By Linus Garg
First publised on 2020-07-23 14:11:42
The badlands of India continue to occupy the minds of serial makers and the stories are set in different settings to keep the viewer hooked in crime thrillers. Undekhi (streaming on Sony Liv) is another attempt at showing how the privileged and well-connected class subverts the law and thinks it can do much as it pleases them. They have the money, the goons and the guns to own the countryside.
The story opens with the murder of a police officer in the Sunderbans in West Bengal. Two girls go missing at the same time. The investigating officer finds that they are dancers and have gone for a show in Manali. He trails them to the mountain retreat only to find that they have vanished.
Actually, the girls had come to dance at the wedding of the brother of a local resort owner Rinku Atwal (Surya Sharma) who has a gang of rowdies at his command. The patriarch, Papaji (Harsh Chaya) is drunk all the time and has a one-point solution to all problems â goli maar denge. He lives up to his words when he shoots one of the dancers when she does not listen to him at the stag party at the wedding. The rest of the story is a no-holds-barred cat and mouse game between DSP Ghosh (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) and Rinku Atwal with many twists and turns.
The shooting of the dancer is captured by videographer Rishi (Abhishek Chauhan) and he tries his best to bring it to the notice of the police. But Rinku holds him and the other dancer and her manager captive. DSP Ghosh gets a hint that something is wrong at the wedding venue and tries to confront Rinku but he pulls strings and foils the DSPâs plans. In between, there is the leader of the photography unit who will go to any length (including sleeping with Rinku) to earn money as the creditor is harassing her mother back home. Or the owner of a news channel who strikes a deal with Rinku. Or the commandant of the security force who dislikes Rinku but falls in line due to his daughter. And the couple who are going to get married. The bride (Anchal Singh) tries to cancel the wedding after she comes to know of the dark side of the groomâs (Ankur Rathee) family. But it transpires that her father has a debt to pay them and she cannot do as she pleases.
The series is well-paced and things keep happening. The narrative doesnât slag although some things seem forced at times. But the viewer is kept engrossed as new twists and turns keep happening. The climax is well executed. Dibyendu Bhattacharya in Undekhi is, to a lesser extent, what Jaideep Alhawat was to Pataal Lok. After some pedestrian performances (Lalbazaar), Bhattacharya shows what he is capable of in a performance that never overpowers the narrative but is very convincing. Surya Sharma excels as the menacing Rinku who will go to any length to protect Papaji and the family name. His calmness in the face of adversity and his body language and demeanor are all in sync. Harsh Chhaya is also good as the drunkard patriarch who knows Rinku will take care of everything. Ayn Zoya as the scheming photographer is brilliant. Abhishek Chauhan as the hapless videographer and Apeksha Porwal as the other dancer who wants to avenge her sisterâs murder are also good. Undekhi is a good watch that will keep you hooked till the end.