In a departure from his signature larger-than-life cop dramas, Rohit Shetty ventures into the digital realm with his debut web series, “Indian Police Force,” featuring Sidharth Malhotra in a lead role. While the series retains Shetty’s trademark action sequences, it takes an unexpected turn with its nuanced characterizations and intimate moments.
Shunning the hero-centric narrative seen in Shetty’s blockbuster films like Singham, Simmba, and Sooryavanshi, “Indian Police Force” celebrates the entire police force. Sidharth Malhotra, cast as Kabir, embodies the qualities of a dedicated police officer without the larger-than-life persona, making him a relatable representation of the force.
The series surprises viewers with intimate moments, including heartfelt conversations between Kabir and his mother, played by Mrinal Kulkarni. Unlike Shetty’s previous cop dramas, characters in “Indian Police Force” find solace in quiet moments, leaning against their SUVs, sharing a breather over cutting chai.
Rohit Shetty, co-directing with former assistant director Sushwanth Prakash, delves into the backstory of the antagonist, Omar, played by Jackie Shroff. However, the execution falls short of expectations, lacking the visual impact seen in Shetty’s film endeavors.
Mayyank Tandon, a member of Shetty’s assistant director team making his acting debut, plays a villain with a unique twist – a character whose power lies in blending into the crowd rather than a menacing supervillain persona.
The series breaks new ground by introducing strong female characters, notably Shilpa Shetty in a no-nonsense cop role. While her character holds a senior position, viewers hope to see more of her in action. Other minor female characters, portrayed by Shweta Tiwari, Shruti Panwar, and Vaidehi Parshuramani, contribute to the narrative with impactful performances.
For the first time in Shetty’s cop universe, a major character dies, injecting a sense of realism and raising the stakes. “Indian Police Force” explores the challenges faced by law enforcement officers, emphasizing that nabbing criminals isn’t a quick-fix job.
The series features thrilling action sequences set in diverse locations such as Chandni Chowk, Dona Paula in Goa, and Dhaka. Shot with handheld cameras, these scenes lend urgency and tangibility to the narrative. However, some fast-forwarding in the editing process compromises the overall pacing of the show.
While “Indian Police Force” marks a departure from Shetty’s typical cop dramas, it faces criticism for not fully embracing a realistic cop narrative. Viewers seeking authenticity may turn to alternatives like Netflix’s “Delhi Crime.” Despite this, the series offers a fresh perspective on law enforcement, showcasing the obstacles and challenges faced by officers in a long-form storytelling format.
In conclusion, “Indian Police Force” is a notable shift for Rohit Shetty, presenting a different dimension to his cop-verse while retaining elements of his trademark style.