Kohrra review: Not just a murder mystery, deeply reads into Punjab and its culture

The story is deeply entangled with Punjab and its problems

Kohrra review

At first, it seems like a typical story of a Punjabi-Sikh NRI who returns to his Pind to get married to a desi Punjabi girl in an arranged setup. But as Kohrra unravels, it goes much deeper in addressing unresolved conflicts, and mysteries.

Paul Dhillon has got engaged to his fiancé but when his body is found in the fields with a slit throat and smashed head, a gruesome murder is established and an intense investigation begins. The twist comes when his British friend Liam too goes missing at the same time. When the cops find his fiance and her ex met on the night of the murder, they immediately suspect his involvement. However, when several questions are left unanswered, a deeper investigation follows and with each new suspect, a missing part of the puzzle is pieced together.

On the surface, Kohrra is a murder mystery that unfogs a gruesome murder, but, a deeper reading suggests that the Randeep Jha directorial addresses several unresolved conflicts that root out of the geography where the story is placed at.

The story is deeply entangled with Punjab and its problems - the drug abuse, the obsession with going abroad, the NRI tags and the foreign-sounding names, the property disputes, family politics, shame related to sexuality and the male ego and patriarchy.

In the six-part series, Steve Dhillon is a British Indian who is back to Punjab to find a match for his son Paul Dhillon - the Western names, a mark of the NRI pride that the patriarch carries. A flashback shows him abusing his son for not being manly enough and turning a blind eye to his son's sexuality - he's a gay, in a relationship with his childhood best friend Liam.

While Steve's brother Manna, played by Varun Badola, is a man of the pind who is close to his roots and his brother's distant feelings bother him. His love for his brother's son Paul, however, makes his own son feel ignored which leads him to take a drastic step.

The layered structure of the series brings forth stories of many broken relationships and unaddressed traumas - the investigating cop Balbir carries the guilt of his wife's death and this, pressurises his daughter Nimrat to marry and settle in an uncomfortable alliance - when she rebels and goes back to her lover, his ego leads him to brutally suppress her. 

Garundi (Barun Sobti) is in an illicit relationship with his sister-in-law and his brother seemingly knows about the affair. 

The greatest crime mysteries are not the ones that portray a spectacular crime story but the ones that delve deeper into the psyches, geographical impact and intertwine stories to unresolve the conflict, which is what Kohrra does.

Helmed by Clean Slate Filmz headed by Anushka and Karnesh Sharma, that has also brought own masterpieces like Bulbbul and Qala, Kohrra becomes another added feather to their hat.

The series shocks and stuns and ends up being a local narration of crime and punishment and the eventual resolution. 

Series: Kohrra on Netflix 

Language: Hindi

Director: Randeep Jha 

Cast: Barun Sobti, Savinderpal Vicky, Harleen Sethi 

Rating: 3.5/5


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