The untimely death of the youngest member of the Naik Raikars, Goa’s leading business family, sets the police and political power into a tailspin. Was it suicide or was Tarun Naik Raikar murdered?
Everybody in the wealthy and influential clan, headed by patriarch Yashwant (Atul Kulkarni) and his wife Sakshi (Ashvini Bhave), has a closet over-stuffed with secrets and skeletons, which start tumbling out after Tarun’s death. The tone moves from whodunit to take on a darker hue as power shifts between kings and kingmakers, the old guard and the next-gen.
While the police investigation, under the command of John Pereira (Neil Bhoopalam), is always one step behind, Tarun’s closest confidante, cousin Etasha (Parul Gulati), is determined to identify the murderer. It’s the most haphazard and reactive investigation – even as the police systematically pursue a different suspect in every episode, each family member has a powerful motive and harbours an undisclosed truth. The seven-episode series The Raikar Case is being streamed on Voot Select.
Aditya Sarpotdar directs the series, which also stars Kunal Karan Kapoor, Reena Wadhwa, Honey Kamboj and Ajay Purkar. The show starts off with a very TV soap feel. Elegantly dressed Raikars gather in mourning in an opulent living room after which their shaky interpersonal relationships are charted out. Besides the immediate family, other pivotal players include a local politician and his irrational son Eklavya (Lalit Prabhakar).
Writers Bijesh Jayarajan, Karmanya Ahuja and Anitha Nair use the Rashomon technique to present varying possibilities. Repeated information (the dialogue is by Chinmay Mandlekar) and over-use of the structure waste precious minutes.
For a mystery, the script takes many sweeping liberties, investing less time in plugging the loopholes and assigning agency to the police or rigour to their investigation. Things happen arbitrarily or coincidentally.
Sarpotdar establishes the mood, and the actors work within a palette that lays greater emphasis on drama and histrionics than on suspense and subtlety. A hook at the end of the final episode is frustrating, because prolonging the story does not stoke one’s appetite for more.