Kaala Paani mid-series review: This intriguing survival drama is a slow burn

Karishma Jangid
New Update
Kaala Paani

The first three episodes of Netflix's "Kaala Paani" seem to be taking a lot of time to establish the plot, but the topics they tackle are crucial.

You are stranded in an island that has suddenly been gripped with a mysterious disease that is borne out of water. Doesn't that sound like the scariest of scenarios to be in? However, Netflix's latest TV series Kaala Paani doesn't seem to be making the most of it so far. Kaala Paani, named after the famous Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is a story about a survival drama about a few people whose lives are turned upside down when, in 2027, a COVID-19-like epidemic turns up out of nowhere on the beautiful Indian Island. 

Stuck in this epidemic are Dr Saudamini Singh (Mona Singh), a Chief Medical Officer, who is looking for the simplest explanation behind this disease, Chiranjeevi (Sukant Goel), a smuggler and tourist guide, Jyotsana (Arushi Sharma), a nurse who is struggling with her past as well as present, Santosh (Vikas Kumar), a doting father who is trying to keep his family together, Ritu (Radhika Mehrotra), a junior scientist and ACP Ketan Kamat (Amey Wagh), a corrupt police officer desperately trying to make it to the main land.

Also Read: The Janta is highly impressed with Netflix's newest series, Kaala Paani!

Watch the trailer here!

Since this is a mid-series review, we are yet to see how the series fully pans out. However, the series' themes do look very promising. It mimics a pandemic we recently witnessed, while also talking about nature and its loving as well as cruel ways, corruption, greed, and over all, survival. It delves into the age-old, sensitive conflict of whether development should come at the cost of destroying nature? What do you do when claims of erasing poverty are made only by erasing nature, one island at a time? The first three episodes also shed a light on tribals and how even though they might seem primitive, they know nature better than us, because part of loving something deeply is knowing it deeply. All these themes make the series very intriguing.

However, the first three episodes take too long to establish the plot, with a running time of over an hour. The dialogues seem to be taken out of a play. Actors like Singh, Goel, and Kumar give praiseworthy performances, but Ashutosh Gowariker (as Lieutenant Governor Zibran Qadri) fails to be believable while Wagh fails to be humorous. And even though Kaala Paani tries very hard to be scary, only towards the end of the third episode does it start to be intriguing. The thrill that a survival drama should bring with it every minute seems to be missing as of now. 

Hopefully, as the series progresses, we will see an ethical and interesting elaboration of the series' themes in a more entertaining manner.

Kaala Paani is currently streaming on Netflix.

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