Director: Oni Sen
This is the age of digital and like many Bollywood stars, now, we have Arshad Warsi aka 'Circuit' making his foray into the digital world of content with Voot Select's horror-thriller web series 'Asur'. So lets take a peek into what we have actually got here.
Set in the city of Varanasi, Oni Sen's Asur follows the story of Nikhil Nair (Barun Sobti) an ex forensic expert-turned-teacher at the CBI whose family priorities force him to stay in the academic field.. But, one fine day, he's requested to return to the forensic team in the CBI which he deniies at first but agrees when he's pursued by his wife.
His first case on his comeback is the murder mystery of his boss Dhananjay (Arshad Warsi) aka DJ's wife Sandhya. Nair has had a troubled past with DJ and what follows in their lives after this is a thrilling ride that is linked to Nikhil and DJ's old days and involves a serial killer who religiously believes himself to be an 'Asur'.
Asur is an intriguing tale of thrill and suspense that touches the beliefes rooted deep in the Indian society from as long as we can remember. It is an engaging delight revolving around mythology, Asuras, Devtas, and Karma in a way that is simple to grasp and entertaining to the core.
The performance front in well handled by Arshad Warsi as CBI officer Dhananjay Rajput whose worst fears come true in the form of his past and he convincingly portrays his character. Barun Sobti as Nikhil Nair, an expert forensic scientist turned teacher finding himself in between in a murder mystery also shines thorugh the series.
Anupriya Goenka as Naina, Nikhil's wife and Ridhi Dogra as another CBI official Nusrat who also happens to be Nikhil's ex also perform good keeping the fact in mind that their characters are not as strong as Arshad and Barun's.
But, the best thing about Asur is the villian aka the serial killer (who shall remain nameless here for the sake of the thrill) who actually turns out to be a real life asur. His back story, his beliefs, the way he thinks and his persona everything leaves you stunned and this is what makes Asur a marvellously gripping and thrilling experience to watch.
The director does lose his focus at points divulging from the main topic and diving in things like romance but the screenplay is an edge-of-the-seat one that leaves you guessing what will happen next. It's a twisted and astonishing game that combines forensic science and mythology to bring to us something exceptional that was not explored in the Indian digital space till now. So, if you like suspsense-thrillers or mythological-thrillers then this one is going to be a goldmine for you.
Overall, It is one of the best series in this genre we have seen so far in Hindi digital space. On the downside the screenplay feels a bit stretched and the pace also tends to become slow at times but the strong performances, a novel concept and the constant thrill makes you forget all that as soon as you feel it. Watch it for the rush.