Richie Mehta’s perspective on the infamously famous Nirbhaya case may not get you addicted, but makes you sit back and ponder for a long time
The nation knows about the incident inside out. Based on probably the most followed news story in the recent times, Nirbhaya Case of New Delhi that happened in December 2012, Delhi Crime is a refreshing take. Believe, this is something never seen or thought before. This is not your regular whodunnit saga or cat and mouse chase. It brings forth a perspective very frequently ignored by the common man- that of the police investigating the matter.
The story revolves around the Nirbhaya gang rape case that took place on the night of December 16, 2012 that shook the entire nation. Through a series of 7 episodes, the story tells how police going through internal and external struggles actually solved the case, against all odds.
Written by Mehta himself, its a story that touches your heart right in the first episode. If you think that you wouldn’t want to start watching it thinking that it’s a story already known, you are in for a mistake. Its the perspective why this one should be watched. Its the treatment why this one should be taken.
Unlike other crime shows or movies where impetus is given to solving the case, trying the culprits, and eventually punishing them, this one here focuses on what ordeals police department faces to be able to capture the perpetrators. Things which never see the light of the day, especially in the eyes of the common man- pressures police deal with, their dedication, their frustrations within the job, family lives playing a strong role, and also the country’s politics affecting their work- are all presented in a wonderful manner.
What this series in 7 episodes should be recognized for is the absence of any graphical violence. While the makers deliberately abstain from showing any violence or bloodshed on screen, the writing has the power to shake you. Its a canvas painted in emotions, grueling dedication, gut wrenching notions, and flawless performances. Its a show that shines on its performances, where not one actor is underutilized. While the series portrays a variety of police officers- commissioner, DCP, Senior Inspectors, SHO, it also goes till the constables, and newly recruited ones. And the emotions and mindsets are evidently seen changing at every level of rank. Even the accused and victims evoke necessary emotions, and you can’t stop marvel at how performances take the series notches higher.
Its a series about characters, where you have DCP South feeling for the victim and also doing her job perfectly, you also have a senior inspector who’s immensely proud of his job yet can’t reveal he’s a cop to his daughter’s would-be in-laws. There’s a scene where DCP South doesn’t let a new recruit sympathies with her citing infringement of moral ethics, and next day, its a burst of emotions when she embraces the senior police official. The series relies on human emotions. For instance, DCP isn’t just a principled woman fighting the crime. She’s a woman, a wife, a mother who wants to make her daughter realize that Delhi is indeed a good place.
Not that the series is perfect. Seemingly stretched in the 2nd episode, it is also the creative freedom of the makers that doesn’t let you believe everything that you see. But since the intentions of the series are to something very focused, these flaws never really make an impact.
Amid everything that shakes you, its the last 2 episodes that question your existence telling you about hope even in turbulent times.
Shefali Shah as DCP South Vartika Chaturvedi is marvellous. Simply outstanding. You would want to get up and bow down to her. You’ll forget all her previous characters here and she’ll make you believe she’s a cop. The camera is on; in the same take she’s firm and staunch and also begins to weep without a technical cut. That’s her brilliance. Emotional. Strict. Principled. Loving. Caring. Affectionate. Strong. Determined. She’s everything that you ask for.
Rajesh Tailang as Senior Inspector Bhupender shines all through. He’s your ideal supporting man, who wins you over with his determination and charm. Bhupender ane Vartika’s chemistry should be noticed. Its a bond of unparalleled trust and confidence, something that strikes a chord with you.
Rasika Dugal as Neeti Singh, the new recruit in police department gives the character the much needed innocence and vulnerability. She’s at the top of her game. Find fault in her and you’ll fail.
Vinod Sharawat at SHO Vinod is someone to pay special attention to. He evokes disgust, so much so that at one level, you want him to appear again and again. He’s a delight to watch. Gopal Dutt as philosophical inspector Sudhir is spectacular.
Others too form the core team of strong characters, all valuable in their own sense.
Music, forming the background score is subtle, relying majorly on ambient and diegetic sounds. It does create your mood to a particular sense.
Cinematography by Johan Aidt in major portions walks with the characters where the camera becomes a person. Hence, the real feel. There are very less long and extreme long shots making you feel up close with the characters. You hate or sympathise with characters, because the camera asks you to do that. Production design by Mandar Nagaonkar transports you to Delhi. Its a difficult visual piece to have actually conceptualized and finally executed. But the makers ensure you get a documentary feel.
Editing by Beverley Mills is good, could be better. However the inherent nature of the script makes the story progress slowly. Mind you, its not lethargic. You get a holistic feel properly, to an extent that you will be compelled to binge watch the last 3 episodes.
A big shout out to casting directors for choosing actors fitting too well in the drama, especially Mridul Sharma as Jai Singh. Also the make-up team deserves applauds for maintaining the continuity with costumes and make-up with the time progression in the story.
Its a story you’ll like. It’s a story that’ll wrench you. It’s a story that’ll stay with you for long keeping you in the zone for some time. Of course it’s not something you’ll go crazy after. But since its a perspective hardly explored before, this one calls to be watched with full attention. It has the power to touch you and take a moment to respect the police force. Watch it now.
Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.