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Delhi Crime: A bold response to rape and more

  • Published at 05:07 pm April 19th, 2019
Poster of Netflix original series 'Delhi Crime'
Poster of Netflix original series 'Delhi Crime' | Collected

Based on the 2012 Delhi gang rape, the 'Nirbhaya case,' this crime drama is a bold response to rape and beyond. It is not confined to Delhi only, as the offence it depicts is a widespread cancer in South Asian nations and beyond, and a rapist knows no country, race, or religion

Recently, the rise in sexual violence in our country has everyone talking and many parallels can be found in the Netflix original series, “Delhi Crime,” by Canadian film Director and Writer Richie Mehta.  

Based on the 2012 Delhi gang rape, the “Nirbhaya case,” this crime drama is a bold response to rape and beyond. It is not confined to Delhi only, as the offence it depicts is a widespread cancer in South Asian nations and beyond, and a rapist knows no country, race, or religion.

Delhi Crime is based on the Nirbhaya Case, a real life tragedy, so we can anticipate what this TV series is all about. 

In Netflix production, the story is given an intimate poignancy, placing Delhi’s Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Vartika Chaturvedi, and victim Deepika, together. The audience is drawn in to reflect on the dutifulness of Delhi Police and the terrifying impact of ruthless criminals. It shows how a police officer can blend personal and professional responsibilities.

The intro is a vivid reference to night-time Delhi, a visual metaphor trying to bring in light through the darkness. The fast paced narrative does not waste a second on plot or sub-plots, plunging us right into the Delhi night.

Why are women the only victims of such crimes, always? That is why this series is so topical, so restless, and so relentless. You cannot miss the major characters uttering "Jay Hind" throughout the series. 

“Delhi Crime” draws attention to the inner dynamics of Indian politics, policing, and the press. 

The Netflix original subverts the stereotypical image of police and police stations. Speaking of the police, the inequity of hierarchy and rank in the  Indian Police, which is a sad reality, gets accentuated multiple times.

Media and broadcasting corporations receive a heavy blow in the crime drama for the recent trend of “Viral-ing” everything and sensationalizing every serious issue available.“Delhi Crime” also reflects on unrestricted internet access for youngsters. No dark glasses, no shining guns, nothing fancy: just the plain and moribund regular duty. When Akash, Deepika’s friend confesses: "I tried but there were too many,"  patriarchal man loses to patriarchy itself. No matter how the series tries to cast Chaturvedi out of the patriarchal woman mold to a more self-dependent one, she is the one with more tear time in the entire show. 

Showing emotion is not a sin but when one particular character does that consistently, it’s boring. There is a reference to Lord Shiva that plays a vital role in identifying the culprits.   There is a statue of Shiva in that bus that does not discourage the criminals. There are several brilliant cinematic moments like the one minute thirty second uninterrupted take in episode two. The overall sound effects and design alone can take you from pain to pleasure, from anxiety to apathy, which is just marvelous.

Despite all this, the fake phone call sequences are an eyesore and a silly mistake in an otherwise spectacular show.

 “Delhi Crime” comes, not with a straightforward solution but a solemn meditation on one of the most painful problems of the 21st century. Within the short span of only 7 episodes, this series proves that, “Insaf” (justice) and “Sahi” (righteousness) go hand in hand.


Abdur Rehman is a film and music enthusiast. He is a final-year honours student of English literature at Jahangirnagar University