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Kohrra A Dark Deep Disturbing Dive  Into The Politics  Of  Crime



Kohrra(Netflix;in Punjabi, 6 Episodes)

Rating: ****

This, I am happy to say, is something  really special. I wouldn’t want to insult Kohraa by calling  it “entertaining” . As  directed  by Randeep JhaKohraa tried for something far  more profound, and almost gets there. 

The characters  are  all desperately  in search of some meaning to life beyond the  wretchedness that shrouds their  existence.The  wonderfully  scripted whodunit(Gunjit Chopra, Sudip Sharma, Diggi Sisodia) opens as  police procedural with two police officer Balbir(Suvinder Vicky) and Garundi(Barun Sobti), one  worldweary the  other getting there, investigating  the brutal murder  of  an NRI Paul Dhillon(Vishal Handa) in rural  Punjab.

From this kickoff point, the  narrative gathers momentum weaving in and out of fractured  relationships   until we see  the befogged world of Kohrra in all its chaotic clarity.

An existential anarchy is indeed mankind’s  karma.  This series  doesn’t shy away from confronting the darkness even if it mean missing the light that probably awaits at the  end  of the table.

Almost every character, big or small, has a dark present. Every character  is  sculpted with care and understanding.The widow Indira(played with  outstanding empathy by Ekavali Khanna) as the woman who finds herself attracted to the lonely cop Balbir,has  a brief role. But she addresses a very important  issue: the need for  emotional and physical companionship in people beyond a  certain age.

Or take the young cop Satnam(Veerpal Kaur) . She hardly has twenty minutes  of screen time . But her  yearning  for the  good things in life touched and tickled me deeply.

As did  Garundi(Barun Sobti)’s desperation to  get married before he crosses the marriageable  age. There is a stunning sequence(the series is strewn with those) where Garundi barges into  a woman’s home looking for a crime suspect. The woman brazenly offers him sex(who is she, how  did she get to this?) . When Garundi rebuffs her advances the woman taunts, “It looks like you  like boys only.”

The startled look on Garundi’s face brings us to the other major theme in the luminous labyrinth  of Randeep Jha’s wounded universe: homophobia. It is no coincidence that references to fellatio recur in the  plot, and also provide  a rare  moment of humour when a  woman rushes  out of her workplace excusing herself for lunch(at 11 am)  on hearing the ‘F’ word.

The series belongs to  every character  in the  plot.Most of  all , it belongs to  Balbir Singh, played with such  effortless brilliance by Suvinder  Vicky that  the characters feels as  close to  real life as cinema  can take us.

More than the murder  mystery(the solution becomes fairly apparent  after a few episodes)  Balbir’s troubled relationship with his daughter Nimrat(Hasleen Kaur,  absolutely superlative)   forms the  crux of the drama.

But can a  word as intrinsically simulative as ‘drama’ really be  applicable to something so far removed from  artifice, it doesn’t feel like drama at  all? With the writing many notches above what we normally get to see, and performances that own the characters, Kohrra is  impossible to get out of your head. Its vivid  portrayal of  guilt and  anger  will  trigger  bits of  both the emotions in the  spectator.

If  you are  the kind who doesn’t binge-watch serials, Kohrra is the one for you.

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