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The Venom That Awakens
Aug 29, 2023 05:53 PM 538 Views

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Experiences in life are catalysts. They push us towards larger perspective, greater realization, self awakening and escalation to a higher level. Awakening implies transformation whereby hidden strengths and capabilities come to the forefront even to one's own surprise.


Ravi Shankar Tripathi(Vijay Verma) is the son of late Mani Shankar Tripathi(Tigmangshu Dhulia). Mani Shankar was a professor and a rebel poet. In the small town of Sarsi he is a revered personality known for his finer sensibilities and as the voice of the subaltern.


Ravi Shankar has been newly recruited as Sub Inspector in Sarsi Police Station. He is shy, sensitive, introvert and a complete anathema for the job. Needless to say, he is unhappy, considers himself unfit for the post and is about to put in his resignation when a case of acid attack is assigned to, rather thrown upon, him to investigate.


At the hospital he is shocked to find that the victim(Shweta Tripathi) is no other than the prospective bride, Parul Chaturbedi, whose photo his mother(Seema Biswas) had shown him for his opinion.


As the investigation proceeds, Ravi Shankar collects a lot of contradictory inputs about Parul. Her mother is over protective of her. According to her father, both Parul and her sister have gone out of hand. As per her bestie, she was the queen bee of the college going steady with a guy but got engaged to another. Then she jilted both of them. Why? Its not clarified.


Under the gruff tutelage of the Station House Officer, Jagdish Sahay(Gopal Dutt) and friendly camaraderie of Constable Sattu Yadav(Yashpal Sharma), Ravi Shankar gradually toughens up. However, in weak moments he seeks inspiration from his father's poetry which eggs him on, gives him courage to push boundaries in the face of setbacks and expand his understanding of human helplessness and frailties.


After Dahaad and Kohrra, Kaalkoot on Jio Cinema, is the third web series on police procedural. Vijay Verma, once again, gives a sterling performance as the sociopath, Ravi Shankar Tripathi, who comes of age, fighting against deception and devilry. One who fails to express his emotions, Ravi Shankar, gradually evolves into a man who now knows how to vent his anger and distaste and put his foot down as and when required.


Given the dark brooding mood, the drama in the series is intense and narrative is racy with cliffhangers at the end of every episode. The climax is a bit long drawn and over the top.


Shweta Tripathi is flawless as the enigmatic Parul Chaturbedi. She has many facets. On one hand she is vocal against the effete social norms and hypocrisies and on the other hand she is a young and vibrant girl who wants to have a taste of forbidden freedoms of life.


A big shoutout to Yashpal Sharma for being the outspoken conscience of mankind. He is the common man whose reactions are situational. He instantly voices what he feels which may be at times contradictory but that is how it is with all of us. Perception is the football which bounces the way it is played with by different players. A special mention for Gopal Dutt, the SHO with a crude and sarcastic tongue, yet wise and practical - the man of the world! Both feel sorry and guilty when they vent out their frustrations on the woman of the house. Has the system made them so or they are the unrelenting followers of patriarchy? If so, how cumbersome, burdensome and fearful the patriarchs are!


Kaalkoot is critical of categorizing women in shades of black and white. Prodded by his mother, Ravi Shankar agrees to meet Shivani, a beautiful and talented girl. The family appears to be clean and straight. However, his aunt tells Ravi to be cautious before agreeing to the proposal. Ravi is enraged by Shivani's covert acts of encroaching in his domain(read bedroom). She says she wants to know him more as a person.


Later, when he finds out that she is epileptic he refuses to marry her because she has purposely hidden the fact from him and his family while carrying on her own secret enquiries about him. Her answer is that she thought Ravi, being Mani Shankar Tripathi's son, would understand her predicament. Very flimsy!


In a fit of rage, he invites her to a hotel to enjoy intimacy with her but finally call of duty prevents him from initiating the shameful act. However, he later castigates himself and confesses to Shivani that he is not that good a person she thinks he is. However, the girl never explains herself why she agreed to spend time alone with him in a hotel. After all these incidents, his final consent to marry Shivani(Suzanna Mukherjee) appears to be a bit imposed. A conservative finale to a rebellious approach.


Venom in our veins make us bitter. In a contrarian approach, the poison interwoven in the strata of our society converts Ravi Shankar Tripathi into a better person, a forgiving son and a mature man with a wider horizon of thoughts and actions.


We are all products of the systems placed in society wherein evil is enmeshed with goodness. One can either embrace apathy, do nothing about sieving the good from the bad and accept/be a part of it without qualms or emerge and be the change agent for a brighter tomorrow.


Choice is ours!


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