Movies ...

A fictional tale but leading cop characters said to be inspired by real officers – Beyond Bollywood

Netflix appears to have another intense crime drama up its sleeves. Barun Sobti, Survinder Vicky, Varun Badola headline an impressive cast.

Screenshot of Barun Sobti, Survinder Vicky in Kohraa [2023]

By Mayur Lookhar

Till few years ago, Netflix was labelled as a dumping ground for Bollywood. How has Netflix turned the tide on the back of some fine intense web series, and even some engaging Bollywood films. Scoop (web series), Kathal and Nazar Andaz (films) are some recent examples.

Netflix India perhaps has another intense series up its sleeves in Clean Slate Filmz’s Kohrra [2023]. With Sudip Sharma as the show runner, the crime series is helmed by Trial By Fire director Randeep Jha, and penned by Gunjit Chopra and Diggi Sisodia.

The trailer that was launched on 7 July is thus far well received, at least by the target audience. With Sudip Sharma at the helm of affairs, naturally a viewer is set for another intense, gripping crime thriller by the Paatal Lok [2020], NH 10 [2015] creator.

During a special trailer preview, Sharma made it clear that Kohrra is completely a fictional story, but the two leading cop characters are perhaps inspired by real officers. Whoa, you create such characters but is it entirely a work of fiction?

Set in Punjab, Kohrra follows the investigation into the murder of Paul, an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) man who was due to be married. Later the mystery deepens as the deceased’s friend Liam, a British national goes missing. Investigating the cases are two local cops – Garundi (Barun Sobti) and Balbir (Survinder Vicky). The former is a popular, acclaimed actor but it’s the character of Vicky that looms large in the trailer. It’s arguably Vicky’s biggest career break.

Barun Sobti has earned much acclaim for the psychological crime thriller Asur. He played a cop before, but never have we seen him in a rustic, rooted cop avtaar.

The NRI’s murder, and the disappearance of his British friend is likely to throw up more can of worms. Poor Balbir certainly seems to be carrying plenty of excess baggage. “As a family, we struggle to understand each other”. These words by Garundi to Balbir are enough to suggest that there is plenty of muck in the personal spaces.

Harleen Sethi in Kohrra (2023)

Harleen Sethi, who plays Balbir’s daughter, is perhaps having an extra-marital affair.

The bride [played by Priya Anand] was meant to be married to the NRI, but since she has a boyfriend, it puts the needle of suspicion on her too. There is very little that we see of Varun Badola but his character is definitely close to the deceased.

There is Manish Chaudhary, who plays Dhillon, the father of the deceased groom. Phew, watching him strike at a reporter for asking about his dead son tells you that he is a powerful figure in the region and not one to mess around with. The beard is likely to confuse the viewers, even this writer, between Balbir and Dhillon.

The kohrra [fog] is spread all around this case, and around the personal spaces of the leading characters. Lagaan [2001] fame actor Rachel Shelley also returns to Indian entertainment space after many years. She plays a character close to the missing British national Liam.

The grey hue complements the hazy storyline with its pulsating background music adding to the mystery, tension.

Despite a noir, Sudip Sharma believes that the personal stories within Kohrra will also appeal to the family audience. The trailer is very edgy, fast paced, and suspenseful. Most Hindi content trailers tend to reveal more than required, but the Kohrra trailer leaves you in a bind about the mystery/mysteries and its characters. Largely shot in Punjabi, it might appeal more to the target audience.

Kohrra is set to stream on Netflix from 15 July.

Watch the gripping trailer below.

You may also like