kathmandu connection

A scene from “Kathmandu Connection.” (Publicity photo)

MUMBAI — DCP Samarth Kaushik (Amit Sial) is suddenly the hero of Delhi police. He has been responsible for encounters with dreaded criminals who are terrorists and has rescued an abducted businessman-hotelier (Pratik Mehra) as well. Ace TV journalist Shivani Bhatnagar (Aksha Pardasany) wishes to interview Samarth. By a chain of events later, she gets close to him. Samarth is also having problems with his wife (Akanksha Pandey) and she strives for custody of their child. Soon, Samarth overdoes his brief and is suspended by his superiors. By this time, he has stumbled upon vital clues.

Meanwhile, Shivani is being harassed by anonymous amorous calls and confesses to Samarth. A CBI officer, Hitesh (Gopal Datt) is investigating the 1993 Mumbai blasts (the story is set just after that year) and both Samarth and Hitesh come separately to the conclusion that the answer lies in a casino in Kathmandu, Nepal. Interestingly, Shivani’s calls are also traced to the same casino!

Samarth defies his suspension and with loyal assistant Shravan (Anurag Arora) heads first to Allahabad (where a CBI officer has been murdered) and then to Nepal on his own. At the casino, he is hoodwinked by Sunny a.k.a. Om Prakash Sharma (Anshumaan Pushkar) whose identity he has discovered en route. Sunny murders the casino owner and politician (Zakir Hussain) and escapes under Samarth’s nose. Meanwhile, Shivani comes to know that her anonymous caller is college-time admirer Sunny himself.

Samarth returns home to more disgrace and hatches a plot with Shivani to arrest Sunny, who has now decamped to Hong Kong, and has quickly become a don who riles the feather of the Dubai-based mafia that caused the Mumbai blasts, who have implicated him in it. Sunny wants to clear his name as the killer of the innocent victims in the blasts who are his country’s denizens. Shivani pretends to respond to Sunny’s romantic overtures and goes to Hong Kong to meet him and bring him back to India on some pretext so that he can be arrested, as Samarth and Hitesh both believe in his involvement in the blasts.

What happens next? With Sunny the ruthless don being innocent in the blasts case, the truth is unveiled in a shocker of a twist that makes all the pandering to multiple tracks (including Samarth’s troubled marriage, Sunny’s dark college past, Hitesh’s investigation, Shivani’s “relationship” with Sunny and with her adopted Muslim mom) worth it. We do not know if a sequel has been devised and is on the way, but the ingenious ending makes the succinct (6 episode), fairly well-edited (Nikhil Parihar) story worth your while.

Amit Sial as Samarth and the innocent-looking killer-cum-lover Anshumaan Pushkar as Sunny steal the acting honors. Convincing portrayals by Aksha Pardasany as Shivani, Anurag Arora as Shravan, the loyal yet blunt assistant to Samarth, Gopal Datt as Hitesh and Zakir Hussain in the brief role of the Nepali politician-cum-casino owner add to the series’ assets. The rest of the cast is also good.

A better-than-decent crime watch after a long while.

Rating: ***1/2

Produced by: Ajay G. Rai

Directed by: Sachin Pathak

Written by: Siddharth Mishra

Music: Sneha Khanwalkar

Starring: Amit Sial, Aksha Pardasany, Anurag Arora, Anshumaan Pushkar,  Gopal Datt, Vikram Singh Sodha, Sanjiv Chopra, Zakir Hussain, Akanksha Pandey, Virjit Singh, Pratik Mehra & others

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