Jamtara Review (Netflix): What happens when you give unlimited data and call access to an uneducated youth? A major chunk of them misuses it.
Jamtara, directed by Soumendra Padhi, talks about phishing and how boys from a small remote village named Jamtara carry it out. It is dark, stark, cruel, has flaws, but it’s important. With a crisp runtime, the series tells about a real-life scam and will leave you haunted to pick up the next call from an unknown number. Be careful!
What’s Jamtara About?
Jamtara, a remote village in Jharkhand was introduced to many as the phishing hub when the multiple cases were traced there IRL. Taking the village as the base, writers Trishant Shrivastava and Nishank Verma with director Soumendra Padhi tell a story of two cousins Rocky and Sunny. The masterminds under whom almost all the boys from the village are involved in phishing. While the illegal business is flourishing and the boys are earning bombs, it grabs a local minister’s attention who seeks a share in the same.
Meanwhile, a new Superintendent Of Police, Dolly Sahu enters the scene and is out to burst the scam. What follows is the thrive to earn money, saving themselves from the minister and not get caught by the police.
Jamtara begins with a young boy carrying out phishing successfully and the makers sharply introduce you to the world that you are about to enter. The series unlike its contemporaries without setting a base for the complete first episode jumps into the core directly.
The writing is crisp, or too crisp. For someone who is used to watching almost all the content coming out on the digital space, Jamtara will be fun as the runtime is way too less than the other shows releasing. The makers here try to tell their story in the shortest way and that works (remember, for the ones who are used to watching content REGULARLY).
The show has some good women representation. The makers rather than making the SP of Police a male character make it a female one. Dolly in her first posting enters a police station full of men. Yes, there is the patriarchal gaze that one cannot ignore, but there aren’t the obvious remarks highlighting that she is a woman in all men world which deserves brownie points.
Sunny’s sort of a contract wife Gudiya who is an ambitious girl who dreams of getting out of the grip of this village. Her bravery in the village that celebrates its masculinity is dangerous for her survival. But she does not regret it or succumbs, she fights till the very end and I am rooting for her. In the cast, the show gets some raw and fresh names who make the complete set up real. These aren’t the actors you know. The idea to cast all new faces for a set that is also never explored before, Jamtara wins in the department.
Sparsh Shrivastav as Sunny, Anshuman Pushkar as Rocky, Aksha Pardasany as Dolly, Amit Sial as politician Brijesh, Monika Panwar as Gudiya and many others all carry out their characters with precision and they knew what the perfect thing to do is. Amit Sial gets to play the dark shade and he goes all in to ace his character.
Cinematographer Kaushal Shah tries to tell a story through his lens. The yellowish tinge effect that he gives to the visuals adds more to the creep and grim that the phishing culture already is. Special mention to Rohit KP and Harshit Gupta who play Munna and Baccha. The two are the ones whose gaze we are seeing this story from. Time and again, they connect the story to points and incidents in the epic Mahabharata. What seems to be a desperate attempt to incorporate an intrigue is justified later and the purpose is successful.
This is a show where the good points also might turn out to be the bad ones. As I said, getting directly to the point without setting base is a plus point for regular viewers but not who consume selectively. For someone who watches limited shows, would not be able to invest completely as they don’t know what the set up is.
Point number 2, making the runtime shorter and the story crisp is a good move. But the show is on a risk that the viewer might end up not connecting with any character out of the ensemble.
The show though has an impressive upper layer for its second leads, it fails to give them similar impressive layers beneath. In their backstories, the characters are caricatures and I hope that the makers build them more if there is a season two. Also, there is a sense of repetitiveness that makes some parts jarring.
Watch Jamtara to educate yourself of a scam that was held and is still being conducted in your times, just a few hours away from you. This lecture is entertaining, moving, also has some flaws but is important. The end is a cliff-hanger and a signal for a second season. Let’s see if there is any.
Rating: 3 stars