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Asur Movie Review: It Is A Thriller With Balls!

What makes Asur watchable are the main actors. The redoubtable Arshad Warsi is as usual credible as a senior CBI officer who is suspected of killing his wife.




Starring  Arshad Warsi, Barun Sobti, Ridhi Dogra, Anupriya Goenka

Directed by Oni Sen

Rating: ** ½ (two and a   half stars)

A thought before plunging into the darkness that this series  embraces  like  a serpent coiling itself around a sleeping figure.Why is it that behind every Indian law-enforcer on screen  there  is a disgruntled wife threatening to  leave  him bag baggage and child?

Barun Sobti who  has a naturally tragic face plays an NRI  ex-CBI officer whom they want to recruit again.Sobti  starts getting persistent come-back-we-miss-you messages  from the  CBI. Sobti’s wife played  by Anupriya Goenka(who  stays  in makeup even at home 24/7)  will have none of this. “You  go we stay,”  is  her deal with her  husband who looks like he would burst into tears.

And we really can’t blame her. There are some glaringly  gruesome killings going on  all over India. An unusually vicious   serial killer is   on  the prowl. Director  Oni Sen makes us queasy with graphic killings and  disembodying .Such gruesome scenes are   played repeatedly to tell us how merciless  the killings are.

We get it. What we don’t get are the deeprooted connections that  the series tries to establish between a tantrik activity in  Varanasi and  the  presentday killings. Moving in two different  time zones the  links between the past and  the present  never  acquire the clarity to  make us sit up and take  note  of  hoary history of violence and crime that Asur tries  to  place in a one  line of vision.

What  makes Asur watchable are the main actors.  The redoubtable  Arshad Warsi  is  as  usual credible  as a senior CBI officer who is suspected of killing his wife. Warsi’s  mysterious  character is well played against Barun Sobti’s  hurt pained suffering character of a  man whose life is linked  to corpses. I always  like watching Sobti. He understates  his case each  time on a medium that  screams  to be noticed.Another  impressive  performance comes from Riddhi Dogra who is  Sobti’s ex-flame burning  up  with an unexpressed desire that the current  wave  of  killings cannot quell.

 At 7 episodes  of nearly an hour each, Asur is  a slog watch . There are repetitive  sequences  of violence and  the  interactive  flow between  characters  never goes beyond the  cursory. Clearly the  director enjoys recording the  exploits of  the serial killer as  much as the killer likes  perpetrating them. In the  first episode he  brutally slays a woman baking cupcakes  in  a kitchen,shoves her head  in  the oven and then stuffs  her body into a  scarecrow.

He  could have just said he didn’t like  cupcakes.

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