Two brothers. A dead body. Several suspects. And one more hill-station-based mystery: the writers of the latest desi OTT thrillers can’t seem to think beyond hills and dales. ‘Bloody Brothers’, directed by Shaad Ali, is about a hit-and-run-in-the-dark-of-the-night in Ooty, tracking those who pop up as the body is laid to rest, as they go about behaving in a furtive manner, exemplifying the Everyone Has Something To Hide trope in season one of this six-part web series.
It begins with a speeding car, a bang and a thud, and a body being dragged up a slope into a house. Swift flashbacks acquaint us with big-ticket lawyer Jagjeet (Jaideep Ahlawat) and sad sack bookstore owner Daljeet (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), brothers who haven’t been in arms for a while, and who happen to be driving together, in a state of vexation, for different reasons. From here on, the slate gets crowded: the dead man’s niece Sophie (Tina Desai) in town to tidy his affairs, his sly-smiley elderly neighbour (Maya Alagh), Jagjeet’s unhappy wife (Shruti Seth), a sleuth on the sauce (Jitendra Joshi), a bald-pated mobster (Satish Kaushik), a bad girl with a thing for women (Mugdha Godse), and a henchman who likes knocking heads.
The disparate characters and their doings may have meshed well in the original Scottish series ‘Guilt’, but ‘Bloody Brothers’ is an adaptation which never seems to be fully at ease with its setting and characters, who feel as if they have parachuted in for the shoot. There’s no sense of belonging with a place they call home. What makes it worse is the uninspired writing and execution: to get to the cliff-hanger ending of each episode becomes a task.
Which is a pity, because this Applause Entertainment-BBC Studios India production has a fine ensemble cast. Of the lot, it is, expectedly, Ahlawat and Ayyub who keep us watching: the former gets a chance to wear cool suits, a nice break from the rustic, small-town types he’s played up until now, and the latter seizes upon the opportunity to recite soulful ‘shaiyari’ while looking into a pretty girl’s eyes.
Will the second season be sharper? We’ll see.
Director – Shaad Ali
Cast – Jaideep Ahlawat, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Tina Desai