t that mechanical or rather, whimsical. She is pretty much humane, and that doesn’t go well with her character in Ok Computer.

Rasika Dugal didn’t get enough screen time to show off her genius. That is a loss for the makers of the show as Rasika is someone who manages to steal every frame and come out with flying colours. She is known for her dumdaar dialogue delivery, and that hasn’t been explored or rather, exploited in Ok Computer. Possibly, if the makers get a go-ahead for season two, it would be interesting to see how Rasika Dugal ended up where she did in this season. Her storyline would be an exciting watch.

The cinematography by Diego Guijarro is nothing extraordinary and that’s a downer for a sci-fi project. As a cinematographer of a sci-fi series, you’re not just supposed to make mundane locations look out-of-the-box, but also you should be able to make the entire experience of watching the show out-of-the-ordinary. Ok Computer has some really ordinary locations and the shots were also nothing which you would remember specifically once you’re done with the show.

The editing of Ok Computer by Charu Takkar could have been crisper. While the first episode was a slam dunk, the following 5 episodes tend to loosen up the grip on the audience’s minds. Had it been cut short to just 5 episodes and not 6, it surely would have made the story a lot tighter.

Title: Ok Computer

Cast: Vijay Varma, Radhika Apte, Jackie Shroff, Rasika Dugal

Creators: Pooja Shetty, Neil Pagedar

Platform: Disney+Hotstar

Rating: 3 stars

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