Director : Richie Mehta
Cast : Shefali Shah, Rasika Dugal, Rajesh Tailang, Adil Hussain
16 December 2012 was the day when a 23-year-old budding physiotherapist was brutalised in the most barbaric way possible, in a moving bus in Delhi, at the hands of six monsters. It was a crime that made headlines across the world, and as detail after shocking detail of the case tumbled out, it left us stunned with the horror of it all.. One of the details of the heinous crime was out in the public domain, the general mass was tipping with emotions like anger, pain, angst and frustration. Taking to the streets, people from all over the country united and protested against the administration demanding justice for Nirbhaya. While a number of documentaries and regional films explored the angst of the victim, her parents and the perpetrators too, what went missing was the police’s version of the case.
Netflix’s Indian Original¬†Delhi Crime,based on that ignominious incident. But while the other shows/documentaries have focussed more on the incident and the social issues that drove the criminals to unleash the inhuman side of their characters, Delhi Crime lays bare the behind-the-scenes operations of the Delhi Police, the police-procedural, which helped them capture the villains before they could make good their getaway.
The seven-part series begins with a sequence of scenes of a usual Delhi winter morning, setting the base for the general routine of the police force. Taking each day of the investigation as a separate episode, Mehta presents his version of the lesser known side of the Nirbhaya case. The director plays with the memory of the audience as he establishes a fictionalised version of the investigation.
While he vowed not to show the incident in any way, he reminds us of the disturbing visuals at multiple occasions through narration from different characters. Given the brutality of the crime, it affects one as a viewer and it’s difficult to sit through the whole experience at a go. This will not be an easy binge watch. You will be forced to pause in between to deal with the trauma of reliving the whole incident. But, the show is so engaging that you will watch it till the end. And, it’s worth the effort because it does give you a perception you might have missed earlier.
Delhi Crime thus unravels as a glowing eulogy to the dedication, diligence, intelligence and sensitivity of the much-maligned Delhi police force. It is an eye-opener for civilians like us, who have no idea of the massive effort that goes into the solving of complex and sensitive cases.
Delhi Crime sparkles with numerous hidden nuances, many of which may be missed in the first watch. It deserves a second, maybe a third watch, to discover all the latent issues that fester just below the surface. It is a gripping, fascinating narrative that grabs your heart, twists and wrenches it effortlessly, refusing to let go till the very end.
Delhi Crime is a must-watch for every connoisseur of stellar storytelling.