Inspector Rishi(Tamil, Amazon Prime Video, 10 Episodes)

Rating: *** ½

Amazon Prime Video’s Inspector Rishi created, written and directed by J.S. Nandhini in Tamil, begins with a shocking visual testimony of a barbaric occultist ritual wherein dozens of men women and children jump into the fire.

Are they protesting against the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal? No, it is something far more serious. This prologue sets the mood and temperament for prolonged stretches of suspense, sometimes jolting at other times somewhat languid in pace, but never lacking in grace.

The location is Coimbatore. The excellent camerawork(Bargav Sridhar) combs the quaint canvas for eeriness and comes up trumps quite often. At other times we feel as though we are being delayed unnecessarily in certain scriptural situations that needed much more swift closure. At times the viewing experience feels like waiting at bus stop.

Admittedly the content in Inspector Rishi is far less self-indulgent than many recent serials and films on OTT. The makers maintain a certain grip over the proceedings, partly supernatural, partly crime investigation, right till the end-revelation which is not much of a revelation: we see it coming from miles away.

Like all the rewarding experiences in life, Inspector Rishi is more significant for its journey than destination.

The cops looking into the mysterious murder in the forest are not straitjacketed stereotypes in khaki. The protagonist Rishi(Naveen Andrews) and his two assistants Ayyannar(Kanna Ravi) and Chitra(Malini Jeevarathnam) have their own problems to deal with.They all seem to be involved deeply with their roles. The end product is sombre and impactful , even if you are not a fan of horror. There is more to Inspector Rishi than creaking doors and macabre apparitions.