Rohit Shetty’s movies are not known for being subtle or nuanced. He himself has said in interviews that he wants to entertain the single-screen audience, and he doesn’t care about critics. Even though he has repeated the same thing over and over again in his films, I was curious to know how he would approach the content when he opts for the series format, which has a broader audience who has a wider access to all sorts of content. But Rohit Shetty applies the Lijo Jose Pellissery philosophy of No plans to change, no plans to impress in his OTT debut. Hence, we get yet another cop story that glorifies police brutality and gives a lecture to Muslims on how to be a good Muslim. And yeah, the cars are flipping in slow motion.
So the story opens with a series of blasts happening in Delhi on the Delhi Police Raising Day, staging it as a challenge thrown at the Delhi Police. So DCP Kabir Malik and Joint CP Vikram Bakshi are on it immediately. Even though they were almost on the verge of nabbing the culprits, some things didn’t go as planned, and the main men behind the attack managed to escape after causing heavy losses to the Delhi police. What we see in the series is the efforts by the Delhi Police, especially Kabir Malik, to find those who were behind the whole attack.
I have felt that Rohit Shetty is not a director who is deliberately trying to infuse particular politics through his movies. I think he believes his redundant story theme of how to be a good Muslim in India is a very correct way of depicting a story. The emphasis Rohit Shetty gives on creating a good story arch that is fresh and exciting is really small. Just like his movies, all he wants is some reason to squeeze in an over-the-top action sequence or a romantic song. So, the Indian Police Force is basically Rohit Shetty burdening a fragile plot with many set pieces that “look” cool on screen.
Unlike Rohit Shetty’s movies, the writing credit of this series is shared by five individuals, and the directorial responsibilities are shared with Sushwanth Prakash. But to my surprise, the screenplay was never going beyond a bullet point level scene order creation. And the dialogues were so flat and outdated that you could witness an Amazon Prime original series competing with something like CID in terms of coherence. Even the way the opening credits are rolled out before every episode would make you realize how lazy was the scripting process as there is no effort to make things exciting for the audience.
The warm and blue contrast of the colors in the initial episode made me think that they had given some extra care to the frames and how the show should look. But pretty soon, it slips into that high saturation zone, and the monochromatic Bangladesh of Rohit Shetty was so bad that even Hollywood folks will feel like criticizing it. The action set pieces are of course the highlight of this movie, oh sorry, series. But none of them has an organic landing. Rohit Shetty wants to experiment with different kinds of action set pieces, and he tries out all that but never bothers whether it serves the series in any way. The set pieces that pop out unnecessarily have these swirling camera movements using drones similar to how Michael Bay used to give the audience a headache with his helicopter shots. The whole Bangladesh episode in the series is Shetty’s attempt to make his Sastha version of Extraction, and the vehicles in Bangladesh are extremely sensitive to touch.
Sidharth Malhotra, as the typical Rohit Shetty hero, gets to mouth these lame heroic dialogues, which you might predict before he opens his mouth. In a Rohit Shetty creation, the theatricality level in acting is always high, and Sidharth, who isn’t that loud by default, occasionally becomes a misfit. The veterans like Vivek Oberoi and Shilpa Shetty, on the other hand, know how to deliver those clunky lines in the least awkward manner. The villain, played by Mayyank Taandon, is struggling to make an impact in terms of performance, and a good share of that should be given to the generic writing of the series.
The problematic politics of the Rohit Shetty cop movies are going to be a constant it seems. With the current mood in the larger society, he won’t feel the need for introspection in the way he creates his antagonists and stories in ChatGPT mode. Even if you look at it purely on a craft level, there is absolutely nothing there to applaud. At a time when audiences are struggling to complete one movie in a single stretch, Rohit Shetty sort of makes it easy for them by splitting it into 7 episodes.
At a time when audiences are struggling to complete one movie in a single stretch, Rohit Shetty sort of makes it easy for them by splitting it into 7 episodes.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended