Show: The Chargesheet: Innocent or Guilty?
Cast: Arunoday Singh, Tridha Choudhury, Shiv Panditt, Hrishita Bhatt, Ashwini Kalsekar, Kishori Shahane, Shakti Anand and Sikandar Kher
Director: Shahant Shah
Rating: 1.5 Moons
Crime dramas are the new genre that OTT platforms are showcasing, with a dash of thrill and mysteries unfolding ZEE 5 has dropped yet another crime based drama based on real-life incidents named, The Chargesheet - Innocent or Guilty. Starring Arunoday Singh, Tridha Choudhury, Shiv Panditt, Hrishita Bhatt, Ashwini Kalsekar, Kishori Shahane, Shakti Anand and Sikandar Kher, the show unravels the story of a promising table tennis player who was shot dead in broad daylight. Produced by Roshan Kanal and Ashoke Pandit of Daytee Pictures Pvt. Ltd., written by Priyanka Ghatak and directed by Shashant Shah is a slow packed crime thriller, which fails to intrigue the audience and hold on till climax.
The story begins with renowned national champion table tennis player Shiraj Mallik’s (Shiv Panditt) cold-blooded murder in broad daylight. Followed by an in-depth investigation by CBI Officer Vidur and his team (Sikander Kher). When the investigation is at its peak, the name of one of the most powerful political figures of the country, Ranveer Pratap Singh,(Arunoday Singh) emerges as the prime suspect. Media, people, and politics gets into a war of opinions. The biggest legal luminaries Laxman Chotrani (Satish Kaushik)and Abha Abhyankar(Ashwini Kalsekar) fight the legal battle.
The case gets an interesting turn as extra-marital affair opens up in the court, filled with lust, love and deceit. The case has new layers unfolding, unraveling the darkest secrets of the suspects. CBI and Aabha are hopeful that Shiraz will get justice but soon things start to loosen and the question still remains the same, who is innocent and who is guilty?
Set in the late eighties the narrative moves back and forth. The story of ‘The Chargesheet’ is simple. The court trial and investigation go on in full swing till 7 episodes, stretching the case like rubber and not holding any meaty stuff. The politics that is shown in the series do justice to an extent but soon starts losing the plot. Who is guilty and who is innocent will be answered but you must have the patience to sit through 8 episodes of 45 minutes each. The courtroom crime drama has a yesteryear’s impact but as the narrative moves further, it changes and nothing of the 80s is felt. There are many characters in the series, but none can be termed as a lead in the series. Sikander Kher does a fine job as a CBI agent leading the murder investigation. He pulled off the screenplay with his acting skills.
Arunoday Singh, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Shiv Pandit and Tridha Choudhury play other vital roles in the series. Arunoday has done a spectacular job in Apharan and since then the audience has an image of him. seeing him in The Chargesheet is disappointing as he has set a benchmark for himself and in this series, he lacks the punch required, his acing is par excellence but he falls falt here because of the weak script. Shiv pandit has a good role, being the central part of the screenplay he starts losing his charm and wit. Being a good actor he is underused. Trida and Harshita play their part well as much as required. Nothing that we are glued to the series. Supporting cast and veteran actors could have been utilized better Sushil Bonthiyal and Kishori Sahane, Ashwini Kalsekar and Satish Kaushik play a decent role and are given screen space as much as required.
Talking about the background score, Salim and Sulaiman do a fine job. The cinematography by Santhosh Thundiyil is fine-tuned and Shakti Hasija’a editing could have been crisp and to the point, at certain areas it was too stretched, mainly the climax. The writing by Priyanka Ghatak goes haywire and it fails to intrigue the audience. The Verdict: State Vs Nanavati was also on a real-life case and the narrative was brisk after viewing that this series is a huge letdown. Although the sport from badminton has changed to table tennis in the Chargesheet to hide the real identity, the audience are aware of the facts, nothing factual has been shown that will make a mark in the minds of the viewers. You shouldn’t waste your time in watching The Chargesheet.
Peepingmoon gives The Chargesheet 1.5 moons.