Inspector Avinash(Season 1)
It is Wednesday and we have a mid-week double header today! No, not in the IPL but on Popcorn Reviewss wherein we shall serve two reviews today. First up, I finished watching the new Hindi series Inspector Avinash which is now streaming on Jio Cinema. The OTT platform has been on a roll ever since the commencement of the IPL and it has continued its glory by announvement and launch of new shows and movies which have kept us reviewers on the toes. And one such show was Inspector Avinash.
I must admit that when Inspector Avinash was announced only a couple of days prior to its OTT release, I did not plan to watch it. And this was because I was under the impression that this might be a stalemate, a show that may have found its way to the OTT after a long wait. While that may still be true, one reason for me gearing to watch the show was Randeep Hooda who was fabulous. And in times when content are getting released left, right and centre, credit to the Jio Team for releasing one episode daily that did not burden the viewers with the entire series. This strategy did help me play catch up(although this model may not work if multiple shows are out on the same day). And finally, I am through with the first season of Inspector Avinash, does it manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Based on true events from the 90s, Inspector Avinash follows the story of a cop who is leading a new unit to eradicate crime in the state. Will the politics of the state keep him at bay? The story here is nothing that you haven’t watched already but crime dramas are always fun if they are done right. And it is the screenplay here standing at 8 episodes of roughly 30 odd to 40 odd minutes long that does make for a gripping watch although it did end abruptly(making me think that this may well be part 1 of season 1).
The drama does begin with the introduction of the protagonist in a courtroom that does act as a foreshadow before the flashback kicks in. Now, a few things that I felt odd was the protagonist breaking the fourth wall to interact with the viewers and narrate his story. I am not a fan of this technique as I find it gimmicky and far too distracting. That said, the writers do well in keeping the interests of the viewers piqued by creating moments of intrigue. The drama is divided into stray incidents across the 8 episodes with each episode alined to targeting a criminal. This, while there is an underlying thread of politics that is connecting the drama.
The proceedings are engaging and gripping, something that I was pleasantly surprised by. There are a plethora of crimes that are covered in each episode ranging from kidnapping to drugs smuggling and physical abuse. And our protagonist along with his team do act on them with spirit. I did like how certain mythological references were associated with the character trait of the protagonist. Having said that, I would ideally have liked the screenplay to gather its bits into something more focused as the drama progressed.
I was beginning to enjoy the character dynamics which were filled with motivations and the ever changing equations with each other. But the season finale, as it is termed, was a tad underwhelming and abrupt while the events continued to be scattered which made me realise that this season might just be part 1 of season 1 given that the focus was on the world building. Perhaps, if the strategy was to release an episode daily and if there were more episodes in the season then Jio could have continued it for say another 8-10 days?? Probably, a disclaimer at the end was required considering its sudden end. Nevertheless, the screenplay here is gripping and it does make its case for a good watch that did end on a cliffhanger!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are massy and powerful and make for an entertaining watch. The music is decent and is in sync with the proceedings of the drama that are unfolding. The BGM is pulsating and does keep the viewers on their toes. The cinematography is decent, the editing left a little to be desired. The sudden blackouts are a thing of the past and not quite a good technique used for scene transitions. Director Neerraj Pathak does a pretty impressive here. His ability to create engaging moments with a tinge of humour was a sight worth savouring.
The performances are quite good here. Adhyayan Suman is decent but I feel his character will come into play in part 2. Urooj Khan as the female cop has her moments to shine. B Shantanu(as Laxmikant), Zakir Hussain, Govind Namdeo, Resh Lamba as Bittu, Vikas Srivastava and Pravin Sisodia as Virender are absolutely first rate in their respective roles. Irra Mor as SI Rani is sincere and earnest. Akanksha Puri as Meetu is pretty good despite a limited screen time and I feel her character would also come into play in part 2. Bidita Bag as Amrita is fiery in a job well done. Ayeesha S Aiman as Nandini looks pretty and does an amazing job too. Her character will also be a possible game changer in part 2 as per me. Rajniesh Duggal as Ahlawat is decent as well.
Shalini Chauhan as Pinky has a playful screen presence in a job done really well. Muskan Verma as Binnie does an impressive job too. Urvashi Rautela as Poonam is impressive but she had little to do here. Harjinder Singh as Kamlesh is sincere and earnest, as is Ajay Chaudhary as Kabir who has a good screen presence. Zohaeb Farooqui as Imraan is decent but I feel he could still have pushed the envelope with his performance. Shalin Bhanot as Baljit is fabulous to watch and his track was decently emotional too.
Amit Sial as Sheikh is excellent and his cold demeanor is intimidating. Abhimanyu Singh as Devi is excellent and his intensity in his role does enough to raise the stakes in the drama. Randeep Hooda as Inspector Avinash is a revelation. Not only is he fierce with his approach but he also adds elements of humour to his character thus forming a connect with the viewers. He excels in combat scenes and after CAT, this is another powerful performance by him.
Despite an abrupt end, the first season of Inspector Avinash is a gripping crime saga with some good performances that can be watched once. Available on Jio Cinema.