'Bad Cop' series review: Gulshan Devaiah, Anurag Kashyap work well together in this mediocre thriller

'Bad Cop' series review: Gulshan Devaiah, Anurag Kashyap work well together in this mediocre thriller

Gulshan Devaiah and Anurag Kashyap in a scene from 'Bad Cop'

Gulshan Devaiah and Anurag Kashyap in a scene from 'Bad Cop' | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

On a recent podcast, Sudip Sharma, producer-screenwriter of acclaimed shows like Fog And Hadeslamented the current state of Indian streaming. He pointed out how, in order to put out shows faster and cheaper, platforms are adopting the 'BPO model' of storytelling. “The lack of ambition is what's most disappointing,” Sharma said.

You can see a little bit Bad Cop — two episodes of which are currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar (six were available for review) — to find out what Sharma is trying to say. It's not a terrible show; it has a brilliant premise and bursts of frenetic action in between. Yet all of this — in keeping with the ethos of a BPO call center — seems disappointingly done over the phone. Ambition is missing.

When Mumbai police officer Karan suffers fatal injuries in a hitjob, his estranged twin brother Arjun – it's that kind of show – takes his place. Both brothers are played by Gulshan Devaiah, with the actor continuing his double-entendre from the 2022 series DurangaArjun is a thug on the run, an accidental suspect in a murder case. Until the switch-up, he is presented as a sleazy criminal who runs petty schemes with his girlfriend (Aishwarya Sushmita). However, in the blink of an eye he becomes an almost flawless clone of Karan, a change faster than Amitabh Bachchan's leader (1978).

Bad Cop (Hindi)

Director: Aditya Dutt

Mould: Gulshan Devaiah, Anurag Kashyap, Harleen Sethi, Saurabh Sachdeva, Aishwarya Sushmita

Episodes: 2 out of 8

Order: 30-35 minutes

StoryArjun, a conman, takes the place of his twin brother, Karan, who is a constable in the Mumbai Police

The story of this novel involves murdered journalists, a notorious poaching gang, betting scams and corruption in the Mumbai police. Written by Rensil D'Silva, Bad Cop Adapted from a German television series of the same name. I haven't seen the original, but I can confidently say that Wolfgang Becker or Werner Herzog don't appear in it as a cantankerous criminal pulling strings from prison. Yet something similar happens in this Indianization, with filmmaker Anurag Kashyap playing the chubby, rowdy Kazbe. Kashyap has fun chewing the scenery in bizarre scenes: a part where he sits on a pot yelling maniacally at his subordinates seems to reverse the fortunes of his Bunty bhaiya, who sat pleading in a similarly unhealthy way disciple (2011).

This is such a second-hand series that the songs are also second-hand. Similarly, the acting also seems second-handed. Gulshan Devaiah proved this in his previous film with director Aditya Dutt, Commando 3 (2019), that he can do twisty, fast-paced action. It has some chase and shootout scenes Bad Cop While Devaiah plays his role well, his domestic scenes with Devika (Harleen Sethi), Karan's wife and boss, are less interesting (certainly less believable) – especially after the change. It's a very convenient storyline that a sharp-witted woman like Devika would not be able to spot the changes, big or small, in her husband's behaviour. Even after it is established that Karan was in touch with his twin brother, who has set the central agencies after him – Saurabh Sachdeva creates headaches as 'CIB' officer Arif – she is unable to put two and two together. Look, I don't intend to play the logic cop here, but then again Bad Cop Shows handcuffs.

Two episodes of Bad Cop are currently streaming on Disney+Hotstar

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