Netflix’s ‘Delhi Crime’ is Not For The Fainthearted & Surely Not For The Ones With Strong Opinions

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All you Netflix addicts would already know by now its newest series- Delhi Crime has stirred up quite a dialogue. Since its release on 22nd March, the show has sparked a conversation on social media, news platforms, and on an offline level too. Though most of it is appreciating the well made and impeccably shot, edited and directed series, we’ve been hearing some different remarks too.

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’d know how Delhi Crime depicts the gruesome 2012 Nirbhaya case- mostly from Delhi Police’s point of view. There. Probably that’s the problem.

There are tons of things going great for the show. Let’s begin by stating that the casting director has done a great job. Shefali Shah has been around for years, but this has got to be her career best. She plays DCP South Delhi- the captain of the ship, who is steering the entire team to crack the case. With handling her teenage daughter, the pressure from her seniors, public’s outrage against Delhi Police, and her own angst of what happens with Nirbhaya- her character, Vartika Chaudhary, is somehow trying to stay afloat. We can’t think of a single other female actor out there who could have done justice to the role.

Thematically and subtly, the show also addresses gender issues in our society. A female trainee is mocked since she’s too ambitious, at the same time her parents are scavenging for her dowry, the male police officers mock female officers about how they only know how to make aloo paranthas, another police officer is struggling to find a decent groom for her daughter. There are other such instances which address the various issues plaguing our society. So, definitely thumbs up for that.

And when it comes to the rest of the cast, let’s just say that they may be underrated, but they all are freaking AMAZING actors. There’s Rajesh Tailang. He has been doing quite a few roles lately, but you should totally catch him in Netflix’s another superb series- The Selection Day. He plays Vartika’s second in command, who is her confidant and super dedicated to his job. There’s also the subplot of Neeti, played by another powerhouse of an actor Rasika Dugal. She’s fresh off the academy trainee but is assigned the difficult task of staying close to the victim’s family and supporting them. Her character’s dilemmas and ironies too, are beautifully reflected in the tale. Add to that the collective talent of Anurag Arora, Adil Hussain, Jaya Bhattacharya, Vinod Sharawat, Gopal Datt Tiwari & more, the show is bound to be a great watch- artistically.

Unfortunately, there are a few things, fundamentally, the show falls short on. If you have seen all 7 episodes of the series, and if you too are moved by it, there’d be a tiny part of you left flabbergasted. Okay, we get it, the police have to do a tiresome, brutal, thankless job, under both public and political pressure. It seems like a massive image building and PR exercise for the Delhi Police. Even though it’s a show based on solely the police investigation of the case, let’s not forget, the Nirbhaya case was such that it simply cannot be isolated from the factors surrounding it.

Where’s Nirbhaya’s story in the series? How come the treatment of the public protests is dealt with such brevity? Why are the public protests shown in the light where junta is the culprit? Given our city’s current condition, are we ready for such shows which depict how its guardians are gravely misunderstood and are actual angels? These are some of the questions, dear readers & viewers, you must ask yourself.
Finally, the show is of course, not for the fainthearted. But we’d still say it’s a must watch- for the impeccable direction, acting, characters’ treatment in the script, and above all, because we as a society must never forget the night of 16 December 2012.

What are your thoughts on the show, let us know in the comments below.

All images’ source: netflix stills

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