The Great Indian Murder Season 1 Review

The nine-part series is based on Vikas Swarup’s 2016 novel, ‘Six Suspects’ which begins with Vivek aka Vicky Rai, son of Uttar Pradesh Home Minister, shooting to death a bartender Ruby Gill at a trendy restaurant in New Delhi.

Incidentally, this opening was similar to the Jessica Call murder case in which Manu Sharma, son of politician Venod Sharma, gunned down the model for refusing to serve him drinks at a swanky resto-bar in the Capital.

Adapted and written by director Tigmanshu Dhulia, Vijay Maurya and Puneet Sharma, the series opens with the cops stopping a car at a checkpoint as the inspector wants a lift.

However, when the driver breaks into a run when asked to open the boot raises suspicions and the cops find the bodies of two girls inside.

The vehicle is registered in the name of industrialist Vikrant aka Vicky Rai (Jatin Goswami), who is also the son of Chhattisgarh Home Minister, Jagannath Singh (Ashutosh Rana).

Predictably, he is acquitted after his influential father pulls a few strings and also bribes the police officers investigating the case. To mark the closure of this case, Vicky hosts a party at the family farmhouse in Chhatarpur, on the third anniversary of his arrest.

And in the midst of celebrations, he is shot dead. Even as a waiter Munna (Shashank Arora) and an Andamans tribal Eketi (Mani PR) are arrested with a gun on them in the premises, Jagannath demands a CBI inquiry claiming he was being targeted.

Enter CBI officer Suraj Yadav (Pratik Gandhi) and police officer Sudha Bharadwaj, who was a part of the team investigating Vicky’s earlier case, to find out who pulled the trigger on the Home Minister’s son and why.

Dhulia, Maurya and Sharma have fabulously adapted Swarup’s novel and their narrative is sure to keep you on the edge of the seat, guessing who killed Vicky and why.

Moreover, each one of the suspects, from Munna and Eketi to Shabnam and Mohan Kumar (Raghubir Yadav), has a grouse with and a good reason to see the end of Vicky. Soon enough, you also see that vengeance alone is not the motive and a political conspiracy could also be at play here.

While the source material (Swarup’s book) is engrossing enough, Dhulia ensures his adaptation has you invested and involved in the case too.

His narrative style, with retelling the story from the characters’ viewpoint and plenty of going back and forth, keeps you glued to your seat and your eyes fixated on the screen to know what happens next.

Not to forget, the screenplay has a good dose of realistic touches — from statehood for Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Shashikat Vora’s (Kenneth Desai) affiliations with ultra-left organisations as a student, casteism, role of media as an influencer and forming public opinion, anonymous vlogging and what have you.

Moreover, as the storyline travels from Delhi to Rajasthan, Andamans, Kolkata, Chennai, Jharkhand etc, he’s also made sure to include the local flavour in his narrative.

Pratik Gandhi delivers a fine performance as the CBI officer Suraj Yadav who also has a political line to toe. He aptly portrays the different facets of Suraj Yadav, when he’s reporting to political heavyweight Ambika Prasad (Vineet Kumar), interrogating the suspects

asserting his perspective when discussing the case with Sudha or succumbing to Rita Sethi’s (Himanshi Chaudhary) charms. As the no-nonsense cop Sudha Bharadwaj, Richa Chadha holds her own in front of Gandhi’s Suraj Yadav, and like him, has her own agenda too.

Ashutosh Rana effectively plays Jagannath Rai, who places his political interests and aspirations above everything and everyone, including his family. Raghubir Yadav convincingly portrays the diabolical nature of Mohan Kumar, who can also be Mohandas (Gandhi) when it suits his purpose.

Sharib Hashmi (as the welfare officer Ashok Rajput), Paoli Dam, Shashank Arora, Jatin Goswami and the rest of the ensemble cast play their parts as expected.

Cinematographer Rishi Punjabi has shot the series realistically, at the same time treating the various locations differently. Unnikrishnan P P and Prathamesh Chande’s editing ensures the narrative doesn’t lag, while Raghu Dixit and Ketan Sodha’s music adds to the drama.

Even though based on a book, this Ajay Devgn-produced series makes a compelling watch for its suspense, drama and excellent performances by an interesting ensemble cast.