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‘Duranga’ On Zee5 Review: Gulshan Devaiah-Drashti Dhami’s Thriller Has A Great Plot But Doesn’t Live Up To Its Potential

Outlook rating
2.5 / 5

Gulshan Devaiah and Drashti Dhami starrer web series, ‘Duranga’, has finally been released on Zee5. The show has been making news for its gripping plot ever since the trailer was launched. But is the show worth your time? Read the full review to find out.

Gushan Devaiah In A Still From 'Duranga'
Gushan Devaiah In A Still From 'Duranga' Instagram

Director

Aijaz Khan, Pradeep Sarkar

Cast

Gulshan Devaiah, Drashti Dhami, Divya Seth, Rajesh Khattar, Zakir Hussain, Barkha Sengupta, Nivedita Ashok Saraf, Sanjay Gurbaxani, Srinivasa Prasad Kiran, Sparsh Walia, Heera Mishra, Abhijeet Khandkekar

What’s The Story

‘Duranga’ follows the story of Sammit (Gulshan Devaiah) and Ira (Drashti Dhami). Ira begins investigating multiple murders by a suspected accomplice of a serial killer, and this leads her to discover some revelations about her husband's twisted past. Will Ira be able to get to the serial killer? Will she be able to handle Sammit’s past? Will she be able to live with Sammit after knowing his truth? Well, you’ll have to watch the show to find out.

Watch Trailer

What’s Good

Drashti Dhami And Gulshan Devaiah Save This Thriller

Gulshan Devaiah is back with his nonchalant ways of acting. He manages to make a complex character look so simple onscreen. Every step of the way you’re thinking whether or not Devaiah is the main villain, but because of the finesse with which he has played the character, you’re also hoping that maybe there is someone else and he is just getting trapped at the wrong place at the wrong time. The ease with which Devaiah has played the same character but with two so strikingly opposite shades is superb.

Drashti Dhami is fantastic as a cop. She plays the character in a very believable way. We have always seen women take up cop roles and then end up showing their power with some high-flying kicks and fight sequences. In ‘Duranga’ Dhami has managed to not take up any of those usual macho traits and played a cop who plays with the mind of the killer and tries to stay a step ahead of the culprit. She has her own insecurities and deals with her familial emotions in her own personal way. Never does Dhami allow her cop character to overpower her feminine side when it comes to her family members. That’s a welcome change to see in a female cop.

Abhijeet Khandkekar as the crime reporter is a tremendous find among the supporting cast. While he may have a short character, it’s impactful. To add to that Khandkekar’s ever-changing emotions on his face keep you confused till the end as to whether or not he is the good guy. Looking at his performance in ‘Duranga’ he definitely seems to be poised for a lot more roles.

Aijaz Khan and Pradeep Sarkar’s direction holds through the falling script. There are numerous times in the series when you’re feeling that the story starts to drag, but the good direction by Khan and Sarkar ensures that you’re not leaving your seats. The tension they’ve built before the ending of each episode is quite praiseworthy.

What’s Bad

Too Long For Comfort

The web series is a bit too long. Editor Abhijit Deshpande should have trimmed out a little bit from every episode so as to chuck out the unimportant sagging bits and kept the show taut in its entirety. ‘Duranga’ should have been cut short to an 8-episoder.

Quais Waseeq’s cinematography is too bland. ‘Duranga’ is a thriller cop drama and there are barely any scenes that draw you in and entice your being. Almost all of the locales are lacklustre and don’t add to the story in any way. At least the indoor shots of the police station and the home could have been made more believable, as for now, it could clearly be felt like a movie set.

None of the supporting cast makes an impact. Actors like Divya Seth, Rajesh Khattar, Zakir Hussain and others have been given minuscule roles which are way below their capabilities.

One would think, the cameo by Amit Sadh should have had a great impact, but sadly no. Hopefully, the blink-and-miss appearance in this season will get converted into a prominent lead character in the next season, which might be more interesting to see. However, for this, it was a total mood killer, as you’re left hoping till the very end that Sadh would do something, but nothing happens.

Verdict

‘Duranga’ is a classic case of a great plot not living up to its potential. The remake of the popular Korean thriller ‘Flower Of Evil’ promised a lot with its trailer, but the end product is quite lacklustre. Gulshan Devaiah and Drashti Dhami have put forth a brave foot forward and managed to salvage the shortcomings in the script. Overall, it’s just about an Average watch. I am going with 2.5 stars.

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