There are numerous films, television shows, and books that tell us about a traumatic period in history through the eyes of their protagonists. In this way, a sinking ship represents young love, and a dictatorial regime represents a woman’s bravery and resilience. They make a historical event more real and relevant by putting a face to it. On the other end of the spectrum, there is the risk of trivializing the aforementioned event.
The new web series Grahan begins with an ambitious goal: to tell the story of a family and a group of people who were victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. However, by the end of all eight episodes, it has only succeeded in diverting the audience’s attention away from the cause.
The show follows IPS officer Amrita Singh as she attempts to investigate the murder of a journalist but is met with resistance from her superiors. The CM assigns her to another case because he wants his rival defeated. Back in 1984, a man falls in love with a woman but is rejected by her parents. He is later seen participating in the riots. Everything is connected to Amrita, unbeknownst to her.
Grahan discusses the riots while also following a police investigation in the present. It makes a statement about communal politics while also attempting to solve the mystery of a father keeping a big secret from his childhood. It’s a satire on police corruption, but it also mentions journalists being killed for asking questions. There are hints of casteism and Islamophobia in the mix. The show tries to do too many things at once and, despite its best efforts, falls short.
It’s also very convenient to see how one thing is linked to another. How the other case to which she is assigned is inadvertently linked to the murdered journalist. How the one photo of rioters found by her colleague features someone she knows. How, when she travels to Bokaro (the site of the riots), she meets people who will not only help her case but also provide her with answers about her personal life. All of the strings connect for the sake of convenience, not because the makers are attempting to connect them.
There are so many strings to pull, so many players to watch, that the characters who require the most attention are overlooked. We see so much of the politics surrounding riots in the past and present that we forget about the people affected by them. The only fleshed-out member of the affected Sikh family is Manu, but only because she is our protagonist’s object of affection. Unconsciously, this trivializes the event itself.
Grahan Web Series Trailer
Grahan Web Series Review
Grahan, despite its flaws, is not a boring show. The show plays its cards too quickly in some parts, but it also saves some juicy parts to surprise the audience. Despite the lack of focus, there are plenty of things to keep your attention. Every episode begins with a mystery and concludes with a cliffhanger. There are numerous fillers in between.
Grahan Web Series Cast
In terms of acting, Pavan Malhotra easily outperforms all of his co-stars. He portrays vulnerability so well that, despite his character’s grey areas, you root for him. Zoya Hussain has certainly performed better in the past, but there appears to be a problem with the director. In the series, Anshuman Pushkar demonstrates his versatility.
To summarise, Grahan isn’t one of the ground-breaking web shows we’re used to seeing these days, but it’s still entertaining.