Nokol Heere Review

This sophomore case gives a fresh lease of life to the 'Damayanti' universe

Rony Patra -

Nokol Heere Review
Platform
Hoichoi
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Format
Original Series Review
Movie Rated
18+
Genre
DETECTIVE,SUSPENSE,THRILLER
Language
Bengali

What is the story about?

Dipanwita, a young married woman, kills her husband Pratap in a fit of rage and fear, with her father as the sole witness. As she languishes in custody, her father enlists the help of Siben, who has recently been transferred to the Detective Department at Kolkata Police from Bolpur. Siben's instincts tell him this is no ordinary crime of passion, and enlists the help of his friends Damayanti and Samaresh. As time runs out, Damayanti races to uncover the truth behind the killing, and the real mastermind behind the entire game.

Analysis

In today's OTT landscape, you will find many filmmakers who will set out to raise the bar and scale of their successful shows in subsequent seasons. But very rarely will you find a show where the makers attempt to rectify shortcomings in the storytelling, and work harder on the screenplay. Creators and directors Rohan Ghose and Aritra Sen got a lot of feedback for the first case involving Damayanti, but not all of it was positive. This time around, they spend a lot of time crafting the characters intelligently and getting portrayal of procedural and legal matters right, while also delving with a lot of difficult themes in a new story. It is often said that the biggest crimes happen within the "safe space" of family, and, just like Disney+ Hotstar's Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors, this season dares to go all the way, with shocking explorations of abuse, gaslighting and incest highlighting the often-fractitious nature of the modern urban Indian family. In the hands of others, these themes could've been reduced to exploitation porn, but Sen and Ghose pull off a tricky balancing act--especially in the last couple of episodes--to ensure that the fledgling Damayanti franchise, which had a very middling first outing, finally come into its own.

Performances

It's the Tuhina Das show all the way, as she finally settles in her role as the sleuth Damayanti, and effectively keeps the audience guessing as to whether she will become a full-time investigator or not, even as she goes about solving the case. Indrasish Roy is still stuck playing second fiddle as her husband Samaresh, but this time his arc in better, while Shoumo Banerjee completes the trifecta with his effortless portrayal of Siben. Biswajit Chakraborty is intriguing as Dipanwita's father, who keeps feeling alternately concerned and guilty. Sujoy Prasad Chatterjee plays the complex paralysed son-in-law Ramanuj, who has a few secrets of his own. Kamalika Banerjee excels in a cameo as Panchali, Pratap's aunt, though it is a matter of curiosity as to why filmmakers keep approaching her with roles of sex-starved/sexually frustrated/predatory women. Only Rajnandini Paul sticks out like a sore thumb, raving and ranting as the petulant Dipanwita.

Music & Other Departments

Nabarun Bose's background score complements the story beautifully. Rwiddhorwita Khan's production design is alright. Souvik Basu and Tuban's cinematography is decent.

Highlights

The last couple of episodes, where Damayanti reveals and finally confronts the real culprit, are a treat to watch.

Drawbacks

There are a few false notes. Samaresh's characterization is still a weak point, though his portrayal is much better this time round. Also, for a character who is constantly cool in moments of danger, the sight of Damayanti crying out like a damsel in distress while being held hostage by goons during a scene feels out of place.

Did I enjoy it?

Yes. This story is engrossing and keeps you glued to the screen.

Do I recommend it?

Yes. This particular story is well-plotted and enacted, and will satisfy fans of Bengali detective fiction on screen.


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