U/A: Drama/ sports
Dir: Karan Anshuman
Cast: Vivek Oberoi, Richa Chadha, Angad Bedi, Tanuj Virwani
Irrespective of whether you are a cricket fan or not, India's first original Amazon Prime show will definitely leave you with a lot to talk about. The gritty tale of life beyond the cricket pitch is gripping, nerve-racking, emotional and chaotic. Inside Edge is based on a T20 cricket tournament, which focuses more on the game behind the game, which includes gambling, match-fixing, politics, skewed relationships, sleaze and, of course, money. The show reiterates that this game has a lot of moolah riding on it. While betting on cricket is illegal in India, it's still the biggest racket.
The casting for Inside Edge is spot on. From the smallest player to the scheming, perverted minds, producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani have hit the nail on the head. Vivek Oberoi as Vikrant Dhawan shows his maniacal side that leaves an eerie feeling till the end. He changes the game and the rules to suit his financial gains and doesn't mind trampling over dreams or someone's modesty to achieve it. His BDSM fetish and sinister agendas make the character almost too caricaturish and a bit over-the-top.
Richa Chadha impresses as Zarina Malik. At times, one feels she tries to resemble Preity Zinta (co-owner of an IPL team), with her outfits, hairstyle and body language. As the story progresses, you are forced to wonder if Zinta really did experience any of this. The surprise package, however, is Angad Bedi, who gives an understated performance as the sole positive character in the series. Playing captain, Bedi, juggles between his emotional turmoil of losing his wife, his coach and his team's loyalty. Sarah-Jane Dias and Aahana Kumra seem wasted in the story. Tanuj Virwani comes into his own as Vayu Raghavan. His brutish nature and devil-may-care attitude makes him a killer on field. Surrounded by cheerleaders and drugs, it's rather interesting to see his emotional side.
The multiple plots weaved into one can sometimes leave you a bit overwhelmed, but as the show progresses, it settles down and lets you concentrate on the central plot. Every game played pushes you to the edge of the seat, wondering about the fate of the match. The nail-biting situations make you feel like you are watching a live match in a stadium. The VFX used to create the stadium atmosphere and crowd is impressive and realistic. The direction is spellbinding. We watched 10 episodes back-to-back and didn't experience a single lull. For all cricket lovers and those who are not, Inside Edge is an interesting watch and it shouldn't be missed.