Shehar Lakhot review: Starring Priyanshu Painyuli, Chandan Roy Sanyal, and Kubra Sait, Shehar Lakhot packs so much in the 8-episode drama that amidst it all, it loses itself and what it wants to say.
Shehar Lakhot review: A long format series that focuses on the struggles and the backwardness of small towns brings to light that the world isn't as changed as we think. But unlike Dahaad, Kohraa, Kaalkoot, and even Kaala Paani, Shehar Lakhot doesn't stand tall in telling its tale from a regional land. Just as the terrain is difficult to navigate as its lanes are filled with dust and heat, the series, with all its scattered mess and murkiness, is a tough watch but it still has its moments.
Set up in a fictional town in Rajasthan, Lakhot is a lawless place where the lives of people get entangled in a web of deceit, treachery, politics, egotistical power tussle, family dynamics, corrupted police work, troubled tribals, and so much more. Dev Tomar (Priyanshu Painyuli), a so-called negotiator is sent to Lakhot to solve the issue of Tribals sitting on a dharna at a mining company but he is reluctant to go there after a decade because of his history and trauma with the place. As he arrives so does trouble and the web starts to detangle.
The problem with this series isn't the fusion of genres, it's how the show conveniently forgets and confuses them. Sometimes it suddenly becomes a revenge drama or a survival drama and sometimes something entirely different. And this happens with the themes as well! Because it talks about the problems of the tribals and how their land has been snatched away in the name of development as mining companies are being set up. It also talks about the backward thinking of the place where a woman police officer is constantly verbally harassed, a homosexual tribal leader is shamed, a foreigner who is dead because of overdose is no one's worry and a man who returned from jail is always branded as a criminal.
This mix and match of themes and various arcs of all the people involved in this drama make up for an interesting and truthful watch. But it is also a show that touches base on social issues as it points them out rightly but doesn't explore them in any depth. Only if this was done well, then the arc of how an illegitimate discarded man who grows up to become the most powerful man running a brothel or how a young woman who had an abortion grows up to become the head point person of that brothel, would have been the most honest depiction of how society makes a criminal and that no one is born one. But you have to give it to the talented cast of the show including Priyanshu Painyuli, Kubra Sait, and Chandan Roy Sanyal for their restrained acting skills that just transform them into their characters.
I just wish that all of the antics of the powerful politicians and policemen wreaking havoc on the middle-class normal people or tribals, women navigating in a man's world, and all the dark madness that the show was trying to achieve could have been done more impactfully. Then every predictable twist, turn, crime, or even comedy with each episode that is almost an hour long would have been all worth it. Nevertheless, despite all its flaws, Navdeep Singh and Devika Bhagat's Shehar Lakhot has a lot to say and it does it by staying rooted in its environment with accents, culture, and a whole lot more.
Shehar Lakhot is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video!
For more entertainment and updates, follow us on @socialketchupbinge