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Indian Predator: The diary of a serial killer

Farhad Dalal
By-
Farhad Dalal
Rating
2.5 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

We are a day away from the Brahmastra weekend which is pretty much the solo release to look forward to. And while I am looking forward to the same, there are some other interesting content which are doing the rounds, and I will be reviewing them this Onam. The love affair of Netflix and its Documentaries have been a long lasting one. The quality which you do associate with them is nothing short of brilliant. So whenever there is a new Indian documentary on Netflix, I find myself curious to get to it. What these documentaries generally do is that they give a deep insight into the minds of the accussed thereby making them a fascinating case study. So when I did get to know about Netflix’s latest Indian documentary titled Indian Predator – The Diary Of A Serial Killer, my eyes did lit up. Earlier I had quite enjoyed the first documentary in the Indian Predator series titled The Butcher of Delhi which was a cerebral and intimate take on a serial killer. So then does The Diary Of A Serial Killer manage to impress, lets find out.

Story & Screenplay

Indian Predator : The Diary Of a Serial Killer traces the case of a man accussed of cannibalism and killing off as many as 14 people in the most gruesome ways possible. The case is interesting and did make for a compelling viewing. But Alas! The screenplay comprising of 3 episodes of roughly 40 odd minutes each is a little uneventful here and goes around in circles.

One of the reasons why the earlier documentaries had worked was the manner in which it was setup. There were interesting events leading upto the culprit wherein a sufficient amount of time was dedicated in nabbing the culprit. But here there was no such buildup and the entire set of events were narrated through a set of monologues by the main players involved.

What this documentary does well is in showcasing the different viewpoints of both the parties. But having said that it does not capitalise on some shocking plot points in its narrative which could have made for a compelling viewing. Also the events did seem quite repetitive which did give me a feeling that there wasn’t enough meat to the drama in the first place. Instead of a run time of three episodes, this could have then been a tight 50 minute documentary which would have created a better impact overall.

Episodes

The Documentary is divided into three episodes wherein each episode is “designed” to reveal a facet about the culprit. And yes there is a whole lot of gore introduced in the narrative which will potentially make you uneasy and fidget in your chair.

The first episode does begin on a good note with the disappearance of a journalist which did instantly have my attention. But the opportunity is quickly missed out on as a couple of reels later the identity of the serial killer is revealed. There is much talk here which is one of the biggest drawbacks of the series. But the first episode ends on a shocking high when the serial killer gets ready for an interview with the crew.

I did feel that this momentum should have continued in the second episode. But it is not to be! While the second episode did talk about a bit of the culprit’s background and how culturally impacted his community was, I was more interested in what his thoughts were. Whilst his thoughts were introduced about halfway through the second episode, the impact was missing.

The third episode was dedicated on the politics of the murders in what was perceived to be a power struggle in a weird manner. This again was interesting from the onset but the uneventful narrative was just about taking around in circles. It did touch upon spiritualism too but only superficially. The knockout punch was really missing overall.

Impact

I would term this docuseries as a lost opportunity of sorts. While there were some interest anecdotes, I wish the focus was on creating a bit of an ambience as opposed to just talks. There is a famous saying in writing – ” Show, Don’t Tell”. And that is something which was really lacking in what could have been a bone chilling docuseries.

Conclusion

Indian Predator – The Diary Of A Serial Killer is a lost opportunity of sorts which comprises of more talks thereby diluting its overall impact. Available on Netflix.

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