Inspector Rishi review: exceptionally well put together and engaging show

A still image of Inspector Rishi. (courtesy: Youtube)

A one-eyed crime branch detective, dealing with a troubled past and a series of bizarre murders, is the fulcrum around which Inspector Rishi turned. The Amazon Prime Video series mixes the conventions of a police procedural with the thrills of a supernatural horror drama. It does a nifty job.

The series opens in the heart of a dense forest where a mass suicide is taking place in what looks like an occult ritual. Dozens of people jump into a fire. Twenty years later, the region witnesses mysterious deaths attributed to an evil spirit. Each of the victims finds themselves in a spider web woven by an insect.

The police and forest service are understandably baffled by the killings. They have very few tangible clues to work with. The trails they follow often turn cold. Malice, murder, mischief: they are capable of excluding nothing by groping in the dark. Inspector Rishi might invite comparisons with two other recent Tamil-language thrillers from Prime Video (Souzhal: the vortex And Vadhandhi: The fable of Vélonie) which probed 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 transports audiences to a world where the mysteries hidden in a lush forest collide with the lies and resulting misfortunes of humanity. The series is deftly crafted, brilliantly filmed, competently acted, and consistently tense (no small feat for a series that spans ten episodes). There is, however, a clear disconnect between how Inspector begins and how it ends. The first five episodes of the thriller are almost flawless. The conflict between rationality and fanciful obfuscation is examined in a clinical but compelling manner.

But once the fog begins to clear and the focus shifts from the mystifying to the more mundane, the story's impact diminishes considerably, not least because the storyline doesn't move beyond the obvious and predictable. .

Episode 6 is almost entirely dedicated to giving us the details of Inspector Rishi's past. He tells his story to a forestry officer, Kathryn Sobhana (Sunaina Yella), who has been assigned the task of guiding the policeman into the woods she knows like the back of her hand.

What Inspector Rishi The occasional lack in terms of elemental narrative force is more than made up for by fabulous camerawork (Bargav Sridhar), top-notch production design (K. Kadhir) and sound design (by Tapas Nayak) that gives the show dimension. firm sound.

Not to mention, Ashwath's top-notch musical score plays an important role in accentuating the turmoil humans face when in the grip of fear and confusion.

What Inspector Rishi with great skill he probes the myths and ingrained belief systems that inevitably exist at the edges of a world of human greed and exploitation. It places opposing worldviews side by side and observes their dynamics as they manifest from the perspectives of divergent minds. Inspector Rishi Nandhan (Naveen Chandra) is sent from Chennai to the Thaenkaadu forest, 50 km from Coimbatore, to shed light on the truth. His arrival does not go down well with sub-inspector Ayyanar Murthy (Kanna Ravi). Temperamentally never on the same wavelength, the two men take time to get used to each other.

Sub-inspector Chitra Lokesh (Malini Jeevarathnam) holds the balance between Rishi and Ayyanar, but her own life is not entirely settled. The three cops tasked with solving the case have their own problems to solve, although this difficult mission leaves them little time for anything else.

Ayyanar's marriage was marred by his parents' superstitions, which he is unable to resist even though he cannot live without his wife Yamuna (Mishaa Ghoshal), a woman not prone to easy emotional manipulation. Chitra, who bonds with Ayyanar although he looks nothing like the orthodox man. His life itself is an act of rebellion – a fact that impacts his approach to work and his relationships.

Rishi, quick-witted and very observant, struggles with a frequently recurring migraine and an eye he lost in the line of duty. But he throws himself headlong and with all his intelligence into a serial murder case that lies somewhere between the familiar and the confusing. No matter what the mountain town's residents believe and what his colleagues assume about the likely perpetrators, he doesn't change his rational line of thinking.

Rishi disdains the stories he is told about Vanaratchi, a spirit who watches over the forest. Working with forest officer Sathya Nambeesan (Srikrishna Dayal) and the latter's veteran right-hand man Irfan (Elango Kumaravel), he becomes stubborn. The man came off an emotional rollercoaster that ended in tragedy. He believes that “our brain is capable of intense imagination and that we can see things that don't really exist.” Kathy, who is a park ranger raised in an orphanage, isn't so sure. Having suffered in one relationship, Rishi is on the verge of finding another.

Nandhini's screenplay draws much of its strength from the conflict it depicts between the illusory and the tactile in a story that inevitably uses obfuscation in order to keep the audience invested. What the characters see on screen and the indicators they discover and attempt to decipher in light of their own individual perceptions add intriguing layers to the narrative.

Like the inspector of her creation, the director of the series must find a balance between two contradictory experiential domains and mental spaces in which the search for the concrete in the indefinable poses a series of challenges. It hits the right places enough times to make this a series worth watching. Despite its parasitic flaws, Inspector Rishi is an exceptionally well put together and engaging show.


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


Nandhini J.S.

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