Mumbai, 12 Sep 2021 14:03 IST
Directed by Ashish R Shukla and co-starring Richa Chadha and Manu Rishi Chadha, the Voot Select show is also high on emotion.
A chilly North Indian hill station with dense forests and fog is a perfect setting for a crime thriller-cum-murder mystery. Quite a few films and web-series have been based in such locations.
But Voot Select’s latest show Candy is not just another crime story set in an exotic location. It stands apart from the routine shows in this genre because of what it brings to the table, or, in this case, the screen.
Directed by Ashish R Shukla, the show is set in the hill station of Rudrakund in Uttarakhand. Mehul Awasthi (Mihir Ahuja), a student from a boarding school, is found brutally murdered while his best friend Kalki Rawat (Riddhi Kumar) is missing. The incident shocks their mentor and teacher Jayant Parekh (Ronit Bose Roy). He and his wife Somalika Parekh (Anju Alva Naik) are already affected by the untimely death of their young daughter.
Senior police officer Ratna Sankhawar (Richa Chadha) takes over the case. The initial suspicion falls on three students who used to bully and torture Mehul. The villagers are of the view that a demon named Masaan is behind the murders and this is not the first time he has committed such a crime. But Ratna is not ready to believe this theory.
Meanwhile, Jayant finds out that many students in the school have fallen prey to a drug being supplied in the form of Lick Me Candy. He also realizes that the wild and crazy Vayu Ranaut (Nakul Roshan Sahdev) is behind the racket. Vayu is the son of the evil local legislator Money Ranaut (Manu Rishi Chadha). However, the cops don’t believe this theory too.
One major reason for Candy standing apart from other works of fiction in this genre is the emotional connect. This story is not just about crime. Emotions are woven into the tale naturally, including those of characters with grey shades. The web-series is filled with moving moments, like Jayant and Sonalika sheltering Kalki in the circumstances and treating her like their own daughter.
Ronit Bose Roy fulfils the challenging role of being a tough guy and, at times, an emotional father. He maintains the balance well. Anju Alva Naik is convincing as an emotionally affected but strong-minded lady. Riddhi Kumar, who gives a brilliant performance as Kalki, is a find with her natural acting abilities.
Of course, Candy also works as a crime thriller. This is a complex story and the viewer does need to pause at times to register the many events taking place, but it is all quite convincing.
Somewhere after the midway mark, the events presented threaten to slow things down. But the narrative picks up pace in the final three episodes. At this point, you expect the story to conclude in a satisfactory way. But what you get is much more.
Viewers of such shows generally expect a couple of major twists towards the end. But Candy presents a series of surprising revelations of which the last one is quite shocking and whets your appetite for the second season.
Candy also scores highly in the technical departments like cinematography, editing and background score. This ensures that Rudrakund also becomes one of the characters in the show.
Of the others in the cast, Richa Chadha delivers a fine performance as a police officer struggling to balance her professional and personal life. Manu Rishi Chadha has an interesting character arc which he portrays with finesse. Nakul Roshan Sahdev makes a character like Vayu believable. Gopal Datt and Vijayant Kohli chip in with impressive performances as Headmaster Thomas and Father Marcus, respectively.
Candy is available on Voot Select. Watch the trailer for the show here.
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