In 2020, ZEE5 looks forward to just another fulfilling year as they launch with their thrilling original titled Chargesheet. The 8 part series revolves around the murder of a well-known sportsman Shiraz Malik (Shiv Pandit), who’s bagged several gold medals in table tennis, and has represented his country on a global scale.
The series is premised in the late 70s and early 80s. The plot has been artfully weaved, comprising interesting dimensions that include a love triangle, infidelity, and is topped off with a splash of politics. Inspite of having these interesting elements, the plot seems so run off the mill, and is quite predictable with every passing episode.
However, the direction is solid, getting a viewer hooked to the screens. inspite of knowing what’s going to happen next. The sets were okayish but the makeup and prosthetics required a bit of a facelift. Also, at times the part of the protagonist was hugely compromised. The end was annoying, yet perhaps weird because the director could have assumed that there was scope for more.
The episode opens with three conmen brutally gunning Shiraz down; murdering him in broad daylight. His body is down with seven bullets, and he is left of die on the spot, just outside his training academy. The CBI is asked to intervene at the very early stages of the case, which surprises the lead officer (Sikander Kher). He forges ahead with the investigation.
Shiraz Malik is a recognised table tennis player, representing the country at a global level. He practices hard, and one day falls in love with Antara Dixit (Tridha Choudhry), his fellow player. Shiraz is a Muslim, and Antara hails from a staunch Maharashtrian Brahmin family. The parents disapprove of the alliance. To overcome this dilemma, Shiraz goes to his best friend, Rajaji/ Ranvir Pratap Singh (Arunoday Singh) and his wife Chirangada Devi (Hrishita Bhatt) in the dead of the night, to seek their blessings and get them married.
While all goes well in the first few months of the duo getting married, a torrid affair commences between Antara and Ranvir Pratap Singh. Antara’s mother, better known as ‘Aai’ (Kishori Shahane) witnesses the love brewing between Antara and Ranvir. Instead of stopping her daughter, she encourages her daughter to meet with Ranvir, and forge ahead with the affair.
Darkness looms over as Shiraz finds out about the affair. Ranvir’s wife, who is the royal queen as well as a pure Rajput, is aware of her husband’s misdoings but learns how to adapt to the situation and perform the role of a dutiful wife. But the question remains, why did Shiraz become the victim?
The ending didn’t take the expected route, paving the way for a new series. But one wonders what could have been done to strengthen that plot? The most interesting part was the court rebuttal. The argument between Chotrani (Satish Kaushik) and Miss Anu (Ashwanin Kalsekar) was interesting indeed! The bits of comic relief provided by Satish Kaushik added bite to the series. Shiv Pandit’s part as Ranvir’s brother and political rival was hugely compromised. He could have had a more profound role to play rather than just being a mediator and a silent opportunist and a poor executor of his best-laid plans.