Delhi Crime (Season 2)
Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the second season of Delhi Crime which is streaming on Netflix. The first season of Delhi Crime was probably the finest crime series coming out of India. I remember getting myself to watch it during the first lockdown after multiple recommendations from my friends. And boy was I not prepared for things to follow.
The series did give an intimate and gut wrenching portrayal of the then most talked about case of the country – the Nirbhaya case. One of the things that I had really enjoyed about the show was the attention to the details. So it went beyond the usual investigation by portraying the strained lives of the police personnel who had to work round the clock thereby also managing their private lives in the process. It was a well knit and well researched series which has been my favourite ever since it had released. So I was excited about its second season which took an eternity to arrive. After multiple delays and possible creative differences between the makers and the OTT giant(no way to confirm it, it is just speculation), the season two of Delhi Crime was finally out and I happened to watch it. So then does the second season of Delhi Crime match the expectations of its predecessor, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
The second season of Delhi Crime brings with it a fresh new case where a bunch of grizzly murders take place in the capital. Who is behind them? The story here is intriguing and very interesting with the usual elements of the detailing retained from the first part. The screenplay standing at just 5 episodes of roughly 40 odd minutes in duration means that it is a brisk watch. Here I would like to say that I was a bit apprehensive given that the world building might be traded for the length of the series. But boy was I wrong!
The drama opens in a dramatic fashion where the gruesome murders take place in the very first sequence that is so powerfully shot that it instantly gives you the chills. You are right into the drama wherein the investigation kicks off subsequently. You are briefly told about what the main protagonists are dealing with in their personal lives before getting the ball rolling. The proceedings are thrilling and intriguing and the whole drama felt so organic in approach. The detailing is terrific wherein an intriguing crime scene is represented through multiple factors involving the victims, the hounding press, the hapless police personnel and the relatives of the victims.
The narrative here is supremely balanced and doesn’t really take sides. So at one point the drama does unfold from the point of view of the police who are ruthless in their approach and on the other side the plight of the accused who are subject to the torture is well showcased. You can almost look through and see the disparity between the two sides – one with power and the other powerless. Another interesting aspect was the humour which was subtly integrated in its narrative.
The drama further exposes the murkier and less discussed side of the system wherein the lower officials are at the mercy of the top authorities even though they are officially leading the case. Another interesting subplot involves the personal lives of so many police personnel who often work under a lot of pressure and trauma. The series slightly falters after a spectacular first half wherein the investigation path changes. There seemed to be a slightly rushed narrative to almost get to the finish line without a buildup(a minor editing issue which I will address in my next section). But thankfully, the writers still hold onto it just enough to make the drama layered culminating into a thrilling pre-finale followed by a satisfactory final act. The twists and turns in between are shocking but the writing ties the loose ends pretty well without dropping pace. Overall, the screenplay is very well written and quite intriguing.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational but brilliantly penned. The lines do evoke the right kind of emotions in almost every scene. The BGM is pulsating and keeps you on your toes throughout. The cinematography and the lighting almost set up the ambience brilliantly here. A layer of mystery filled with tension is maintained throughout just by the setting. The editing is crisp in the first half of the screenplay but the second half is slightly too simple and I owe it to the editing which didn’t allow the world building to happen(given that the investigation had to be reset). But these are minor flaws in otherwise a superior technical product. Director Tanuj Chopra does an astonishingly brilliant job by keeping you engaged throughout. Even with minor flaws, it was his direction which was holding on to the drama thereby keeping the viewers consistently invested.
The performances by the entire ensemble is probably the best that I have seen all year, collective speaking. Annapurna Soni as Sapna has her moments to shine as does Kuldeep Sareen who is terrific as Chaddha. Adil Hussain is absolutely top notch and I really enjoyed his diction here which was crystal clear in every word which he spoke, likewise for Danish Husain who is exceptional. Yashaswini Dayama as Chandni is first rate. Aakash Dahiya is excellent as the husband of Neeti. Jatin Goswami as Babloo is terrific and I really enjoyed his calm demeanor. It was a great decision to keave Tillotama Shome out of the promotions because she will surprise you here in a bone chilling yet towering performance. Gopal Datt as Sudhir has his moments to shine. Sidharth Bhardwaaj as Subhaash is excellent. Anurag Arora as Jairaj is probably that one actor who did impress me the most. He has always been a good actor but this was a special performance which was natural to the core. Rasika Dugal as Neeti has such expressive eyes which convey so many emotions. She is in terrific form here and wonderfully understated. Rajesh Tailang as Bhupendra is such an endearing character that you root for him throughout. So when an incident takes place involving him towards the end then you almost skip a beat. This was a brilliant portrayal of a very secured character who shares a lovely bond with the character of the protagonist essayed by Shefali Shah. And Shefali Shah as DCP Vartika is outstanding. I can’t remember the last time I had enjoyed a performance so much. It was a no nonsense character portrayed with an underlying layer of care making her so believable. And what an acting masterclass, I just cannot get enough of this performance which has stayed with me long after the series has ended!
The second season of Delhi Crime is a compelling follow-up to the first season making it an absolute must watch. Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended!