Web Series Review | Kaala | Engaging Thriller

Web Series Review | Kaala | Bejoy Nambiar's Kaala is fast paced with a storyline spanning across decades, a must-watch for crime thriller hungry audience

One of the last reels of the series shows the protagonist passing through a dark tunnel into the light, metaphorically telling that there is light at the end of tunnel in terms of possibilities of curbing and dealing with the black money mafia. Kaala seems to be derived from the term ‘Kaala Paisa’ or ‘Black Money’. Earlier filmmakers dealt with the counterfeit notes mafia in ‘Farzi’, this time around Bejoy Nambiar’s ‘Kaala’ deals with ‘Hawala’ dealings. From the director who made thrillers like Shaitan, David & Wazir, Kaala adds to his exceptional storytelling repertoire and introduces us to the term ‘Reverse Hawala’ – converting white money into black and pumping huge stash of cash for illicit activities including terrorism.

Kaala is set against the backdrop of chaotic Kolkata, a riveting tale of love, loss, betrayal and irony. With young and ambitious IB officer Ritwik Mukherjee (Avinash Tiwary) life seems like a series of random events, but it is also his destiny. The narrative flits between the past (1980’s) and the present (2018), to what looks like disconnected events, it slowly fits together like pieces of a mammoth jigsaw puzzle.

Avinash Tiwary _ Pic Courtesy Twitter
Avinash Tiwary _ pic courtesy twitter

Ritwik’s chase to seize illegal cash consignment unravels layers that peel off. Right from the CM to the top cops, all are hand-in-glove with the Naman Arya (Taher Shabbir) clan. Ritwik is in a labyrinth of characters and incidences that seem to be chasing money, but proves to be more complex to comprehend. Ritwik, who is on the heels of nabbing the mafia, is falsely implicated in the very case he is investigating. With Ritwik on the run, a cat and mouse chase ensues, with different people entering and exiting the storyline, and some shocking revelations along the way that keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

Bejoy Nambiar’s Kaala is fast paced with a storyline spanning across decades to finally reach its finale (for the season). Right from an upright and exceptional officer Major Subhendu Mukherjee (Rohan Vinod Mehra) who escapes a blast while on a mission to corrupt officers led by Balwant Bir Rana (Jitin Gulati) who smuggle goods across the border, they happen to take off the story in the ’80s. While in the current times (2018) it is Naman Arya and his mother Shakti Arya (Jitin Gulati) whose playing field is the black money transactions. Naman happens to be hiding the illegal business activities behind the veil of philanthropy with the system on his side.

Between these four characters there are a few more on either side. It is their stories that gets intertwined along with ones who have ‘changed’ their identities over a period of time that the plot becomes thick.

Avinash Tiwary seems to be on a roll. With three series back-to-back, he has already played two opposite characters and display his acting capabilities. Avinash’s ‘Chandan Mahto’ character in ‘Khakee: The Bihar Chapter’ is diametrically opposite of Ritwik Mukherjee in ‘Kaala’. From playing a heartless criminal in the heartland to a sensitive IB officer is applaud worthy. Also released his third outing of the season is ‘Bambai Meri Jaan’.

Jitin Gulati who plays corrupt army officer Balwant Bir Rana (Naman’s father) as well as Shakti Arya (Naman’s mother), after a gender affirming surgery, has commendable expressions in both the forms displaying all the traits of a fierce antagonist.

Jitin Gulati In Bejoy Nambiar's Kaala
Jitin Gulati in Bejoy Nambiar’s Kaala

Rohan Vinod Mehra gets limited scope and opportunity in the scheme of things to showcase his acting capabilities. Nonetheless, he leaves a positive impression on his character. Nivetha Pethuraj, though has decent screen-time, it is her character that remains with you well after the story culminates. Danish Aslam and Hiten Tejwani both get to play roles that have equal importance in the narrative and they do stand out. Danish as IB officer looks dashing and authoritative while Hiten fits the bill as Bismil, one of the smugglers of the ’80s.

Hiten Tejwani For Kaala _ Pic Courtesy Instagram
Hiten Tejwani for Kaala _ pic courtesy instagram

Of the eight episodes, the story moves back and forth in time and generate a momentum until the cliffhanger end of the seventh. The last episode is full of action and settling of the pieces. However, with a story of this genre, it is very difficult to digest a couple of scenes that seem unnecessary for the theme as well as prove to be forced. The same sex escapades don’t really add value to the otherwise pacy story and could distract family audience.

Overall, Kaala is a must-watch web series for crime thriller hungry audience.

Web Series: Kaala
Directed By: Bejoy Nambiar
Cast: Avinash Tiwary, Jitin Gulati, Nivetha Pethuraj, Danish Aslam, Rohan Vinod Mehra, Elisha Mayor, Hiten Tejwani, Taher Shabbir
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar
Episodes: 8 episodes


Web Series Review | Kaala | Bejoy Nambiar's Kaala is fast paced with a storyline spanning across decades, a must-watch for crime thriller hungry audience
Nitin Jain
Nitin Jainhttps://www.glamsham.com
Nitin Jain is glamsham.com publisher and editor and writes exclusive topical articles and also doubles up as film critic. The author can be contacted on editor-at-glamsham-dot-com or on @nitinnsethi on twitter and instagram.

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Web Series Review | Kaala | Bejoy Nambiar's Kaala is fast paced with a storyline spanning across decades, a must-watch for crime thriller hungry audienceWeb Series Review | Kaala | Engaging Thriller