Netflix’s Jamtara, which is based on Jharkhand’s Jamtara district’s infamous rise to popularity as India’s cyber-crime hub, has stuck a chord with the audience. 


And while the story does falter at places, the powerful performances have stood out. Like Monika Panwar’s performance as Gudiya. 

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Disclaimers: Spoilers Ahead. 

Monika Panwar plays an English teacher in the small district of Jamtara. However, her dreams are far grander than what is accorded to her, basis her location and her ‘caste’. She dreams of building a new life, away from the town’s limited means, in Canada. And for that dream, she indulges in an ill-fated scheme with town’s master schemer, Sunny (a delightful Sparsh Shrivastava). 

Like most crime thrillers, there are perverted, corrupt politicians, local goons, and unexpected betrayals that test her dream. However, it’s Monika’s performance, among other things, that lends the plot a refreshing aspect. 

As Gudiya, she infuses just the right mix of indignation and fear in her performance. Indignation over the atrocities she suffers, because she belongs to an economically weaker section of the society. And fear, because, despite her best attempts to fight the system, she knows there are far stronger forces in play than she has the means to stand against. 

Monika does complete justice to her role and has rightfully earned the praise coming her way. But while she has debuted as a lead with Jamtara, this is not Monika’s first foray in front of the camera. 


Monika, who is an NSD alumnus, has actually appeared in various plays and even had a brief role in the biopic Super 30. 


However, prior to Super 30′s blink-and-miss appearance, Monika appeared in the award-winning short film Destiny. In the role of a concerned best friend, Monika’s natural screen presence was an instant hit. 

Though she has only appeared in a handful of projects by now, Monika’s performances have definitely left an impression on the audience. 


We’re definitely looking out for more of her work. 

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