What is the story about?
Amitabh Sinha leads a department at Mumbai Police, Project 9191, which uses advanced surveillance techniques to apprehend criminals even before they have committed their crimes. However, can Amitabh and his team keep preventing crimes with a raging public and a department full of infighting?
When you think of Sony TV's long-running show CID, it struck a chord with Indian audiences because of its approach to the depiction of crime. It focussed on ACP Pradyuman and his team, as they took on a different case in each episode. Audiences never had to bother about their individual stories. Project 9191 may not be a sequel to CID, nor is it produced by the makers of the hit series, but there's no denying the heavy influence of B.P. Singh's cult creation all over this Sony LIV show. Creators Subbu and Neeraj Naik try to pack in too much during the seven-episode run, heavily influenced by the basic premise of Steven Spielberg's Minority Report. Characters talk to each other as if they are in an elocution contest trying to look dramatic, and a back story is conjured up for each character, which you don't care about after a point.
However, the series works best when it sticks to the CID template and tracks down criminals about to commit heinous crimes. One single case--two runaway lovers who are being hunted by the girl's family--runs throughout the season, but it gets the most hurried conclusion possible, which also acts as a cliffhanger finale. The weak characterization hurts this show whenever it starts to become sincere about being a police procedural. The makers will have to allow various sub-plots some breathing space if they are to turn this into a multi-season show.
Satyajit Sharma wears a permanent scowl on his face as he tries showcasing the perpetually-under-pressure moods of Amitabh. Trishna Mukharjee plays Deepa in a matter-of-fact way, coldly brusque during investigations. Dadhi R. Paandey plays the wizened Usman who always had a sense of urgency, but his behavious in the climax of the acid attack sub-plot goes dangerously over-the-top. Jaswant Singh Dalal portrays the hot-headed Sharad, who could shoot down anyone in a fit of rage, and he is great in the season finale. Abhishekh Khan portrays tech wiz Johnny as someone who wants to leave his shady past behind. Manini De has only a small role as Amitabh's wife, but she makes the most of it. The only one who seems to enjoy himself is Vaibhav Tatwawaadi, who has a blast playing the oily, corrupt yet efficient Pankaj.
Music & Other Departments
Dhaval Tandon's score gets too loud at times. The camerawork by Lucky Yadav and Chandrakant Yadav is okay.
There are some interesting bits. For instance, there's a sequence where Amitabh and his wife debate the level of culpability of an actual criminal versus someone who's about to commit a crime, in the eyes of the law.
In the span of seven episodes, this show tries to pack in too many subplots. Plus there's also the urge to delineate every character's back story. It would have been more effective if there were more episodes.
Did I enjoy it?
I enjoyed the portions when the team is focussing on apprehending criminals.
Do I recommend it?
You can give this a one-time watch. Don't expect a Sacred Games, though.