Following the success of Asur, Voot Select has released another crime thriller series titled The Raikar Case. Director by Aditya Sarpotdar, the series stars Atul Kulkarni, Neil Bhoopalam, Ashwini Bhave, Parul Gulati and Reena Wadhwa in the pivotal roles. The series revolves around a murder mystery involving the youngest member of the high-profile Naik Raikar family. The family’s patriarch Yashwant Naik Raikar (Kulkarni) who runs the family’s cashew business is all set to be elected to the Rajya Sabha when the dead body of his 16-year-old nephew Tarun Naik Raikar is discovered. At first it looks like an open-and-shut case of suicide, but things begin to take an interesting turn when the Superintendent of Police John Pereira (Bhoopalam) comes across evidence which makes him reach the conclusion that Tarun was actually murdered in cold blood. But who has committed the murder? What makes things even more complicated is that fact that four years earlier Tarun’s father and sister had died in a tragic accident.
The Raikar case is essentially a whodunit with a panoply of characters who are murder suspects, both inside and outside the Naik Raikar family. Within the family the primary suspects are Yashwant, his daughter Etasha (Gulati) on whose phone Tarun left 12 missed calls before getting murdered, his wife Sakshi (Bhave), and Tarun’s mother Lily D’Silva Naik Raikar (Wadhwa). Then there is Sakshi’s brother and her family. Also, there is the powerful politician Rajshekhar Rane and his hot-headed son Eklavya who was hooked to Tarun’s daughter before she died in the accident. But it doesn’t end here. Given the wealth and influence of the Raikars, the list of suspects is really a very long one. Interestingly, each episode of the series begins with a different subjective reality that hints towards a different killer in a classic Rashomon style.
The best whodunits are not just about finding the killer. For, the journey leading to the final revelation is just as important. The Raikar Case is nowhere near the best whodunits we have seen over the years. But there is no denying that it is not a bad one either. In fact, the seven-episode series offers several moments of brilliance during the course of its three-and-a-half hour running time. If anything, the melodrama could have been toned down a little given it’s not a daily soap but a web series. Thankfully, the reassuring presence of actors like Kulkarni, Bhave, Gulati and Bhoopalam gives it just the right kind of fillip, despite the shortcomings. Those who enjoy watching murder mysteries will be not be disappointed by The Raikar Case.