Undekhi web series review: Fabulous performances, gripping narrative
Photo: Instagram/ Surya Sharma

The story

The Garewal’s are marrying their beloved daughter Teji (Anchal Singh) to Daman (Ankur Rathee) who hails from the notorious Atwal family. The patriarch, Papaji (Harsh Chhaya), is perennially drunk, mouthing ‘goli mardenge’ almost every second to get things done his way. Saloni (Ayn Zoya) and her crew, which includes Rishi (Abhishek Chauhan), are in-charge of filming the wedding. The actual fun (or rather story) begins at Daman's bachelor party when a drunken and lustful Papaji, shoots one of the nautch girls. Rinku (Surya Sharma), Papaji's right-hand and Daman's cousin, quickly 'cleans' things up, but Rishi's life is at stake as has captured the moment on his phone. And, thus begins a thrilling ride of survival.

The review

Of late, there have been a string of crime thrillers (Rangbaaz, Asur, Lalbazaar, to name a few) that have taken the web space by storm. But, very few manage to live upto expectations in terms of content, performances and filming. But, Undekhi, ticks all the boxes. Writer Mohinder Pratap Singh has explored the mechanism of corruption through the series, keeping it rivetingly realistic.

Director Ashish R. Shukla plants surprise elements at opportune moments. To give an example: When Rishi turns fugitive to his own actions and is caught off-guard by Daman and Papaji at the bus stand as he tries to flee with proof on his broken phone. As a viewer, the fear that you see in Rishi's eyes gets to you as well. And, it is this fear that slowly enables for the drama to unfold at the exacting moment in the series.

Dibyendu Bhattacharya, who has been critically acclaimed for his work in ‘Maqbool’ and ‘Black Friday’, has explored yet another dimension to his versatility as he plays a cool-headed cop. He artfully uses diplomacy to put the suspect in his/her place.

Rinku lends his voice and power to bolster the corrupt ways of the Atwals. Yet, he’s far from taking over from the patriarch. He has brilliantly upheld his character. Lucky (Vaarun Bhagat), Surya’s right-hand rightfully amplifies Surya’s presence with superb acting—not trying to outshine Rinku, but still standing tall with his performance.

It's refreshing to see Harsh Chhaya play a relatively different character as Papaji other than his usual positive, family man kind of roles. He plays the part with such ease and conviction that his drunkenness at a point gives you a high!

Aanchal Singh, who plays Teji, suddenly emerges as a strong protagonist. Her emphatic presence is ruthlessly dismissed once she assumes the strength to right the wrong. But, it is Apeksha Porwal who takes the cake as the tribal dance girl, whose sister been accidentally shot by Papaji. She plays her part using minimal dialogues and a convincing mime coupled with broken Bengali adding rusticity to her character. Her part could be small, but underlines the crux of the plot.

Abrupt ends never go out of fashion. But, at times when you need a closure, it becomes frustrating. Especially when one watches a lot of crime shows and this becomes a trend of sorts in most of them (The Raikar Case, for instance). The abrupt end could give birth to another season, and with the kind of performances this one had, one hopes that there is more. A brilliant show indeed!

Name of the series: Undekhi

Platform: SonyLiv

Number of episodes: 10

Director: Ashish .R. Shukla

Cast: Harsh Chhaya, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Abishek Chauhan, Surya Sharma, Anchal Singh, Ayn Zoya, Sayandeep Sengupta, Vaarun Bhagat, Ankur Rathee, and Apeksha Porwal

Rating: 3.5/5

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Free Press Journal