Connect with us

Bollywood News

Dahaad Will Chill You To The Bones



Dahaad(Prime Video, 8 Episodes)

Rating: ****

Heartstopping in its  depiction of savagery in the  atmosphere  of normalcy, Dahaad is the kind of rare engrossing thriller that makes you forgive  all  the excesses of exacerbated  drama that we see  in  OTT serials. Weird and wearisome were  the words for Tooth Pari  and Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo.

 Dahaad  puts  the roar back into the  OTT  viewing  experience. It is astutely written(by  Reema Kagti, Ritesh Shah, Zoya Akhtar) taking sharp U-turns  in the narrative when you least expect them. For example, there is this  nocturnal interlude(the series captures  sounds and flavours of  a sweltering  smalltown) somewhere  in the mid-series where  the  protagonist  Anjali Bhaati sneak-peaks into a sinister van.

Suddenly she is  pushed inside  and driven  off.It is  a heart-in-the-mouth moment. But not meant to tease  and provoke the audience. There are many shock waves running through the plot,as twenty-nine women get murdered by one man.

Vijay Varma plays the serial killer with a chilling equanimity. It is  as if  the man perpetrating this brutality is convinced he is  doing society a  favour.This serial killer in a killer  of serial , is unlike what Nawazuddin  Siddiqui would play.With Nawaz you would be able to spot diabolic  evil from miles away.

This is more like your friendly slightly nondescript neighbour who has an axe to grind with women who  opt to elope  with him.

“Good women don’t run away with strangers,” Anand Swarnakar tells  the cop Bhaati at  the end Which brings me to my one major quibble against the  otherwise-thoughtful  writing. The  series,set in  a small monkey-infested town in Rajasthan, goes for patriarchy’s throat with a directness  that  seems  way too fashionable.

The peppery plot is  filled with men who are either misogynists or cowards  or both but constanly inflicting emotional  and physical pain on the woman around them. The one seeming  exception is Anjali’s superior Devilal Singh(Gulshan Devaiah, restrained and effective) But his  empowering lectures to his daughter sound like WhatsApp forward messages, though ineffective for their generic  thrust.

Also, what was  the  need for  such  a lengthy series? Why is every series given so much space when the story can  be wrapped up in much less time?  In this case though , the prolonged duration doesn’t sit uneasily on the dark yet well-balanced narrative which  swerves through a number of unexplored  lanes before braking to a halt.

Reema Kagti and Ruchika Oberoi  direct the  spry material with a relentlessly unwavering  glance at  a society that  knowingly or unknowingly gives  rise to a closet-monster like Anand. In the given context  of polluted patriarchy,the most interesting character is  the cop Kailash Parghi, played  thoughtfully  by Sohum Shah. Parghi  suffers  from an inferiority complex  at work. Although he is  Anjali’s senior he is treated  like a subordinate. At home his wife is pregnant with a child that Parghi doesn’t want.

Parghi sorts out his inner confusions . So does the series. It is an exhausting but exhilarating series that creates  ruminative ripples across its storytelling skyline.

Continue Reading