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Chakravyuha Riveting To Its Bloodied Finale



Chakravyuha(MX Player, 8 Episodes)

Starring  Prateik Babbar, Simran Kaur Mundi, Ruhi Singh, Ashish Vidyarthi, Shiv Panditt, Gopal Datt and Asif Basra

Directed  by Sajit Warrior

Rating: *** ½

 Chakravyuha , based on  Piyush  Jha’s  crime bestseller, fills that space  on the web which we want filled: the crime-investigation  drama. Filled with  a  cornucopia  of  twists and turns the  8 episodes take  on a topical  zone of  mal-appropriation:  the internet .

Cybercrime is  given a rapidly advancing  treatment as  Inspector  Virkar, who as played by a clean-shaven Prateik Babbars wears a perpetual  expression of  disgust  as  though his uniform were  two sizes too small for him, investigates the death  of  two cyber blackmailers followed  in the  third episode by  the  brutal assassination  of the  prime suspect.  In this way,  the  well-crafted series  keeps   steps ahead  of  viewers’  expectations.

 By  the time we   come to the midsection of the  rapidly  mutating plot we  know who the  main brain behind the gruesome  crimes are.And  Vikar’s  romantic liaison with a  therapist(Simran  Kaur Mundi) is  of no interest to us.

 Gruesome  crimes reminds me  of the  inhouse forensic expert Sinha(the  talented Gopal Datt) who is   shown to be a pizza addict who can eat through the most gruesome crime evidence. He may put you off  Pizza for life. But his proclivity to eat while severely cut-up bodies lie in front of him ,  would make you wonder  how close crime investigators are to turning  into criminals  themselves.

There are some fast-paced chase sequences where the  obstinate Virkar races against time to the best  of his abilities.Regrettably Babbar looks  too lazy to put up an impressive  chase. When  his admirers(which includes a cute inhouse hacker named IP) tells us how good he is at nabbing miscreants  we just have to take their word for it.Babbar also needs to work on his dialogues.He   calls out criminals as if inviting them  for a game of virtual chess during lockdown.

If apart from the whodunit hoopla that occupies  centrestage  it is  able performances that  you are looking for then watch the  game of one-upmanship  between Ashish Vidyarthi  and  the late Asif Basra(the latter in his  last screen appearance) as sparring senior cops who hold divergent  opinions  on the hero  Virkar’s  abilities.

 There are no two ways  about the crime-thriller genre getting a refreshing new twist in the  8-episode spread with just  enough  thrills to keep you  hooked to the last.

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