Very rarely does one find an end product that turns out to be even better than the promo. Well, The Chargesheet is one such web series that goes far beyond what the promo had suggested. An 8 episode series that has just been premiered, it is a stunning dramatic thriller that goes far beyond expectations and carries a core theme of ‘love sex aur dhokha’. Why? Well, here you get see a love story between a young couple, third angle to the love triangle stepping in, a game of deception, struggle of power, and ton loads of politics been evidenced from all quarters.
10 minutes into the very first episode of this Shashant Shah directs series instantly reminds one of the headlines that had rocked the nation back in 1988. If you hear songs of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak in the vey opening minutes and then gain reference of Shehenshah later in the series, you know that realism is set to be the core of the narrative. However what shocks you is sheer audacity with which producers Ashoke Pandit & Roshan Kanal along with writer Priyanka Ghatak have adapted the infamous Syed Modi murder case into a web series that more than just scratches the surface and goes deeper than just the headlines.
Of course, badminton changes into table tennis here but the characters beat more than just stray resemblance to the players who were involved in this love saga. There is a middle class national player (Shiv Pandit), his ambitious girlfriend turned wife (Tridha Chaudhary), a ‘raja saheb’ ruling the province (Arunoday Singh) and his wife (Hrishita Bhatt) involved in this shocking tale that sees everything from love, lust, greed, passion and crime coming together in good fashion.
As a matter of fact this could well have been a ready material in hand for yet another instalment of Saheb Biwi aur Gangster but for now what one gets to see is a supremely entertaining web series that takes some time before you are hooked on to the proceedings. Frankly, for the first couple of episodes you do wait for the layers to be revealed. Yes, there is a murder right at the beginning and evidence does point out to the ones who may have been involved in it. However frequent back and forth between the time zones appears a bit jarring to begin with.
Things begin to build up soon enough once the murder investigation is handed over to the CBI. Entry of Sikandar Kher into the scene along with some consistently good background score by Salim-Sulaiman changes the whole graph of the series and from here on there is no looking back. The conversations with the junior ranked officers may not really entice much of a laughter but the sheer drama and politics that starts seeping in is something that entices you well enough to binge watch it. The interest level zooms right at the point when you realise that the story being told is actually more than just a work of fiction, so much so that during every episode you are tempted to go online and dig into the archives to know what really happened back in 1988.
The best is deserved though for that portion of the series when the case reaches the court and Satish Kaushik and Ashwini Kalsekar find themselves face to face. Yet again, it is hard to ignore the real life personalities that the actors enact and by now you know that there was a lot more that went behind the scenes than what came on the forefront. This is where one has to give it to the makers for calling a spade a spade without really bowing down to suggestions that may have come their way to tone down the narrative. However, other than badminton being changed to table tennis, one doesn’t see any compromise whatsoever in the approach taken by the team of The Chargesheet.
No wonder, everyone shines in this series, most of all Arunoday Singh, who towers above one and all and gives a perfect performance. After Apaharan, he is superb here as well. Sikandar Kher is very good too as a CBI officer who knows the system is working against him. As for Satish Kaushik and Ashwini Kalsekar, they bring on their years of experience into play and make sure that you are hooked on to the court proceedings. Shiv Pandit fits into the part well, though comes across as rather one-dimensional. On the other hand Trisha is bewitching and is a new face to watch out for in the Hindi web series/films circuit. Hrishita Bhatt is reliable as ever and leaves a mark yet again.
Other supporting actors play their part well too. Kishori Shahane as the scheming mother make you hate her straight away. Shakti Anand gets the sophistication bang on while playing a real life senior political leader. In that perspective, good job done yet again by Mukesh Chhabra to get the right faces for the right parts.
Very recently Zee5 launched Rangbaaz Phir Se with Jimmy Sheirgill and the series made good waves. Now just days after the disclosure of Rajasthan politics, the OTT platform has delved deep into the UP politics with even more gusto and come up trumps all over again.
Watch it, and it will set you thinking for sure.