Kunal Kemmu debuts on the digital platform with a crime thriller show called Abhay, streaming on ZEE5. He plays head of a Special Task Force, who sets out in the dark gruesome world of crime to save innocent lives. But Ironically Abhay, whose name is supposed to mean fearless, is always terrified of his personal demons from the past that come to haunt him with every passing flashback, conveniently embedded in all six episodes with a desperate attempt to give Abhay a back story ...so that his unsmiling nature can be both justified and empathized with. Also since expressions are not Kemmu's forte, this justified stiffness works in his favor nicely. On the bright side this show stands out from the rest of the crime thrillers so far. Supposed to be based on true events, it scores over other current shows in this genre by it's comparatively better screenplay and ofcourse far better actors. Over-dramatization however is a plague that had infected even C.I.D, the longest crime show on Indian television and Abhay is no exception. Coincidentally B.P Singh is a producer of Abhay as well, he is also creator and director-producer of C.I.D, where he also played an occasional role of DCP Chitrole.
Abhay Starts with an episode where a businessman and his housekeep kidnap kids and not only kill them but also eat them .. It gets difficult to track the kids and the culprits for a while but Abhay makes sure that the cannibalistic criminal's played by Deepak Tijori and Gopal Singh are brought to justice in his style. I did hope and may be it would have been only fair to see a fine actor like Deepak Tijori in a bigger role ...may be he could have been the main villian in the subplot that runs parallel to the episodes and is based on Abhay's unpleasant past with a hint of returning again. In episode two we see a porn addict played by Ansuman Jha, who kills his parents with a cooker over a petty fight and then turns into more of a psycho killer obsessed with BDSM... In episode three Anupriya Goenka plays a sexy honey trap running conwoman who lures rich men on a dating app into meetin her and then kills them for their money. On the same lines is episode four, where kiran Juneja tries to con innocent women in the name of God. .. Episodes Five and six are more of flashback episodes describing Abhay's past and why does it haunt him as much ... All the actors who play negative characters are very impressive and do an excellent job of making a powerful and needed impacts, however what fails the show is it's parallel subplot which is neither interesting nor well written, It diverts your attention from the on going cases and doesn't let you invest completely in the present. Since the subplot shares time with separate cases in every episode, the process and details of how every case is solved is conveniently overlooked leaving Abhay as this cop who solves every case easily, which is not a very satisfying feeling if you're a crime thriller kinda audience.
Minus it's dry subplot which feels like a drag, Abhay has the potential, Talented actors playing negative characters bring in the freshness and just the right amount of suspense and thrill that's needed. However the show goes overboard with the violence and is very generous with the bloodshed, the dialogues are mostly acidic thanx to the freedom given on digital platforms. Kunal Kemmu tries hard, Elnaaz Norouzi, who plays Kunal's ex lover Natasha, is graceful in her grey character and finally informer-turned-rogue Namit Das as Govind is efficient.
A fresh approach but yet insufficient, Abhay is a multi-starer opportunity lost.