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‘Scoop’ series review: An intense tale of journalism, corruption, and redemption

‘Scoop’ series review: An intense tale of journalism, corruption, and redemption
One of the reasons I admire OTT platforms is the opportunities they provide to talented individuals who might not have made it to the traditional Bollywood screen due to industry politics and standards. Netflix’s latest release, ‘Scoop,’ not only serves as a gripping crime drama series but also marks a remarkable comeback for actors who had previously faced setbacks in their careers. Created and directed by Hansal Mehta, this streaming television series takes inspiration from the biographical memoir ‘Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison’ by Indian journalist Jigna Vora. Vora was accused of the murder of reporter Jyotirmoy Dey in 2011 and endured a seven-year-long struggle before being acquitted. Karishma Tanna, a prominent figure in the Indian television industry who had struggled to make an impact in Bollywood, delivers an outstanding performance in the lead role of Jagruti Pathak. Pathak, a crime reporter, finds herself entangled in a web of conspiracy when a fellow journalist is murdered. Tanna’s portrayal breathes life into the character, showcasing her resilience and determination.

Harman Baweja, in a role that allows him to showcase his acting prowess without being heavily criticized, portrays JCP Harshavardhan Shroff. JCP Shroff has personal, professional, and political motives to ensure Pathak is found guilty of the crime.

While JCP Shroff relentlessly works to charge Pathak, Imran Siddiqui (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), the bureau chief of Eastern Page and Pathak’s boss, stands in his way. Siddiqui tirelessly investigates the murder, seeking justice and securing Pathak’s release from judicial custody. The series portrays Vora’s real-life ordeal during her seven months in judicial custody, fighting for bail. The trial, lasting more than half a decade, ultimately destroys her journalism career. It explores her vibrant personality before the case and the subsequent impact of the allegations, nearly shattering her spirit. Adapting real-life incidents for screen is no easy feat, but writer/director Mehta successfully captures the intense moments of Vora’s ordeal. Scoop not only focuses on Vora as the central character but also delves into the selfishness, moral conflicts, and corruption prevailing in journalism, policing, and politics. In a subtle manner, the series satirizes the current state of journalism, where business interests often overshadow ethics. It also sheds light on the plight of individuals forced into the darker side of the profession due to external pressures. Additionally, it touches upon the pervasive sexism in society, highlighting how outspoken women can face opposition from their colleagues and peers. Tanna delivers one of her career-best performances as the outspoken and resilient Jagruti. She flawlessly embodies the character, tackling every challenge head-on without succumbing to adversity. Even in vulnerable situations, Jagruti exudes dignity and pride. Known for her previous comical and romantic roles, Tanna undergoes a remarkable transformation in portraying Jagruti, and her efforts are commendable throughout the series. Ayyub shines as Imran, one of the few journalists who upholds his integrity without compromising for money or fame. Despite facing threats that could jeopardize everything he holds dear, Imran refuses to yield to pressure. Ayyub convincingly portrays the honest, intense, and intelligent character, breaking barriers with his versatility. Who should watch it? Crime drama enthusiasts seeking a gripping and intense series will find Scoop captivating. Fans of Karishma Tanna and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub will be delighted by their exceptional performances. Additionally, those intrigued by the exploration of the dark side of journalism, corruption, and the resilience to overcome challenges will find this series intriguing. Moreover, those interested in real-life stories of criminals and gangs will be drawn to the movie, as it features a pivotal role played by a real Indian gangster, without mentioning his name to avoid further publicity. Rating: 4 stars Genre: Crime Drama Actors: Karishma Tanna, Harman Baweja, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub Director: Hansal Mehta Run time: Six episodes of roughly one hour each