Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer review: Potential true crime gem ruined by kitschy dramatization

‘Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer’ retells the chilling story of the morbid series of killings that shook Allahabad and the nation to its core. The docuseries follows the investigation into a heinous crime that blows wide open a serial killer’s diary and the dark and damning contents within.

Story

‘Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer’ begins with a dramatically represented news report about a heinous crime in Rewa, Allahabad. The victim was one promising young journalist Dheerendra Singh who was murdered in cold blood, with his head then decapitated off his torso and his genitals mutilated.

The docuseries quickly kicks off with its interview bits of the people involved and the experts opining and weighing in on the subject matter. Apart from the emotional context from the friends and families of the central figures, the docuseries also imbibe the story with crucial socio-political context.

Dheerendra Singh’s murder investigation tracks the likely suspect and eventually, the authorities reprimand a zeroed-in contender for murder. Not too long after that, the suspect, Ram Niranjan a.k.a. Raja Kolander, confesses to murdering and mutilating his victim. However, when the police go looking to find more incriminating evidence at his home, they make an unprecedented discovery.

A diary found at his home contains a list of names, including that of Dheerendra Singh. However, the journalist’s entry is the latest in a catalog of 14 total names. The implications of this discovery are understandably harrowing and sure enough, the police find that the various names in Kolander’s diary belong to his previous victims.

A story replete with shock, horrors, gore, politics, and murders, ‘Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer’ hooks the viewer in and keeps them wanting more of the macabre and morose.

Positives

This second installment of Netflix’s ‘Indian Predator’ docuseries follows the kind of case that all true crime fanatics will love. Playing on the morbid curiosity of it all, the docuseries keeps the viewers hooked for most of its runtime.

This installment does improve upon its predecessor in terms of providing more than just the sensational headline content. It succeeds in weaving a socio-political and cultural context into the grander narrative — something that was amiss in ‘The Butcher of Delhi‘.

The docuseries also works to cross-cut some problematic views regarding the people of the Kol tribe with some counterarguments by a social activist from the same tribe and an anthropologist working for the rights of the marginalized community.

Negatives

Unfortunately, the areas where the docuseries excels its predecessor are also areas where it could have fortified the text even more. For such an interesting socio-political landscape during the central story’s main events, the series doesn’t dwell nearly enough on those discussions.

Instead, ‘The Diary of a Serial Killer’ distracts the viewer, often to an offensive and insensitive extent, with dramatic representations and recreations of actual events.

There is a myriad of cinematic recreations of the gruesome murders and gore at the center of the story. These visuals are accompanied by music and sound effects the likes of which are normally used in some sensational true crime Hindi news programs.

Verdict

The docuseries tries but fails to treat a very fascinating case of serial killings with a mature, restrained, and serious production. Instead, what we get is a garish retelling of the victims’ darkest and most absurd moments of mortality

It’s not just the loved ones of the victims that might take offense at the attempts at shock horror. Despite its improvements over its predecessor, ‘Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer’ has a plethora of things it could have done with more contemplation.

Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer
Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer review: Potential true crime gem ruined by kitschy dramatization 1

Director: Dheeraj Jindal

Date Created: 2022-09-07 12:30

Editor's Rating:
2

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