In ALTBalaji’s latest survey of sleaze, the youngest chief minister of Rajasthan has the shortest stint in office – he is killed in the opening minutes.
Rather than vacating the planet, Yudhveer Singh (Sumeet Vyas) hangs around both in the form of flashbacks and a voiceover that provides a snarky commentary on the investigation into his murder. Who could possibly be behind the untimely death of this smug, smooth child of privilege?
The show is titled Dark 7 White, which gives us a clue into the number of suspects. All of them are from Yudhveer’s social circle. They include his girlfriends (Yudhveer is a more-the-merrier type) and a gay couple. This bunch of frenemies has been used and abused by Yudhveer, a scion of a feudal family who continues to behave as though the princely states haven’t been abolished. Democracy is a myth, snarls this self-declared prince.
A more memorable declaration by Yudhveer, which is in keeping with the show’s penchant for trash-talking, is, “When I fuck, I fuck hard.” The episodes have such titles as “Politics aur Porn” and “Friendship and French Kiss”. Series creator ALTBalaji has displayed remarkable rigour and consistency in exploring generalised randy behaviour, whatever the situation. A show that is supposedly about palace intrigue and the power dynamics between a group of friends is reduced to a string of badly lit bedroom romps and jejune banter.
The cast includes Nidhi Singh, Monica Chaudhary, Taniya Kalra, Kunj Anand, Shekhar Choudhary, Rachit Bahal and Sumit Singh. There are only two adults in the room. Sumeet Vyas, arguably one of the first stars of the emerging web series scene in India, is cast against type as evil incarnate. In his college avatar, Vyas has unkempt hair and a dodgy beard. As a politician, he is clean-shaven and given to sparkling white clothes – about the extent of character shading. Nevertheless, Vyas appears to have a swell time swaggering, snogging and swearing.
The other grown-up is the policeman investigating the kerfuffle. Jatin Sarna plays Abhimanyu Singh, the burly officer who has the tough job of interrogating the suspects and digging up dirt on Yudhveer. Sarna appears to have a twinkle in his eye ever so often, but we are possibly imagining things.
The 10-episode series, which is loosely adapted from Shweta Brijpuria’s novel Dark White, is being streamed on Zee5. The adaptation has been written by Mohinder Pratap Singh and Mayuri Roychoudhary. Pranjal Saxena and Shashank Kunwar energetically churn out cod dialogue, while Sattwik Mohanty steers the train wreck.