Web Series: The Red Land - power lust galore

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are those states in the Indian sub-continent that are heavily riddled with the essence of politics. This in turn automatically makes these states a hotbed of crime.

The basis of these crimes stems from age-old social evils of the likes of Zamindari and the caste system, and everything else coupled together.

These evils are rampant in the above-mentioned states, giving politics the required fuel to flare brazenly. The Red Land was released on Gemplex, on October 15, 2019. The first season went live, and comprises of 8 episodes averaging at 21 minutes each.

The saga

The plot is staged in the 1990s in the ancient city of Banaras. The old customs of the mythical city are duly underlined with a liberal dash of sex, rape, gang-wars, and crime. Amarpal Singh (Govind Namdeo) and Samarpal Singh (Abhimanyu Singh) have sowed the seeds of crime.

The brothers occupy a rather plush ‘Haveli’ (mansion) in Banaras, and are incessantly braving an internal power struggle, similar to that of the cold war.

Amarpal Singh who is the older brother, is a powerless Zamindar, who is left to the devises of his vices, and a pretty wife, who is caught in a scandalous affair with Samarpal Singh. Samarpal Singh is a sharp man with keen business acumen (none of them are ethical)!

He knows how to usurp the land from poor zamindars who are in need of money. Amarpal Singh’s wife, who is better known as ‘Badi Thakurain’ (Flora Saini) is involved in the affair not only to satiate her biological needs, but is also desperate to continue with the family bloodline, before her husband thrusts her out of the house under the pretext of being barren.

The second episode leaps to 15 years later, when Amarpal’s and Badi Thakurain’s illegitimate son, Vikram Thakur (played by Alok Kumar) and Samarpal’s son Babloo Thakur (Shalin Bhanot) have grown up and participate in college politics.

Vikram Thakur is a lust-greedy lad who stands for the college election. The sibling duo is known to scare people, and come clear of any competition that stands their chance for the upcoming campus election.

But there is one person - Ajit Thakur (played by Yashveer Choudhry), who comes one day and quietly fills the nomination form. Ajit is supported by Shiva Thakur, who is further supported by Vikram Thakur (Alok Kumar).

Critical take

As the college drama unfolds, we come to realise that the plot is simple. In a nutshell, it’s about a power-struggle from its very crux. The director Vivek Shrivastav’s stellar directorial skills have been aptly used to heighten the glory of the plot.

He has dutifully converted a simple story about power struggles into a compelling masterpiece. However, one cannot quite comprehend the purpose of the name given to the series. Yes, it could cater to bloodshed, which only happens in the end; but they could’ve come up with a more fitting name.

The censorship has been thoughtfully applied to open to a slightly wider audience, however the efforts on the same do get compromised with a heavy involvement of crass Hindi slang. The actors have displayed a compelling performance. They have emerged rather organically with the plot. Over all, a good show deserving of a 3/5.