chakravyuh review

A screen grab from “Chakravyuh.”

MUMBAI — What begins as a crackling detective thriller over the first two or three episodes with the story revolving around sex, dating, drugs and gruesome murders soon goes into over-the-top use of computers and graphics in “Chakravyuh.”

I am sure most viewers would have loved the good old detection methods (albeit with modern, digital and others means of help) in solving the multiple murders that take place, indicating a common perpetrator. However, it is in this zone that the makers go completely over-the-top.

The script gets into hacking, access to other accounts and a whole lot of technical razzmatazz and what-have-you and having disposed of the killer rather too quickly, gets into who is behind all this. Fair enough, but again, it is all about too many complications and a sudden phase of physical romance with a counselor who is helping him out. We also have bitcoins and other modern things that may go over the heads of addicts of the normal detective thriller, which this show advertises itself as.

The murder sequences are graphic, but the forensic expert (Gopal Datt) chewing a pizza at all times, including while dealing with corpses, is frankly disgusting, whatever the aim. A lovable character is IP (Anjali Sivaraman) as the digital expert in the cops’ team and Rohan Joshi as the hacker impresses with his hyper behavior as per his role’s needs.

The needless angle of the vindictive senior (Asif Basra) is another futile device the script uses, while it is a refreshing change to watch Ashish Vidyarthi as the often-helpless boss in a straight and well-enacted (as in underplayed) role.

The small twist in the end is little cure for all the gobbledygook we are made to consume en route and in the final analysis one does get the feeling that all the fireworks are more of a show of style rather than substance.

Simran Kaur Mundi as the counselor often does not measure up, though Ruhii Dilip Singh is much more effective in her hapless, helpless role, and Gopal Datt, but for the pizza, scores high in a subtle manner. Asif Basra is correctly obnoxious.

The show, however, belongs out-and-out to Prateik Babbar. Looking beefed-up and with an underplayed intensity, he is excellent as Virkar, lithe, straight-faced, on his marks. “Chakravyuh” owes a lot to him, even if, paradoxically, the series may boost his career 13 years after his debut.

Since we can expect more stories of Virkar, we hope that we get a young, cerebral detective in the times to come.

Rating: **1/2

Produced by: Sameer Nair, Deepak Segal, Kailash Surendranath & Aarti Gupta Surendranath

Directed by: Sajit Warrier

Written by: Piyush Jha, Kailash Surendranath, Karan Shah & Chaitanya Chopra

Music: Faizan Hussain

Starring: Prateik Babbar, Simran Kaur Mundi, Anjali Sivaraman, Ashish Vidyarthi, Asif Basra, Ruhii Dilip Singh, Gopal Datt, Shiv Panditt, Rohan Joshi, Ravi Pandey and others 

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