Build-up, slowdown : The Tribune India

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Build-up, slowdown

Build-up, slowdown

Manav Vij plays a cop embroiled in personal and professional issues.

Film: 11306473cd _gaanth

Director: Kanishk Varma and Pranay Meshram

Cast: Manav Vij, Monika Panwar, Saloni Batra, Gopal Datt, Rajesh Tailang, Naved Aslam and Saria Iqbal


There’s a limit to how much one can draw from real-life incidents and wrap it in a new fictional story. On the shocking Burari death incident of mass suicide, we already have a well-made documentary, ‘House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths’, and a series, ‘Akhri Sach’, starring Tamannaah Bhatia. So, one wonders what new can ‘Gaanth Chapter 1: Jamnaa Paar’ highlight?

To begin with, it scores at levels where ‘Akhri Sach’ was weak: one, lead actor Manav Vij’s performance; two, the creative freedom it takes to explore with multiple angles.

The film opens with Gadar Singh, portrayed by Vij, who is going through personal as well as professional problems. His suspension has just been revoked when he is reinstated as an investigating officer of a shocking case of seven deaths in the same family. An officer who isn’t shocked to see seven bodies hanging makes Vij believable as a cop. Another key character introduced in the very first episode is Sakshi Murmu (played by ‘Jamtara’ fame Monika Panwar). She plays a psychologist whose medical condition allows her to process things better than others, but also makes her weird.

The police procedural and the obstacles they face are real and make you sympathise with all cops. One wrong move and a suspension awaits, no matter what your past record or service are.

Writers Soham Bhattacharyya, Fahim Irshad and Anagh Mukherjee have been successful in addressing issues like the system’s ignorance of regions like Jamnaa Paar, casteism, credit hoarding by senior doctors on research by interns, superstitions and ignorance towards psychological issues and mental health. It’s a tough watch with gruesome murders and abusive language, but also a raw interpretation of a real-life incident.

Monika delivers an exemplary performance, spitting out medical terms. But more than that, she is able to emote all that confusion, a worked-up brain and constant impatience, all signs of her medical condition which she calls both a boon and a curse. Guest appearance by Rajesh Tailang as a CBI officer is impressive and also brings a twist to the plot.

The noir and horror themes remind you of ‘Paatal Lok’. The directors come close, but in an intention to mint a sequel, stretch it far too much to keep viewer interest intact. All episodes are engrossing but the climax disappoints. In fact, much like one of the dead, Jatin Chandel, you go mute and lack words to express your dismay for this letdown after almost eight hours of build-up.