The Great Indian Murder is out with its first season. A murder-mystery set amidst a crowd of suspects that are widely ranged from a petty thief from the slum to a high-profile bureaucrat who thinks he is Mahatma Gandhi, we are taken into the lives of a variety of people. The series is based on the book, Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup but falls short in execution by a mile. It is a political drama that has its claws dug deep into casteism and racial diversities. It is directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and written by Dhulia, Vijay Maurya and Puneet Sharma.

The Great Indian Murder is based on the murder of Vicky Rai, played by Jatin Goswami, an evil, rich playboy, son of a rich, corrupt politician. The story holds varied characters that weave into this story one way or the other. We see a Shabnam Saxena, played by Paoli Dam, a rich and filthy bureaucrat played by Raghuvir Yadav, a petty thief, Munna played by Shashank Arora, a tribal man, Aketi and even a half-sister of Vicky – all of whom hate the entire existence of the antagonist. Suraj Yadav (Pratik Gandhi) and Sudha Bharadwaj (Richa Chadha) are assigned to this case while it opens itself to the viewers. The story has even more side characters like a blogger, his girlfriend, a Larry Page, and African connections. These sidelined stories are taken from the book for some untold reason as they are not even fully explained.

It is a nine-part series that seems even longer to watch. The writing is shabby, irrational at places and forceful. The delivery of subplots is done very badly. It is a downright example of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Sadly the actors have under-delivered as well. The only memorable roles are captured by Ashutosh Rana and Jatin Goswami. Everyone else including the talented Richa Chadha is doing nothing to uplift the plot. The background score is not up to the mark either. The cinematography is good regardless. Another actor that stands out is Shashank Arora and we would like to see more of him in the future.

The Great Indian Murder tries to be many things. It does justice with satirical displays of plots and even the whole word play wherein a Mohan Kumar turns into a Mohandas Gandhi is quite ironic. The series takes a low dark turn as well but doesn’t scare enough. Even the ugliest parts aren’t as ugly. It tries too hard to be a lot of things while creating chaos and unnecessary drama. The writers have tweaked the actual story from the book in order to make the show and I assume it is to establish the foundation for another season altogether.

The show did seem promising with the likes of Ashutosh Rana, Pratik Gandhi and Richa Chadha in the trailer but that is all it is. A slow, tiring race to justice, The Great Indian Murder could be more with less. It definitely has weight regarding its suspense. You can give it a try by watching it till the end to get the whole picture.

The Great Indian Murder is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.


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