Delhi Crime CAST AND INFO
‣ Shefali Shah: DCP Vartika Chaturvedi
‣ Rajesh Tailang: Inspector Bhupendra Singh
‣ Rasika Dugal: Neeti Singh
‣ Adil Hussain: Kumar Vijay
‣ Denzil Smith: Vishal Chaturvedi
‣ Jaya Bhattacharya: Sub-Inspector Vimla Bhardwaj
‣ Release date: 22 March 2019
‣ Executive Producers: Aaron Kaplan, Jeff Sagansky, Florence Sloan, Apoorva Bakshi, Pooja Kohli, Sanjay Bachani, John Penotti, Kilian Kerwin, David A. Stern, Michael Hogan
‣ IMDB rating: 8.7/10
‣ Rotten Tomatoes Score: 4.6/5
‣ My rating: 4.2/5
It is strange how we look at our screens to escape reality when the stories they show are inspired by the world we live in. Story writers don’t miss an opportunity to pounce on news headlines that would make engaging content. It was about time something came up featuring the crime which shook our nation in 2012 – the Delhi Gangrape. What’s intriguing is how they surprised the audience by delivering this in the perspective of the police.
A few lackluster series aside, Web series have pleasantly surprised the elitist youth that is more inclined to consume foreign content.
So, here’s to my Delhi Crime review and why it has been cited as the best web series…
Using Netflix as the platform
By airing it on Netflix, Delhi Crime allows the creators more freedom with their portrayal of the incident. I believe this aspect had a lot of bearing on the success it has received. The kind of audience Netflix attracts was the precise target for the kind of narrative Delhi Crime seemed to have.
A regular soap opera would miss the point, drag the plot unnecessarily, and probably even twist some facts to adjust to the “sanskari” storytelling they are characteristic of. A movie would not have the time to dive deep and would become a victim to the censor board edits, more so due to the sensitive topic addressed. Moreover, the trailer itself is convincing enough to make you watch the series.
The daring nature of Web Series
Web series don’t shy away from portraying delicate issues that will make the viewers uncomfortable. They have unabashedly showcased sex and violence, abuse and grief and completely rejected the euphemisms mainstream movies and serials adopt. They want to show the audience the harsh raw truth and they do this without the fear of losing out on viewers. Even the cinematography is not meant to make the shot picturesque, rather it showcases the painful reality in the most unedited form.
Another thing I’ve observed is how Indian web series are slowly venturing the dystopian genre. I was aware even before, but have only come across it in novels and western content. As mentioned earlier, web series aren’t here to entertain the masses. They show sad endings and bad guys that win. They have dark and heavy plots. Web Series, in this way, are redefining entertainment – by giving the audience something that’s hard to watch yet is engaging and attracts the masses.
Told through the Police
This is probably the show’s USP – that it’s shown in the perspective of neither the victim nor the perpetrator, but that of the law enforcers. The public generally blindly criticizes the system and has a special disdain for every aspect of it. People in India are especially distrustful of the police but Delhi Crime has shown them in a good light. The police force is glorified to the point of exaggeration. However, their seemingly overstated representation is not very far from the truth.
By showing the police as the good guys, not just have they broken the stereotype that the police are mere goons in uniforms. They have also taught the public to trust the police once again. It is true that we don’t know how to appreciate what’s right in front of us. We search for a hero, some messiah when we fail to recognize the selfless toil of our civil servants.
Exploring the psyche of criminals
There is a scene where Vartika is questioning the rapist. He shows no remorse for his deeds and feels it was his duty to teach the girl a lesson. He unflinchingly owns up to his acts knowing that that is what has brought him behind bars.
I think when people see such criminals, they do the mistake of considering them human. By believing “they are people just like us”, we open up to the idea of reasoning with them or giving them another chance. These people should not be given a chance to explain themselves. When such incidents occur the perpetrators should suffer the precise thing they inflicted on the victim. Anything less is an insult to the victim as well as our justice system.
Many popular movies (The Wolf of Wall Street, Catch Me If You Can, Sanju, etc) make it cool to be bad. It’s okay to be a womanizer as long as you’re hot. It’s okay to steal lots of money as long as you have a very clever plan to get away with it. Bad guys have style and charisma and success and invariably “always have a good heart deep down”. Delhi Crime brought out the true essence of a criminal. It didn’t even attempt to justify, let alone glamourize their deeds.
Social issues brought to light
Other than talking about rape, victims, and the police, Delhi Crime covered all aspects of the unfortunate incident that took place. The talked about the role of media and how they fell short of their duty at a crucial time like this. They showed the selfish nature of politicians and how they jumped at the opportunity to use the outrage of the public to further their own agendas.
They showcased public rage and the mindless nuisance that took place during marches to honor Nirbhaya. Even the general public was the villain. They were quick to bring out mistakes, point fingers, and degrade the rapists or blame the victim. Very rarely did we actually come across worthwhile inputs from the “educated masses”. They have no faith in any institution and thus, fall for anything. They are easy targets to brainwash with ideas like ‘the police can’t be trusted’, or ‘she was asking for it’.
The show even criticizes the law for not meting out the appropriate punishment to the rapists. The underage boy was let go while the rest are still in prison.
Acting and Dialogues
The review would be incomplete if I don’t talk about the tremendous delivery by Shefali Shah. It wasn’t just her but even Abhilasha Singh (Nirbhaya), Rasika Dugal (supporting police officer), and nearly everyone else in the cast. They weren’t too bothered with looking picture perfect and focused all their energy on the acting.
The dialogues are powerful and thought-provoking. In a few lines, they manage to sway the viewer’s mood and perception. This is art at its finest.
What people are saying?
Hats off @DelhiPolice , new found respect for you after watching #DelhiCrimeStory on #Netflix. It’s a riveting slick watch. Outstanding acting by everyone @ShefaliShah_ @RasikaDugal @_AdilHussain @rajeshtailang Proud of you. One of the best to come out of india
— shubhamnagar (@shubhamnagar) March 24, 2019
— Bala (@Bala02189771) March 26, 2019
#delhicrimes a story that needed to be told again..a reality of our society that cannot be forgotten till these crimes seize to exist. Heartbreaking but so so well made. Bravo. @ShefaliShah_ such fabulous acting.
— Shweta (@shwetaasnani) March 26, 2019
— CommonMan (@cricmaddster) April 28, 2019
@RichieMehta . #Delhicrimes What an awesome series , script done well without any cheap scenes of the shameful act,at the same time showing the dedication and tenacity of the policemen. Made us all respect the policemen more than anything . Full kudos to all actors and crew . 👏🏼 https://t.co/SbGM3Mkhat
— Sriram (@vishnu801) April 30, 2019
The show did receive some criticism for not putting more spotlight on the victim herself and for being too dark (literally as well as metaphorically). I believe, watching even a tragedy is a way to get in touch with our own emotions, it needs courage. We can’t keep hiding from our grief, it’s not that we lead such miserable lives that content like this is too much for us. A sad story is as moving as a happy ending and we should be accepting of both.
So if you haven’t watched Delhi Crime, I recommend you watch it asap. And if you have watched it already then share your Delhi Crime review with us in the comments below ⬇︎