oppn parties Lalbazaar: Watchable Crime Drama

News Snippets

  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek admitted to hospital for coronavirus
oppn parties
Lalbazaar: Watchable Crime Drama

By Yogendra
First publised on 2020-06-25 13:04:34

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Yogendra is undecided whether he wants to be a writer. So he writes to see if he can be a writer. Ha Ha

The latest bi-lingual (Hindi/Bengali) offering from Zee 5, Lalbazaar is a crime drama that seems like a mash-up of episodes from crime shows like CID, Crime Patrol and Savdhan India. But the main story here is about the corruption and infighting within the police force and the pressure that mounts on the higher officials when officers below them are not on the same page and try to undercut each other. From the time the opening scenes show the main crime and the subsequent episodes show how the perpetrators try to destroy evidence and manipulate the investigation, the series becomes engrossing. Although it is nowhere near the scorching standards set by other recent crime shows like The Family Man or Paatal Lok, it manages to hold the viewer attention mainly because it does not lag and the personal stories of officers of the homicide department of Kolkata Police headquarters at Lalbazar are expertly woven in.

A prostitute from the Watgunj area is murdered while having sex with a client as she tells him that she is pregnant and the child is his. The body is found hanging the next day to show that the woman committed suicide. Thereafter, it is a wild goose chase as the doctor who conducts the postmortem changes his statement about the murder, the body goes missing and mysterious characters prop up to kill witnesses. The needle of suspicion points at the local gang lord but things are not as simple as they seem. The Watgunj police station officer-in-charge is a newbie and he has to contend with a street smart junior and a devious senior officer who tries to lead him down the wrong path. The officer-in-charge of the homicide department (Kaushik Sen doing his act brilliantly despite the heavily accented Hindi) at the headquarters has a ghost from the past and is shown running a network of informers who do his bidding. The suspense builds up as his informers do certain acts that seem at odds with the ongoing investigation in the murder of the prostitute. His girlfriend (played by Hrishitaa Bhatt) is a TV reporter with a past of her own and is spying on him for someone called RS whose identity is a mystery.

In between, there are other murders which the officers of the homicide department at the headquarters keep solving. But the running thread is the murder of the prostitute and the suspense of who is behind it. As the team solves the cases that come its way, the story weaves in the happenings in their lives. A senior officer is shown having to care for his sister who is suffering from trauma as she was subjected to abuse from a gangster. He moans that he could not do anything to punish the perpetrator despite being in the police force. Another officer is there to provide comic relief with his antics but some moments from his intimate life with his wife are excellent. The budding romance between the female (Sauraseni Maitra in a role where she gets to show her mettle) officer and a fresh recruit is also handled well. Child exploitation rackets and a man who keeps his dead mother's body are cases that are from recent happenings in Kolkata while there is a story about a serial killer who targets gays. The climax disappoints as it happens too fast. The ending leaves the series open for a second season.