Sonakshi Sinha makes her web debut with the crime procedural Dahaad. Headlined by Sinha, the series also stars Gulshan Devaiah, Sohum Shah, and Vijay Varma in prominent roles. This thriller web series was created by Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar and directed by Reema Kagti and Ruchika Oberoi. When a few women go missing, the Mandawa Police are on a quest to find the culprit. The premise of the show is solid, but is the execution equally mindblowing? Read our review to find out.
Dahaad is slow but mostly effective
Dahaad is an eight-episode series that could have easily worked as a three-hour-long movie. That’s not to say the series is bad, just that it could have been crisper. Set in the Mandawa village of Rajasthan, Dahaad talks of various social ills that still prevail in society. While the focus is on the missing women and a heinous murderer, the underlying casteism and sexism are subtle but powerfully shown. Through the murders and the victims, Dahaad calls out the caste and religious divide in society. Twenty-nine women, over the span of a few years, have gone missing. And everyone’s story is the same. They all fell in love with a man and eloped with him, never to be heard from again. Another thing that ties the women together is that all of them were from socially backward classes and economically underprivileged. This is probably why the police didn’t pay attention to the couple of missing cases that came to them and why a lot of families didn’t even go to the police.
Sub-inspector Anjali Bhatti (Sonakshi Sinha) is in charge of the missing women’s case. And she is passionate about them. Belonging to a socially backward class herself, Anjali relates to the missing women. A cop in the Mandawa police station lights a few agarbattis every time Anjali passes by his door. Similarly, a man lies that his sister eloped with a Muslim man to make the police take action. Throughout the series, there is a constant light thrown on the inherent casteism and divide present even today.
Performances worth appreciating
Sonakshi Sinha does a good job as SI Anjali Bhatti. She is independent, she knows her own mind, and she is a bit impulsive. Gulshan Devaiah, as Anjali’s senior SHO Devi Lal Singh, puts up a solid performance. Sohum Shah, as the good-hearted, corrupt SI Kailash Parghi, is flawless. But the real star of the show is Vijay Varma who plays a Hindi literature professor, Anand Swarnakar. Vijay Varma has mastered the art of portraying dubious characters. Characters that look like the sweetest beings on the planet but are scary for some reason. Varma keeps you engaged with his performance. While Dahaad is fairly predictable, the thrill lies in watching the cops connect the dots and reach the culprit.
The story moves a little slowly, and the show teeters on the edge of being boring and engaging. While it does get a little slow every now and then, Dahaad mostly holds your attention and makes you want to watch the next episodes.
This review is based on the first four episodes of Dahaad. The series is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Can you watch Dahaad with your family?: The show is not meant for children. It features abusive language and suggestive intimate scenes.
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