In Kohrra (written by Gunjit Chopra, Sudip Sharma, and Diggi Sisodia), a dead body acts as a catalyst for various revelations. You can also say that the corpse becomes a device to bring out the rot present in the lives of the characters as well as the system. But Kohrra isn't only interested in using this body as a tool for the plot. The mystery behind this carcass is solved in the most satisfying and surprising manner. In other words, this is not a show that forgets its central mystery or converts it into a footnote or springboard for lofty themes and ideas. Kohrra has big things to say to its audience, though it mostly airs its thoughts through its story and performances.
What makes Kohrra (directed by Randeep Jha) unusual is the skill with which it creates a mixture of comedy, suspense, and pathos. The fun is in the details. A girl learns about her fiancé's demise after coming from a bridal package. A boy interrupts a police investigation by bringing in a phone. A suspect at a police station excitedly inquires if a girl is really coming for Kabbadi practice. The comedy is not shoehorned in to generate laughs. Rather, it's naturally integrated into the events. The characters do their tasks, and the humor arises from their actions. For instance, police officers order pizza from various stores to nab a lead. I chuckled as they ate the fast food and watched CCTV footage. In another scene, a man angrily goes after a police officer and ends up falling from the stairs (you can call it a comedy of errors). Perhaps, the best scene that illustrates the fantastic merging of two tones is the one where Garundi (Barun Sobti) and his team run after a naked bus driver. The man's shower routine is cut short by the arrival of the police officers.
Kohrra is one of those few shows that treat sex as it's generally seen by many of us. It's something everyone desires, but it's also embarrassing to talk about it beyond the boundaries of the four walls. The characters make out, give blowjobs, and hump one another, though they become uneasy when the matter is discussed in the open. When Garundi talks to someone's wife, she, without hesitation, starts seducing him. Carnal desires need to be fulfilled, and we recognize that the wife has not been touched in a long time.
Remember that corpse I mentioned earlier? Balbir Singh (a terrific Suvinder Vicky) and Garundi investigate this case. Balbir is one of the most recognizable characters ever. I would not be surprised if people claimed that he reminds them of their own fathers. The man doesn't support his daughter when she decides to give divorce to her husband. He also used to fight with his wife (she committed suicide). However, Balbir puts on a calm, polite demeanor in front of his colleagues and the public. Ask his family and peers about him, and both sides will tell you about two different Balbirs. As far as Sobti is concerned, he displays the show's tonal mix through his acting. Watch him all annoyed and tense when Balbir goes missing. His gestures exude both tension and comedy, much like that naked chase scene.
Kohrra is complex and mainly balanced (even the journalists are presented as workers just trying to pay their bills). It shows fathers as toxic patriarchs, as "blind" individuals who couldn't understand their children's desires. But they are also presented as people who are capable of change. In a show like this, it's confounding to see how a rapper and a nail artist are treated superficially. When the rapper talks about his art and how it keeps him alive, and when the nail painter tells Garundi about her job, they look like dumb, comic figures meant to be looked down upon by the characters and the audience. The gaze of these scenes is similar to that of an old man mocking the habits of the young generation. What's more, the villain(s) here might be toxic men, but the show, too, is devoid of a memorable female presence.
The main force in Kohrra is something that's both beautiful and bad: Love. When a father ignores his son's dreams of becoming a race car driver or when another father beats up her daughter's lover, they do so because they, in their own twisted way, express love. The third father kidnaps Balbir for hitting his son. Garundi's personal life presents an abnormal, illicit version of love. The world of Kohrra is aptly foggy, distorted, and dense. The show has its share of flaws, but it's also well-made. It's not great; nevertheless, the pleasures it offers are more than substantial, and the actors alone make everything remarkable.
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