P I Meena, the new Amazon Prime Video series, has 8 episodes, and the series was pretty engaging in the first 7 episodes as the curiosity behind the mystery was there till that point. But when it comes to the last moments of season 1, the narrative takes conventional turns and ends the season without a wow factor. With the story taking a guessable trajectory towards the end, P I Meena is watchable, but nothing remarkable is there about the story.
As you can guess, a private detective named Meenakshi Iyer, working in Kolkata, is our leading lady. She had lost her father and mother in a car accident, and her brother, who got injured in that accident, is in a bedridden state post that accident. One day, while going to work, Meenakshi witnesses an accident, and she takes the victim, Partho, a virology student, to the nearest hospital. After Partho’s death, his mother approaches Meenakshi, seeking help from her, saying Partho’s death was a murder. Meenakshi’s investigation to find the people behind Partho’s death and how that changes her life is what we see in P I Meena.
Like the recent Netflix original Kaalapaani, this one is also set against the backdrop of a virus outbreak. There is a track that happens in the northeast where a pig farm was burned down due to a certain virus spread. And while Meenakshi tries to link things happening there with what Partho had done, you have a central intelligence guy getting involved in the whole thing, constantly demanding Meenakshi to stay away from this. On a scripting level, Meenakshi’s limited access is kind of helping the series to maintain a mystery around the whole picture. But like I said, once the season reaches its finale, the trajectory the series takes to close all those open ends is not really exciting.
A Suitable Boy fame Tanya Maniktala as Meenakshi Iyer has that energy and sharpness in her portrayal. The way she pulls off the vulnerable moments of the character and the overall body language was also pretty impressive. Jisshu Sengupta plays the role of this mysterious doctor named Andrew Rakhaw, and if my guess is right, he has a larger role to play if the series gets renewed for a second season. Parambrata Chattopadhyay plays the loser advocate who is like the helping hand of Meena in this journey. Vipin Sharma, who has co-written the show, plays the role of the intelligence officer. The elaborate cast of the movie has several other names like Harsh Chhaya, Vinay Pathak, Zarina Wahab, Samir Soni, etc.
Directed by Debaloy Bhattacharya and created by Arindam Mitra, the series has that atmospheric feel due to the setting and cinematography aesthetic. Somewhere, the moody ambiance of the series reminded me of another Prime Video series, The Last Hour, which was completely set in the northeast. In terms of the technical craft, there isn’t much to complain about the series. But what is not adding up is the numerous subplots and the hype they sort of created. Starting off as something confidential on a bureaucratic level, the story escalates into the status of something like a bio-war way too quickly, and it doesn’t really give us that much time to come to terms with developments of such gravity. The need for a second season is sort of forcing the screenplay to focus on several other tracks, like the political aspirations of Subho.
P I Meena has great aspirations on paper. From being a usual detective who does background checks on the bride and groom before the wedding to being the one who finds out details of a possible bio-war, the plot elements in P I Meena are fascinating on a script level. However, the escalation was not so gradual, and the path they have taken to show that no longer feels so fresh because of the various shows and contents that have already explored similar ideas.
With the story taking a guessable trajectory towards the end, P I Meena is watchable, but nothing remarkable is there about the story.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended