She Review: Imtiaz Ali's cop drama is patchy but Vijay Varma & Aaditi Pohankar make it bearable

She Review: Directed by Arif Ali and Avinash Das, the seven-episode web series is gripping and intense in parts but falls flat towards the end.
She Review: Imtiaz Ali's cop drama is patchy but Vijay Varma & Aaditi Pohankar make it bearable. She Review: Imtiaz Ali's cop drama is patchy but Vijay Varma & Aaditi Pohankar make it bearable.
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Web Series Name: She

She Cast: Vijay Varma, Aaditi Pohankar, Vishwas Kini

She Director: Arif Ali and Avinash Das

She Stars: 3/5

An Imtiaz Ali film doesn't take too long for a movie lover to spot. The renowned director's work, more often than not, has a tale of love and journey written all over it. Like Socha Na Tha or Jab Harry met Sejal. So, when the trailer of She, an underworld crime Netflix series created and written by Imtiaz Ali and Divya Johri released, it took time to settle in. She stars the talented Gully Boy's Vijay Varma named Sasya who is convincing as a criminal and a borderline deranged drug lord when it comes to matters of the heart.

Set in present-day Mumbai, She revolves around a lower middle-class, senior constable Bhumika Pardesai played by Aaditi Pohankar who was also seen in Marathi film Lai Bhaari. Known as Bhumi by her fellow male constables, her character is as timid as a newbie in the police force. Her world comprises of her ailing mother, a pretty-looking sister who doesn't give a darn and her abusive husband who questions her womanhood. 

Bhumi's world is set amidst these problems and a South Mumbai chawl where she lives with her mother and sister. Pohankar demands most of the screen time and lives up to it. Her performance from a timid constable to a confident yet subdued undercover operation cop is impressive. Even though her past makes her vulnerable, Pohankar is gritty in scenes when required and her pan-dead face does most of the talking in the first few episodes. 

A naive Bhumi's world takes a 360 degree turn when she is asked to disguise as a prostitute to nab one of Mumbai's drug lord --  Sasya played by Vijay Varma. Their intensity is sleazy and Sasya is soon nabbed by the Mumbai Police's Anti-Narcotic Cell. However, his only condition to reveal the drug cartel's plans is that he will be interrogated by Bhumi. 

Bhumi's boss, Jason Fernandez played by Vishwas Kini, is in a hurry and gives in easily to Sasya's demand that doesn't seem convincing at all. What happens next is a round full of interrogations that makes Bhumi uncomfortable as Sasya gets in her head. But on the bright side, the Mumbai Police gets a treasure trove of information from Sasya. Vijay Varma is a huge asset to the series and keeps it interesting when things get dull.  

The hardened male gaze in She is impossible to ignore. Dialogues like 'Bhumi, are you a woman?' or 'Bhumi isn't femininely attractive' hence will be easier to control by her superiors are played prominently throughout the series. This results in Bhumi constantly trying to prove to her seniors that she is perfect for an undercover operation. And how does she do that? By discovering her sexuality as a tool to bust the drug cartel business.      

Her failed marriage, sexual assault trauma and constant bickering by her fellow male constables pushes her to explore her sexuality after her first successful disguise as a prostitute. She is gripping and intense in parts but falls flat towards the end. The script is patchy towards the latter half of the series and will probably leave you saying, 'Get to it, already'. What is impressive though are the varied dialects. From Pohankar's heavily Marathi-influenced Hindi to Vijay's impeccable Hyderabadi Hindi, She can find a spot on your weekend binge list but don't say we didn't warn you.    

She is now streaming on Netflix. 

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