Review Hindi

The Raikar Case review: A whodunnit that fails to grip the viewer

Release Date: 09 Apr 2020

Cinestaan Rating

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Suyog Zore

The seven-episode web-series directed by Aditya Sarpotdar is being streamed on Voot Select from 9 April.

The Raikar Case is yet another crime-thriller web-series on Voot Select after the successful Asur. This seven-episode web-series, directed by Aditya Sarpotdar, involves the murder of the youngest member of an infuential family from Goa, the Naik Raikars. It is essentially a whodunnit and involves an array of characters, both from within the family and outside, who are suspects in the murder. The OTT platform began to stream the web-series from 9 April.

Yashwant Naik Raikar (Atul Kulkarni) is the head of the family and his wife Sakshi Raikar (Ashwini Bhave) is a housewife who doesn't have much say in the business or in family matters. Yashwant has complete trust in his daughter Etasha Raikar (Parul Gulati) but despises his only son Mohit (Kunal Karan Kapoor). His widowed sister-in-law Lili (Reena Wadhwa) and her son Tarun also live with them. There is also a politician, Rajshekhar Rane (Ajay Purkar), and his son Eklavya (Lalit Prabhakar).

The series starts with the death of the teenager Tarun (Honey Kamboj), whose body is found on the beach. The junior police officers are in a hurry to declare it a suicide, but a young, newly transferred superintendent of police, John Pereira (Neil Bhoopalam), is not satisfied and wants to dig deeper.

The Raikar Case follows a set pattern. At the end of each episode, we are presented with a new suspect with a strong motive to kill Tarun. As each member reveals his or her version of the story, Rashomon-style, slowly, the pieces of the puzzle start to fall in place for the big revelation in the final episode. But the problem is, the big revelation is a letdown.

The script by Bijesh Jayranjan works better as a family drama than a whodunnit. Despite the many opportunities, the script fails to create any tension. It is only the family dynamic that keeps the viewer's interest alive. 

The Raikar Case has some experienced artistes and youngsters, all of whom are let down by the poor script. Some decisions these characters make leave you perplexed and you want to question their common sense. This is especially so in the case of Etasha and Pereira. Etasha was very close to her cousin Tarun and blames herself for his death as she failed to answer his calls on the night he died.

Pereira and Etasha team up to catch the culprit behind Tarun's murder. Pereira is your typical rough-and-tough cop. Sarpotdar uses the age-old technique of making other characters look dumb to show Pereira in bright light. When a forensic doctor is about to declare Tarun's case a suicide, Parreira walks in, looks at the body for a couple of seconds and declares it to be a murder. He points to an injury mark on Tarun's cheek and concludes that he was hit by some blunt object. But the question is, how did the forensic 'expert' fail to notice such an obvious injury?

Despite playing the leads, both Etasha and Pereira's characters are superficial and lack chemistry as a couple. Gulati, who has worked in web-shows before, fails to make any impact. Her dialogue delivery seems off in some places while her performance is too theatrical. Bhoopalam also fails to make the desired impact. In fact, it is Kulkarni and Bhave's mature acts that salvage the series from being a total bore.

Lalit Prabhakar is also impressive in his first Hindi web-show. His evil actions and unpredictable nature keep you on your toes. The remaining members of the cast deliver a satisfactory performance. 

The Raikar Case does not rise above average in the technical departments, too. The series is set in Goa, but we do not get to see any picturesque location nor does the series show us any new side of Goa. The makers of the web-series have done a good job of keeping the show short, with an average length of 30 minutes per episode. This saves us from getting completely bored.


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