Delhi Crime 2 (Netflix , 5 Episodes)
Starring Shefali Shah, Rasika Dugal, Tillotama Shome, Aakash Dahiya, Adil Hussain, Rajesh Tailang, Denzil Smith, Yashaswini Dayama
Director: Tanuj Chopra
When I first saw the second season of Delhi Crime my initial reaction was relief. Thank God, the second season turned out to be as gripping, if not more than the first season. The characters from the Delhi Police are now etched as the DPs of our collective imagination. Vartika Chaturvedi, Neeti Singh, Bhupendra Singh, Subhash Gupta, Jairaj and the rest of the force are characters we all know well by now, and admire for being so dedicated to their work it almost seems as if we are looking at the other side of the much-maligned police force’s image.
Rest assured, neither the first season nor the second is a police procedural designed to whitewash the police force. The plot on this occasion has no room for negotiating with propaganda . The five episodes are edited down to a lean lithe lissom litany of crime and punishment, designed with the rare care of a work of art….Or perhaps ‘art’ is too escapist a concept for something as authentic as this.
This time the razor-sharp squad is alerted to a series of grisly murder of affluent senior citizens all across Delhi. Murder is not a pretty sight. The camera spares us none of the ugliness of the crime. Shot in dark spaces there is a commendable vividness even on the small screen. I wonder what this series would look like on the big screen!
Straightaway without much ado, we are swept into a world very different and far removed from the real-life Nirbhaya episode of the first season. This is different universe of twisted minds and Tilottama Shome as a criminal mastermind knocks us senseless with terrifying temerity.She is frightening in her consumerist greed.
In the last two episodes the narrative becomes a cat-and-mouse between the two brilliant actresses cop Shefali Shah and the criminal Tilottama Shome, not in the crude cinematic sense. The game is much more cerebral.
These are not ordinary times, and this is not an ordinary police procedural. The writers Mayank Tewari, Shubhra Swarup, Vidit Tripathi, Ensia Mirza have woven a plot that is not designed to impress us with technical details. Nor does the storytelling tilt the other way to expose the emotional underbelly of the criminal procedure.
Like Season 1, Season 2 Of Delhi Crimes hovers somewhere between the tone of straightforward documentary and a dreamy borderline hallucinatory world of Kafkaesque absolution. David Bolen’s cinematography captures this dual-dimensional world with austere vividness.
As for the performances how do I mention a few actors when each in even the smallest role is so brilliant? It is all about team work. This, we learnt from Vartika Chaturvedi. Take a bow , lady. You killed it.