The Whistleblower Review: Ritwik Bhowmik Shines Bright In This Fictionalised Version of Vyapam Scam

SonyLIV’s The Whistleblower is based on another infamous scam, Vyapam Scam. If I have to explain it in short, I would call it an entrance exam scam where bright students (toppers/rankers) were hired as proxy to give examinations on behalf of the undeserving students so that they can occupy a seat in different fields. I have explained it in simple words in just one line, but you can read more about this scam on Wikipedia

The Whistleblower sheds light on the scam that happened in the field of medicine. The show starts on an excellent note. It keeps you hooked and gives you goosebumps but as it progresses, it becomes filmy. No, I am not saying that makes it not worthy of your time. Keeping the downside in mind, The Whistleblower is still binge-worthy. You will not have a dull moment, thanks to the Director , Manoj Pillai, who did not let this ship sink due to monotonous writing. 

Why am I calling writing monotonous here? Because this story shouldn’t have made the lead character a hero. If it’s about a scam, the villains are always smarter than the whistleblowers. The writer has conveniently let the lead characters do whatever they wish to without letting the villains know about it. Doesn’t work that way in real life. If you are talking about a real-life story, let it feel real. Don’t give your fictional characters the liberty to live in a world of their choice. In fact, pull them out of it. Also, don’t give us the space to ask logical questions. That just kills the fun. 

Another downside of this show is its length. Scams are complicated. They bring in a lot of characters and details that you cannot afford to miss. If you do, you fail to join the dots later. The Whistleblower falls into that complicated category where you might even want to note down the details so that you can remember them in the later stage of the series. Considering the tight work from home schedules, it is difficult to watch around 50 minutes long 9 episodes in one go. You will take breaks, and sometimes, long breaks which will make you forget a few characters or even the smaller events/details revealed in the first few episodes of the series. I personally like shorter, crisper shows hence that’s my POV. If you like to binge-watch series on the weekends, this show is a must watch for you. 

What makes The Whistleblower worth watching? First, of course, the direction, and second, Ritwik Bhowmik’s performance. He is amazing in the show. I have seen him in Bandish Bandits and then in a short film called Haba Goba. He looked exactly like those characters, but since both the characters were calm, cool, and a normal guy, it did not speak a lot about performance. Though a performance not up to the mark would have definitely ruined the show/film, especially a show like Bandish Bandits. 

But The Whistleblower is different. It has allowed the actor to paint the character in different shades of black, white, and every other colour you can think of. And trust me, Ritwik Bhowmik has made use of this golden opportunity very well. When it comes to performances, there are senior actors like Sachin Khedekar and Sonali Kulkarni in the show, but no one’s performance has contributed in saving the show or taking it to the next level except Ritwik and Ravi Kishan’s. 

Ravi Kishan is a pro. He is a seasoned actor so I will talk about Ritwik here. He is playing a care-free, spoiled brat who doesn’t care about consequences. But he is not just any spoilt-brat. The character has a ‘sanki’ touch to it. His guilt, repentance, anger, and even love has a pinch of it. Ritwik has done a fab job in the balancing of all these shades and emotions. 

My take on it? Yes, it’s a scam but it’s not another Scam 1992. Should you watch it? Yes, you won’t regret it. Is it a mind-blowing show? No, it has loopholes and downsides but it is still a good show to binge on the weekend. 

Streaming On: SonyLIV

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