Kohrra, the new Netflix crime thriller series, is one of those thrillers that starts off as a whodunit and then slowly transitions into that character exploration tale which eventually takes the shape of a social critique. Made by Clean Slate Filmz and co-created by Paatal Lok fame Sudip Sharma, who also wrote Udta Punjab, the series has the same mood as the two creations I just mentioned. While Paatal Lok and Udta Punjab were more about the system and its functioning, Kohrra is more about what happens on a fundamental level.
The story opens with the murder of an NRI, Paul Dhillon. He is found dead in a field, and officers Balbir Singh and Amarpal Garundi are in charge of the investigation. Paul Dhillon’s friend, Liam, a UK citizen, was also missing. With the local news media giving the story instant coverage, Balbir was under major pressure to solve the case at the earliest as it involved the missing of a foreign national. With their own set of personal problems affecting the investigation, how Balbir and Garundi manage to solve the case is what we see in Kohrra.
It is the kind of content that could have easily been a preachy tale about good parenting and understanding your family. But creators Gunjit Chopra and Diggi Sisodia restructured the format very compellingly. For a significant part of the series, we see it as this crime thriller that needs to find a particular culprit. But as the story proceeds with more details about the people who died and the investigating officers, a very subtle parallel track starts. And they have used various derivatives of lack of love to create those multiple tracks. There is no hesitancy in showing characters as highly problematic, even when the series is getting narrated from their perspective.
Like any other good show, the writing keeps us engaged in the proceedings. The shuttling between the investigation track and the characters’ personal tracks is done seamlessly. I loved how they captured how the dynamic between Balbir Singh and his daughter had a 180-degree shift as the series approached the climax. Since we are not introduced to Balbir Singh as a problematic character, the way we get to explore that character during the course of the series looks fascinating. And the investigation is, in a way, an eye-opener for him. Every subplot in the series that is linked to any of the characters has some sort of a connection with the fear of societal judgment. The visual tone of the series has these moody visuals that are deliberately designed that way. Because when the series hits the final moments, the Kohrra (fog) leaves the screen, and you get to see very clear visuals.
Suvinder Vicky as the patriarchal cop Balbir Singh whose mindset is pretty foggy, showcases a terrific performance. The character is a bit grumpy, and hence no drastic emotional changes are happening on his face. But just like his performance in Meel Pathar, it was minimal and effective. Barun Sobti as the rookie cop Amarpal, effectively pulled off that character’s enthusiasm, anger, and moral dilemmas. Harleen Sethi delivered an impressive performance as Nimrat. Ekavali Khanna gets a very interesting character who goes through a complicated ethical dilemma, and her performance was excellent. Manish Chaudhary as the quintessential intimidating Punjabi patriarch was perfect. The character pool is vast, and the casting of almost every character was spot-on.
Directed by Randeep Jha, Kohrra ticks almost all the boxes you expect in an intriguing thriller. An exciting premise, detailed and nuanced writing, well-explored characters, and top-notch performances. With the six episodes sticking to the theme and its various interpretations, Kohrra lingers on your mind with a sense of numbness.
With the six episodes sticking to the theme and its various interpretations, Kohrra lingers on your mind with a sense of numbness.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended