Director: Ashish R Shukla
Cast: Ronit Roy, Richa Chadha, Manurishi Chadha, Gopal Dutt, Riddhi Kumar
A grizzly murder of a teenage boy in a small town of Uttarakhand opens a can of worms, and soon there is a string of dead bodies to show for it. The latest Voot series Candy, starring Richa Chadha and Ronit Roy shows just how dangerous these beautiful towns can be. Everyone seems to know everyone else, yet they are all harboring deadly secrets of their own.
Mehul Awasthi, a student of a prestigious boarding school is found murdered and mounted on the top of a tree for display. On top of that, his classmate Kalki Rawat is missing and seems to have drowned. The locals immediately think he has been killed by ‘Massaand,’ a monster that lurks in the woods, believed to be killing people who come in its way.
Since it’s a whodunnit, we can expect many parties to look guilty. First of all, there are the three bullies who have injured him on several occasions. They also have ties to a drug dealer who supplies the eponymous Candy, the drug that weakens one’s senses and makes them hallucinate.
There is a shady politician that is also the father to the drug dealer. However, there is this scary possibility that the most terrifying legend of the community is actually true.
At the centre of all this chaos is officer Ratna Sankhwar (Chadha) who is investigating the case. Then there is Jayant Parekh (Roy), a school teacher and mentor to both Mehul and Kalki. He has already lost his daughter who studied at the same school and Mehul’s death lies heavy on him. He is also the narrator of the story and is actually in a near-death situation as he walks us through the story.
Candy is an engaging thriller from start to finish, with twists you cannot predict. There is a very cool Gone Girl style shift in narration, where we find out that everything that we have known so far has been a lie. However, since they have a solid climax in place, there was no need for so many twists in the first place.
The show is layered, so we see everything from corruption to drug abuse and sexual assault. But by the penultimate episode, we have seen so many twists that it becomes exhausting to keep track of all of them. We could have cut three villains from the storyline and it would have made the same, if not stronger impact.
The dialogue of the series needed to be rooted in reality. The characters were either giving long speeches full of metaphors or they were using profanities in places that didn’t require them. It made the show look like it was trying too hard to achieve the desired tone. The same could be said about the amount of gore in the show.
In terms of performances, Ronit Roy does a lot of heavy lifting in the show. Richa Chadha borrows a little bit from her previous work but brings out the different shades that her character requires. Riddhi Kumar is a revelation and seems to have a bright future. Nakul Roshan Sahdev, who plays the spoilt Vayu Ranaut, is quite impressive in his stint.
All in all, Candy is a bingeable mystery and the bad vs evil bit surely works for them. However, it is also self-indulgent and gets carried away.