When the reporter becomes the reported, a lot of dark truths are exposed. Crime reporter Jigna Vora’s case was probably the most celebrated in recent times but the single-minded hunt for a scoop has destroyed many careers. It has also made stars—a few of the Mumbai supercops depicted in Hansal Mehta’s Scoop are proof of that. The police give information or disinformation as the case may be, the journalist gets a story and a much-wanted byline. With increased visibility comes power, and with power inevitably comes corruption. When does truth become a casualty? No one realises it until it’s too late. Some people pay a heavy price for it, and Vora was one of them, wrongfully accused of conspiring to murder a fellow journalist, well-known crime reporter J Dey. The names have been fictionalised, but it is easy to guess the real characters behind the onscreen characters, from Vora’s upstanding boss, Imran (based on S Hussain Zaidi and played here by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub) to JCP Shroff (based on the late Himanshu Roy and played by Harman Baweja). The toxic triangle that has haunted Mumbai for decades, the nexus between the underworld, journalism and the police may now be less noxious than before but the ghosts of crimes and misdemeanours past still lurk in corners. Mehta’s relentless excavation of such deep-seated connections, as in Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, make for compelling storytelling because he is able to humanise the people involved. Vora, here called Jagruti Pathak and played with commitment by Karishma Tanna Bangera, is portrayed for what she is: a middle class, spunky, ambitious Gujarati woman with strong ties to her family, a loving mother to a son abandoned by his father, and a fun friend. Mehta gets right the hectic quality of a newsroom, now sadly becoming extinct; the sometimes spurious give and take between the police and crime reporter; and the innards of Byculla Jail (shot here in an abandoned Nyay Mandir that once belonged to the palace in Vadodara).
Why watch it: An absorbing howdunnit that plays out as a morality tale without judgment
Asur 2: Rise of the Dark Side | Cast: Arshad Warsi, Barun Sobti | Director: Oni SenHindi | Jio Cinema
Arshad Warsi and Barun Sobti return as forensic experts on the trail of an enigmatic killer. The story takes the experts to Varanasi, which provides the perfect backdrop for the fight between good and evil. Does one have to become a demon in order to track a monster? That is the question often asked in serial killer shows but rarely does it draw parallels with Hindu mythology as directly as Asur did in the first season. The second season returns with a complex and absorbing storyline as chaos threatens the country.
Why watch it? What happens when blind belief is aided by the most modern technology? It’s a question the world is increasingly grappling with