Is sex the easiest route to attract attention on the web? Well, this seems to be the main takeaway from most ALTBalaji shows. Boss Baap of Special Service (produced and directed by Ankush Bhatt) is no better.
The setting is Shimla, where you have the police commissioner (Mahesh Shetty) putting together a crack unit of cops to deal with rising crime in the city. Enter Sakshi (Sagarika Ghatge), along with Asif (Ayaz Khan) and Johnny (Tarun Mahiliani). They are soon joined by conman Keshav (Karan Singh Grover), who takes the identity of a cop to join the above team.
Karan was introduced busting a bank heist which he and his associate, Jignesh (Gaurav Gera) were simultaneously trying to loot electronically.
In Shimla, Keshav is always a step ahead of Sakshi and co, and helps solve cases that mostly involve a sex angle (mms, gay relationship, etc.). He just can’t keep his pants up and ends up bedding just about any and every gal (they too are more than willing), but he can’t get to first base with Sakshi though he tries his best. How come she does not get him fired for sexual misconduct with a senior?
The first five episodes are full of lovemaking scenes and sexist and below the belt jokes. The story and drama (child kidnapping) only picks up from the sixth episode. Keshav has come for a purpose for which he is ready to do what it takes.
We will not reveal the plot but there is a 180-degree turn in Keshav’s character, which is tough to swallow. But yes, you might say he is a con artist and that is his job.
Here, besides the sexual overtures, writers have taken creative library by also letting Keshav repeatedly break the chain of command (investigation on his own). Had any real khaki guy done the same, he would have got the boot.
The entire story has been crafted to make Karan look like a super smart dude. Yes, he does justice to the written material, and the womanizing part also goes well with his casanova image. One different angle we liked was his bonding with his small daughter. Age is catching up with Karan and it is good to see that he is playing mature roles.
He is also shown to be a ruthless killer and that leaves you with the moral question whether it is right to show crime paying off. Maybe, in an attempt to balance the above negativity, he is also given a moral compass (letting someone who was forced by circumstances to commit murder get away).
The story also brings into sharp focus the issue of cop rivalries, and how slipshod investigations often lead to culprits walking free.
Sagarika is doing a good job as the no-nonsense cop. Interestingly, she has no bold scenes, which normally is the norm with most web leads.
Daljit Kaur has a small but significant role towards the fag end. She is ably supported by Mahesh Thakur and Pravina Deshpande who plays her mother.
We expected much more from Gaurav Gera, but he was hardly there. Ditto wih Ayaz and Tarun, who were there just to add more punches to Keshav’s below the belt cracks (jokes about sexual position). Mazhar Sayed was good in his small role. We liked the way he portrayed the cold calculating jilted husband.
Director Ankush has done a good job of fusing the above sex requirement with crafting an edgy thriller towards the climax.
One good thing was that unlike many web series, which normally end the first season incomplete, hoping for season 2, here the first season has a clear end with a possible chance of a sequel if numbers come. Also, here the lovemaking sequences were not explicit and there was no nudity.
We liked the crime-solving abilities (putting tracking chip in the bag) shown and it made for a good whodunit, but too much emphasis on sexual elements at first was a dampener. The problem with India is that unlike the west where sex blends with the narrative, here it seems forced.
There is a scene where Keshav passes a double meaning dig at a judge. Agreed, he wanted to be sent to the slammer, but it seemed coarse. And we don’t think that you can get away with such rank contempt by merely paying a fine.
The Shimla outdoors gave visual beauty.
In closing, if the makers wanted to copy the James Bond template (as they claim), they should have used more gizmos and better stunts. Merely copying the doing part is not good enough.
3/5 is our rating for Boss Baap Of Special Service