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The Whistleblower Scummy Scam Saga

The Whisteblower (SonyLIV, 9 Episodes)

Directed by Manoj Pillai

Rating: **

Kahan se  shuroo karoon?”  the blood-splattered  hero asks at the  very beginning,  hoping to get  our attention.

Alas, The Whistleblower is  more  bark than bite, more wrong than right, more  noise than substance. It attempts to  expose  the  education scam in Madhya Pradesh  by projecting it as organized crime,which it probably was. Here in  the  hands of content  creators who are clearly amateurish  , the educational scam seems  a smaller sin as  compared  to the scams that allow such mediocre content to make  its way to the streaming  platform.

Perhaps  the writers and  the team  of The Whistleblower meant well. Education IS the  backbone of a  growing society, When  it falls into the wrong hands it is bound to have severely deleterious ramifications  on the  entire  nation.

Here I must  hold the  writers(Anjay Monga,  Shivang Monga   and Chintan Gandhi)  culpable for  placing the  moral  responsibility  of  the  plot  in the wrong hands. Television actor Ritwik  Bhowmik’s  Sanket  signals  trouble  for  the  series.  Sanket is neither heroic nor appealing enough to carry the  show’s  morality on his  shoulders.  Bhowmik who plays him is  passably competent. This subject demands  more than just basic competence.

What the series needed  was  a strong  ideologue as a hero, not a wimp who  sleeps with two sisters , played  by Ankita Sharma  and  Ridhi Khakhar, both of whom are foolish enough to knowingly  fall  for this sex  scamster? I found the  whole siblings’ shared  man-power to be  utterly distasteful. I also prayed for Sanket’s libido. Imagine  the sisters  comparing notes at the breakfast table.

Bhowmik’s Sanket fails  to rise to the occasion.Far more  dependable as a hero is Ashish Varma’s investigative   journalist Anoop whose snooping into the educational mafia brings  him to a sticky end. In our films  as in real life, investigative   journalists  end  up dead .The  villains  range from  a  moustache-twirling senior cop  who not just takes the law  into his  own hands, he  squeezes  all life  out of  it.

Archvillain  Dadda is played by Ravi Kishan whose  patented  style of villainy(twisted  polite sarcastic) is  becoming as  tiresome as  his attempts  at playing the  knowledgeable  politicians in real life.

 Habitually  competent actors like Sonali Kulkarni and Sachin Khedkar  are  reduced  to  props in the sordid game  of one-upmanship  of leaked papers and fudged marks.The dialogues are  filled with  filth  like an  overflowing sewer.And the  beautiful city of Bhopal has never looked  uglier.

      The Whistleblower  is   neither an authentic reflection of  the Vyapam scam nor  an engaging  onscreen  interpretation of it.It’s just something that could have amounted  to a lot more if only the writers had searched for  a better  moral centre to what’s clearly a hotbed  of corruption.All we  get is  a cheap unconvincing cat-and-mouse game with educationists  behaving like street dogs  in  the mating season.

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