Punjab might be a small state physically, but the kind of layered nuances to life it offers would be envy for any other state, be it in the property disputes, be it in associating with the NRI component or be it in the matters of physical relationships in a nuanced manner, as also in the way in the spread of drug menace and its manifestations abound.
Kohrra or fog has an intriguing relationship with daily life in Punjab and a Punjabi cannot conjure his existence that does not have interjections through fog. KOHRRA, the new web series directed by Randeep Jha and starring Barun Sobti, Suvinder Vicky, Harleen Sethi, Rachel Shelly, and others is a masterpiece of performance interlaced with rustic nuances that Punjab is famous for.
The opening shot itself sets the tone for the offering. A young boy and a girl making love surrounded by KOHRAA on a cold winter morning, and then the script meanders through the urban and rural landscape of Punjab from the farm fields to the godowns, from the factories to the police stations, from the drug addicts to the amorous relationships and through all this the element of amorousness is a binding element, an element which provides unexpected turns to the narrative.
Around 20 years ago, Mahesh Bhatt had written in an article in Indian Express that human nature does not tilt towards monogamy and KOHRRA is a visual illustration about the same.
The power struggle associated with paternal land between brothers, especially where one of the brothers has become an NRI, still is a flesh in the thorn. Yash Chopra and those who followed him may have tried to weave in an element of romanticism of nostalgia around an NRI brother, but the fact is that the brothers continue to wage a war rather than let go of control over the paternal land and KOHRRA has rightly highlighted the issue in a subtle manner.
While some may raise the eyebrows in the manner in which police brutality has been shown in the web series, the fact of the matter is that such has been the interference by the political class into the day-to-day matters of policing that police has to resort to brutal methods to arrive at some conclusions about the cases that they are handling.
Barun Sobti and Suvinder Vikky have underplayed the character of police officials in such a controlled manner that never do these characters go overboard, rather there are instances where they have been exposed on their frailties- the struggle between the father and daughter where the daughter’s continued affair with her boyfriend even after marriage underlines the fact that the father did not provide a correct choice for the daughter which he ameliorates later.
Or for that matter the kidnapping of the police officer himself and the patriarchy stepping in, in the form of the grandfather underlining that even a police officer cannot afford to attack a relative (a grandchild in this case), though he may have donned a uniform.
In all the subsets of stories which have been woven into the canvas of KOHRRA, it is the urge to go physical between the male and female characters as also between the male characters which sets the narrative for progression of the subject.
Lust and its perceived denial have been a cause of many conflicts and KOHRRA is no exception to that and it has built the whole narrative with lust latent in the background. Advent of OTT has allowed cinematic visualization of narratives and the makers of KOHRRA have succinctly brought it out in an underwritten manner without going overboard.
KOHRRA keeps you riveted through the six episodes and never has the pace slackened during this time frame, though it has not left out any idiom that is a USP of Punjab to begin with, be it the dhabas, the bus stands, rice mills, the stranglehold of patriarchy, or the innovativeness to showcase new emerging service sector opportunities like nail polishing. Punjab thrives on the beauty industry and in a subtle emergence of this component has been done in a very nuanced manner. KOHRAA should not be missed.
Web Series: Kohrra
Creators: Gunjit Chopra, Diggi Sisodia, Sudip Sharma
Cast: Suvinder Vicky, Barun Sobti, Manish Chaudhary
Episodes: 6 episodes