Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Every day many crimes are committed with some being reported and some remaining unreported. And even with these, not all are solved. Lalbazaar, streaming now on ZEE5, is one such story which depicts a series of crimes and how they are solved by Kolkata police amidst several constraints and pressure from many quarters including media and public.

Story

The brutal murder of a pregnant sex worker in the red-light area of Kolkata is the starting point of Lalbazaar where the police headquarters is located. This murder triggers more murders and many twists to hide the secret behind this homicide.

Shabir Ahmed (Gaurav Chakrabarty), who is the Officer in charge investigating the murder case, has to face the wrath of his superiors as well as threats from Ghazi (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) who gets all the witnesses killed.

Meanwhile, Suranjan Sen (Koushik Sen), head of the homicide department, who is recovering from a traumatic encounter where he lost his team member in a showdown with Ghazi gang, digs deep into this case.

This is only one part of the series. Parallelly, the homicide team of Lalbazaar cracks many other murder mysteries involving juveniles, homophiles and insane humans who never bat an eyelid before killing people in cold blood. 

Performances

In an underdeveloped character, Hrishitaa Bhatt as journalist Maya Ghosal, gives out a decent performance while the lead actor Kaushik Sen manages to pull off his character despite some flaws.

Playing the noteworthy character of inspector Meera, Sauraseni Maitra gives out a splendid performance along with Anirban Chakrabarti who, as an over-curious police officer, makes his mark with those adult jokes.

After an attention-grabbing performance in recent web series Raktanchal, Ronjini Chakraborty, as Farzana, gets another meaty role to prove her acting prowess and she does it quite impressively.

Another praiseworthy performance is from Gaurav Chakraborty as a well-established character who does a commendable job in uplifting the story of Lalbazaar.

Positives

Though the plot of murder mystery involving a sex worker is not new, director Sayantan Ghosal puts up an appreciable effort to execute this plot well to sustain the suspense till the very end. Rangan Chakravarty also deserves due applause for well-structured story and screenplay.

The conflict prevailing between various sections of law enforcement agencies is presented in a befitting manner without missing the relevance.

Negatives

Amalgamating several sub-plots, which have nothing to do with the main story, is the biggest drawback of Lalbazaar. All those sub-plots could have been divided into separate episodes so that continuity of the main plot remained intact without any distraction. 

Due to intrusion of these unrelated sub-stories the whole narrative suffers badly, making it overstretched and off-target.

Worth it?

Crime buffs can give Lalbazaar a try. On the whole, it’s just another compilation of routine lengthy cop dramas without much significance except for the main plot which is quite engaging.


Also Read: Bulbbul review: Bold attempt but lacks the spark

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