Delhi Crime creator Richie Mehta's Poacher, which has Roshan Mathew, Nimisha Sajayan and Dibyendu Bhattacharya, is set to stream on OTT from February 23, 2024
Amazon Prime Video dropped a bombshell announcement on January 16 unveiling the release date of Delhi Crime maker Richie Mehta’s upcoming crime web series – Poacher. The eight-episode series, which is set to begin streaming on February 23, is based on true events and has Roshan Mathew, Nimisha Sajayan and Dibyendu Bhattacharya in pivotal roles.
Poacher, which also marks the debut web series of the Hollywood production house that backed Get Out and BlacKkKlansman, is an investigative drama that follows NGO activists, Good Samaritans, Forest Department officials and local people as they risk their lives to catch a ring of ivory poachers in Kerala, while facing threats from corrupt officials in charge of protecting the wildlife.
The first three episodes of the series were screened at the Sundance Film Festival last year, and based on an OTTplay interview with Richie Mehta soon after the screening, here’s what we know about the story and characters.
The series is set in Kerala and Delhi, and the filmmaker wanted to cast Malayali actors for the role of a local cop named Mala and a Good Samaritan, Allen. Nimisha was casting director Mukesh Chhabra’s first choice – primarily after her performance in The Great Indian Kitchen, which had released in 2021.
Roshan was also Mukesh’s suggestion for the role of Allen, who works with the law and partakes in the raid as someone wanting to help. Incidentally, Richie had not watched the previous works of either of the two Malayalam stars. The team had auditioned several other actors, but both Nimisha and Roshan were perfect for their respective roles, the director said.
Dibyendu essays the character of a Bengali officer stationed in Kerala. To make his character look authentic, the makers have him speak his mother tongue while his character is at home, but converse in Hindi, English and a smattering of Malayalam when they interact with others.
Richie had got the footage of an ivory raid in Delhi as part of several hundred videos that were sent from across the country for his 2015 documentary India In A Day. This video caught his eye and he pursued it after he had completed shooting Delhi Crime in 2019, by visiting the Wildlife Trust of India.
A major part of the series is set in Kerala, with the poachers speaking only Malayalam. It showcases how despite the “internal corruption” and “broken system”, several good people team up to bring the country’s biggest ring of poachers to justice.