Asur, directed by Gaurav Shukla is a decent effort in exploring the genre of psychological thriller, a less explored territory in the horizon of Indian film making. The web-series has eight episodes, each spanning around forty minutes with the last one having its length over an hour.
The series forays into India’s mythological past and how it affects the psyche of a tormented youth in the present day. The concept is simply fabulous and throughout the series, the tight and gripping screenplay keeps you glued to your seat, an essential component of a crime thriller. All the characters are nicely sketched. There is no unnecessary effort to introduce extra characters to make the script convoluted or toy with your thinking. This is the part where it surges ahead of other works made in India in the same category. The absence of any unnecessary subplots keeps the edge of the seat feel of the thriller untainted.
Arshad Warsi as Dhananjay Rajpoot, a jaded cop looking for redemption is superb. Even though our audience loves to see him in his usual portrayal of comic sidekicks, he can brilliantly keep aside his forte and shine in such serious roles, as evident in his earlier works like Sehar, Jolly LLB, etc. Barun Sobti as Nikhil Nayek is another revelation. He is simply superb as a CBI officer trying hard to find a balance between his personal turmoil and social responsibilities. Sharib Hashmi, Riddhi Dogra all do justice to their roles.
All the good aspects discussed, now let’s come to the areas where Asur fails miserably. The climax is hurried, unoriginal, nonsensical and leaves you perplexed at how the director could go so wrong in the last an hour or so after doing so well in all the earlier episodes. There are so many goof ups, so many loopholes, so many unanswered questions, you start shaking your head in disbelief. Maybe towards the end, the producers suddenly decided to make a season two, and just to have a continual look, certain questions were deliberately kept unanswered. But this alone does not justify the bloopers in the climax plot. The makeup artists also do a pathetic job and characters do not look any different ten years back or ten years ahead. The background scores could be more effective. However, since when Bollywood became mature enough to use background score as integral part of the making of a film or web show?
Overall, had the climax done even a bit more justice to the efforts evident in the rest of the series, I would not hesitate to give it 8.5 out of 10. But the poor climax forces to deduct at least 2 marks, if not more.
My Rating – 6.5 out of 10
Available on – Voot
You can also watch the review here