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Scoop – Netflix Review

SCOOP

Deeply moving, thought-provoking and a stirring account of the fight against conspiracy.

Courtesy: Ahwaan Padhee, XIMB

The OTT has been carpet bombing us with a plethora of content over the last few years. It is almost impossible to watch all the shows and series, given the length of the programmes and the bandwidth you have after a day’s chores and drudgery. And for me, I am miles away from the top ranks of the streaming addicts. But given a choice, I would always like to invest in powerful, gripping and intellectually stimulating content – the recently released “SCOOP” with director Hansal Mehta as the showrunner blew my mind. It had a profound impact on me, and I was just trying to streamline my thoughts and translate my reaction into the paper over the last 2 days.

Based on true incidents, Scoop is an evocative saga of journalistic grit and courage to fight a deadly and complex battle of conspiracies. A stirring account of journalist Jagriti Pathak (an immensely compelling Karishma Tanna) who served nearly 9 months of prison after she was wrongly charged of involvement in the murder of a celebrated and legendary journalist, Jaideep Sen(Prasenjit Chatterjee) by the underworld gangster Chhota Rajan’s men. Pathak is an ambitious , diligent, smart, suave and industrious crime reporter who is caught in the deadly  nexus of police, media and the Mumbai underworld. Her allies turn hostile, her bail is systematically procrastinated and her endurance is gradually butchered.

Director Hansal Mehta along with Mrunmayee Lagoo Waikul carve an engrossing journey of Pathak, her trials and tribulations and cast an unflinching gaze on the entire machinery of things around – the professional rivalry and jealousy, media brouhaha, the powerplay between the influential persons and the deplorable life in the prison. The initial two episodes are sluggish and slow-burn but the plot catches relentless momentum in the subsequent ones. You get more and more engrossed with its somber narrative and ominous background score.

Mehta infuses similar sentiments in the courtroom proceedings as he had done in his 2013 national award-winning film, Shaheed. The material in hand, written by Mrinmayee and Mirat Trivedi, is deeply researched and meticulously devised, giving the narrative a superlative finesse. The sequences in the jail reminded me of the first season of Criminal Justice – they are heavy, dramatized but profoundly realistic and twist your insides.

Karishma Tanna gives a superlatively powerful performance, by sinking into the mental turbulence and agony of Jagriti – she is vulnerable but exhibits the requisite grit to fight her battle, never giving up to the malicious media trials and sinister agendas. She shines in the moments of catharsis. There is a striking change in her physicality, and you can actually feel her pain in the arduous journey that she embarks on.

Mehta surrounds Tanna with an array of impressive actors – Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Imran Siddiqui, her confidante-boss and the role modelled on Hussain Zaidi, Tannishtha Chatterjee as the rival editor, Inayat Sood, Sanat Vyas, Deven Bhojani and Ira Dubey. Harman Baweja shows up after a hiatus as the ailing and mellowed down JCP Shroff. Tejaswini Kohlapure is also seen after a long gap as the brooding Rambha Maa, one of the prison inmates with a lot of followers.

It’s the true story of the journalist Jigna Vora whose career could never resurrect after this evil spell, but she triumphed with her undying spirit and got back to work. Scoop is an ode to the countless journalists who turned martyrs during their unwavering quest for truth.

I go with 4 stars out of 5. Composed of 6 episodes, it is streaming on Netflix.