Show: Illegal (available on Voot Select)
Cast: Neha Sharma, Akshay Oberoi, Piyush Mishra, Kubbra Sait, Satyadeep Mishra
Director: Sahir Raza
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the audience is only left with OTT for original content. Every week, we see some new shows streaming on the web. Bollywood and Indian makers have forever been obsessed with courtroom drama and the agony surrounding it. Hindi cinema has witnessed a lot of films based on crime and courtrooms. And now the web is also following the bandwagon.
One of the popular OTT platforms Voot Select dropped a new courtroom crime thriller named Illegal, starring Piyush Sharma, Neha Sharma, Kubbra Sait, Akshay Oberoi, and Satyadeep Mishra in the lead. The 10 episodic drama comprises of 30 minutes each. Looking at the show we can only say that the writers have emphasized more on the characters' personal life rather than dealing with the real-life issue. In no time heinous crime such as rape, murder starts to fade out, and by the time we enter the fifth episode we only witness personal turmoil in the lives of the lawyers. More than the courtroom, it's the bedroom issue that is highlighted.
Nevertheless, the actors like Neha Sharma to Akshay Oberoi made the screenplay enticing but the sole reason why one must give their precious lockdown time to watch the series is Piyush Mishra's impeccable performance. With subtle misconnect between the plots, the last few episodes give us a vibe that season 2 of Illegal is underway.
Illegal is a story of a young lawyer Niharika (played by Neha Sharma) who is a strong believer of truth and didn't mind risking her career just to serve justice. However, her life takes a drastic turn after she was appointed as an associate of one of the country's best criminal lawyers Janardan Jaitley aka JJ (played by Piyush Mishra). Nihiurikas's happiness knew no bounds when she lands up in a firm which is lead by JJ but to our surprise, he is not the knight in shining armour for her instead he is an antagonist in the series. (Shocking spoiler).
JJ tries his best to misuse Niharika's honesty and asks her to fight the case of Meher Salam (played by Kubbra Sait) who has been in prison for 15 years for a gruesome murder. While all this is going on, JJ once again tricks her and tells her to take the rape case. Amidst all professional chaos that Niharika is battling with, there comes a twist in her life. Her ex-beau Akshay Jaitley (Akshay Oberoi) makes her life further complicated. This isn't the end of problems for her, as we move ahead, JJ's rival Puneet Tandon (Satyadeep Mishra) plants another seed in the life of Niharika and JJ.
What happens to Niharika? Will she continue supporting illegal practices by her boss for the sake of a job? Will JJ's truth come out in open? Will Akshay show her the right path? Will they reconcile? Find out for yourself.
Neha Sharma, who is monikered as the national crush, looks cute and convincing and has done her bit to play a powerful lawyer. Her juggling act comes in screenplay well. Akshay Oberoi, who plays the role of Niharika's ex-beau Akshay Jaitley tries his best to fit the bill amongst such powerful actors, though his screen time is less hope in the next season we get to see more of him. Deepak Tijori emerges as a surprise element in Illegal and his act is a visual treat for some. Kubra Sait does a good job as a murderer and if you watch the show you will love to hate her.
Piyush Sharma and Satyadeep Mishra are the only reason one can survive after watching the series. Piyush, who had earlier played the role of a lawyer in Pink, has once again managed to leave an impact. Without him, this show wouldn't have been made or names Illegal, he is the root cause of all the wrongdoing. It's a sheer delight to see him essay a powerful role like this. Besides him, Satyadeep's performance is also worth appreciating.
There are a few locations in which the series has been shot are enticing. Not only the performance of Piyush Mishra, in fact, but the sheer attempt of all the actors to give their best despite a lacy script is also commendable.
The show is laid back and slow. Writer Reshu Nath damages an interesting premise with her loose writing and cliched dialogues. The first two episodes lack energy that one doesn't feel like watching any further. Director Sahir Raza fails to impress. The screenplay is so lacked that in one scene, its shown that Niharika is who is based out in Delhi is reading a popular Bombay-based entertainment daily (Did she fly to Mumbai to get the newspaper?).
To the lovers of Bollywood cinema and die heart fans of American series Boston legal or Suits. Don't expect this show to be anywhere close to these cult films and series you will be highly disappointed and don't even bother comparing.
Undoubtedly Illegal has touched upon many topics but failed to give a concrete end or answer to any issue. The first season is not as impressive as we thought, we can only hope that the upcoming seasons have more depth. Watch it if you feel you have nothing else to do.