Arshad Warsi starrer web series Asur, that has an IMDb rating of 9.2, is a psychological thriller that plays on Indian mythological elements while showcasing the investigation of a serial killer. And here's why it is a show tailor-made for binge-watching:
Disclaimer: Spoilers Ahead.
1. The starcast, led by Arshad Warsi and Barun Sobti.
The investigation into a series of murders where the killer chops off the index finger of his victims, is led by forensic experts, Nikhil Nair (Barun Sobti) and Dhananjay Rajpoot (Arshad Warsi). While the show fails to build on their buddy-cop drama, both the actors' are convincing in their roles of genius forensic experts with a past link to the killer.
Their team includes officers Lolark Dubey (Sharib Hashmi of The Family Man fame) and Nusrat Saeed (Ridhi). Later, Nikhil's wife, Naina (Anupriya Goenka) also lends her expertise to the case. Ridhi delivers a strong performance, but ultimately, it's Sharib Hashmi's natural presence that leaves you thoroughly impressed.
While it's a delight to watch these actors in action, child actor Vishesh Bansal deserves a special mention. Through deadly stares and straight-faced sermons, he represents a creepiness that seems particular to psychopaths across shows.
2. The intermingling of mythology with crime investigation.
Fans of Amish Tripathi or Ashwin Sanghi would probably appreciate the intermingling of mythology with criminal activities a little more than the rest of the audience. Especially the parts that attempt to interpret religious texts or deeper meanings of Vedas.
However, what holds everyone's attention--mythology's fans or not--is the criminal investigation. At times, it may appear that the clues are falling in place a little too easily, but for the most part, the show has tried to develop a thorough mystery. And then solve it in a logical, albeit simplified, manner.
3. A storyline that keeps you hooked till the end.
Unlike most other serial killer investigations, the series does not really hide the identity of the killer and the focus (of the police and the audience) is not on who will do the killing, but rather, on how the next murder will be carried out.
A better move would have been to do away the twists used to confuse the audience. They do little more than delay the ultimate climax, because the identity of the killer is never really hidden, anyway.
4. Graphic visuals
While the criminal investigation is at times realistic, at times dramatic, the cinematography is a visual delight. From graphic shots of the murders to detailed autopsies, the show does not hold back while serving the gory details, but not in a distasteful manner.
Asur is not without flaws, and it definitely suffers from a hangover of other investigation shows, Indian and foreign. However, it attempts to develop a novel story, delivers some visually stunning shots, and presents brilliant performances. For these reasons, Asur is definitely worth a watch.
All images from IMDb, unless specified otherwise.