Home INDIA Inspector Rishi Review: Exceptionally Well-Mounted And Engaging Show

Inspector Rishi Review: Exceptionally Well-Mounted And Engaging Show

by Alexander
0 comment
Review of Inspector Rishi: exceptionally well-edited and compelling show


A still out Inspector Rishi. (politeness: YouTube)

A one-eyed detective from the crime industry who has to deal with a troubled past and a series of bizarre murders is the center around which Inspector Rishi turns. The Amazon Prime Video series combines the conventions of a police procedural with the chills of a supernatural horror drama. It does handy work.

The series begins in the heart of a dense forest where a mass suicide takes place in what appears to be an occult ritual. Dozens of people jump into a fire pit. Twenty years later, the region witnesses mysterious deaths attributed to an evil spirit. Each of the victims is found in a gossamer web spun by an insect.

The police and forest department are understandably baffled by the killings. They have very few tangible clues to work with. The leads they follow often go cold. Malice, murder, mischief – they can’t rule anything out as they grope in the dark. Inspector Rishi may invite comparisons with two other recent Prime Video Tamil-language thrillers (Suzhal: The vortex And Vadhandhi: Velonie’s fable) that explores the spectral zone between and around myth and reality, fact and fiction. But it’s certainly not stuck in the same generic groove.

Writer-director Nandhini JS takes audiences to a world where the mysteries lurking in a lush forest collide with humanity’s lies and resulting misfortunes. The series is deftly shot, brilliantly lensed, expertly acted, and consistently tight (which is no mean feat for a series spanning ten episodes). However, there is a clear disconnect between how Inspector begins and how it ends. The first five episodes of the thriller are virtually flawless. The clash between rationality and imaginative obfuscation is explored in a clinical yet convincing manner.

But once the haze begins to lift and the focus shifts from the mystifying to the more mundane, the story’s impact diminishes considerably, especially since the script doesn’t go beyond the obvious and predictable.

Episode 6 is almost entirely devoted to filling in the details of Inspector Rishi’s past. He tells his story to a forest ranger, Kathryn Sobhana (Sunaina Yella), who has been given the job of being the police officer’s guide in the forest she knows like the back of her hand.

What Inspector Rishi The sometimes lack of basic storytelling power is more than compensated by the beautiful camera work (Bargav Sridhar), the first-class production design (K. Kadhir) and a sound design (by Tapas Nayak) that give the performance a solid auditory dimension.

Not to be forgotten, Ashwath’s top-notch musical score plays an important role in accentuating the turmoil people face when in the grip of fear and confusion.

What Inspector Rishi explores with great skill the myths and deep-rooted belief systems that inevitably exist on the borders of a world of human greed and exploitation. It juxtaposes opposing worldviews and observes their dynamics as they play out from the perspectives of divergent minds. Inspector Rishi Nandhan (Naveen Chandra) is sent from Chennai to the Thaenkaadu forest, 50 km from Coimbatore, to find out the truth. His arrival does not go down well with sub-inspector Ayyanar Murthy (Kanna Ravi). Because they are never on the same page temperamentally, the two men need time to get used to each other.

Sub-inspector Chitra Lokesh (Malini Jeevarathnam) keeps the balance between Rishi and Ayyanar, but her own life is not yet completely in order. The three officers tasked with solving the case have their own problems, even though the difficult assignment leaves little time for anything else.

Ayyanar’s marriage is ruined by the superstitions of his parents, whom he cannot stand up to even though he cannot live without his wife Yamuna (Mishaa Ghoshal), a woman not susceptible to easy emotional manipulation. Chitra, who bonds with Ayyanar despite looking nothing like the orthodox man. Her life itself is an act of rebellion – a fact that influences her approach to work and her relationships.

The sharp-witted, very observant Rishi struggles with a recurring migraine and an eye he lost while working. But he dives headlong and with his wits about him into a serial murder case that hangs somewhere between the familiar and the baffling. Whatever the people of the mountain town believe and whatever his colleagues suspect about the suspected perpetrators, he does not deviate from his rational thinking.

Rishi is dismissive of the stories he is told about Vanaratchi, a spirit who watches over the forest. He sets out in collaboration with forest ranger Sathya Nambeesan (Srikrishna Dayal) and his seasoned regular man Irfan (Elango Kumaravel). The man comes off an emotional rollercoaster that ended in tragedy. He believes that “our brains are capable of intense imagination and that we can see things that are not really there.” Kathy, a ranger who grew up in an orphanage, isn’t so sure. Rishi has suffered in one relationship and is about to find another.

Nandhini’s script draws much of its power from the conflict it stages between the illusory and the tangible in a story that inevitably uses obfuscation to keep the audience engaged. What the characters see on screen and the clues they discover and try to decipher in light of their own individual perceptions add intriguing layers to the story.

Like the inspector of her creation, the series’ director must find a balance between two conflicting domains of experience and mindspaces in which a search for the concrete in the indefinable presents a series of challenges. She hits the right spots often enough to make this a series worth watching. Despite its stray flaws, Inspector Rishi is an exceptionally well-edited and engaging show.


Naveen Chandra, Sunainaa, Kanna Ravi, Srikrishna Dayal, Malini Jeevarathnam, Kumaravel


Nandhini JS

You may also like