Grahan review: Despite a disjointed screenplay, the Disney+ Hotstar series successfully jumps between timelines News

Grahan review: Despite a disjointed screenplay, the Disney+ Hotstar series successfully jumps between timelines

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Time icon June 24, 2021

Some scars are never fully healed. They fester beneath the surface and might be reopened by a slight touch. The eight-part play Grahan is about one such deep wound.

Shailendra Kumar Jha created the series, which is based on Satya Vyas’ fictional novel Chaurasi. The story alternates between two timelines: Ranchi 2016 and Bokaro 1984. Riots erupted in the steel industry town in the days preceding up to and following the killing of the then-Prime Minister on October 31, 1984.

The steel plant manager was the main instigator. In 2016, the horror and shadows of the death and violence against the Sikh community that followed this hate-fueled rampage are still present.

In the present, Amrita Singh (Zoya Hussain), an upright and committed police officer, is appointed to lead a SIT (Special Investigative Team) entrusted with re-examining the 1984 riots in Bokaro. The sitting Home Minister wants to accuse his archrival Sanjay ‘Chunnu’ Singh (Teekam Joshi), the former Bokaro steel mill manager, before of the elections.

Singh, who is thirty years old, lives with her adoring father Gurusevak (Pavan Raj Malhotra). Singh realises that the leading suspect Rishi Ranjan (Anshuman Pushkar) has a closer connection to her life than she could have imagined as she and her team replay the events of 1984.

The film, directed by Ranjan Chandel, combines a police procedural with politics, as well as Amrita Singh’s concerns about truth and identity – both hers and her father’s – as well as her responsibility to her badge. The thorough telling of Rishi and Manu’s schmaltzy love story in the back and forth dilutes these profound questions.

Song montages appear to add to the relaxed storytelling, which includes extended close-ups, introspective periods, and repetition. The audience is frequently given the same information more than once.

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