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Bad Cop review: Gulshan Devaiah and Anurag Kashyap-led series fails to arrest attention with recycled tropes and overused narratives

The Disney+ Hotstar series Bad Cop attempts to blend thrills with drama but ends up lost in clichés.

Bad Cop review: Gulshan Devaiah and Anurag Kashyap-led series fails to arrest attention with recycled tropes and overused narratives
Bad Cop review

Last Updated: 01.29 PM, Jun 22, 2024

Bad Cop story:

Bad Cop follows the lives of Gulshan Devaiah's polar opposite twin siblings, Karan and Arjun, as they forge their separate paths. An unforeseen twist of fate irrevocably changes the lives of Karan, a powerful police officer, and Arjun, a clever thief. With Anurag Kashyap's villainous role as Kazbe, the series features high-octane action sequences with plenty of power.

Bad Cop review:

Despite the repetition of cop and thief stories in celluloid, the inspiration to invent fresh ideas never ceases. The title of the series, Bad Cop, suggests that the story revolves around a good cop going rogue, but they don't ultimately become the series' villains. Aditya Datt, who recently wrapped up Crakk, is directing the series, and with Commando 3 also on board, you can expect some obnoxious moments.


Well, it starts at the very beginning, when there's hardly any sound coming from a normal human being. Some chaos occurs when everyone shouts while interacting. But first things first, the show is about twin brothers, played by Gulshan Devaiah as Karan and Arjun. Having names that are iconic in pop culture reeks of mass appeal, for sure. However, the story essentially revolves around a thief named Arjun, who, along with his girlfriend Kiki (Aishwarya Sushmita), witnesses the murder of a well-known journalist named Anand Mishra while simultaneously deceiving a wealthy man using a honey trap.

On the other hand, we have Karan, a police officer who subordinates himself to his wife Devika (Harleen Sethi) after she receives a promotion, leading to chaos in their relationship. On the verge of separation, their eyes widen, and they get closer, as if falling in love, only to scream at the top of their voices.

The narrative commences when Arjun seeks assistance from Karan, leading to a gunfight in which they both sustain gunshot wounds and plunge into the water. Thus, Anurag Kashyap portrays Kazbe, a notorious gangster who embraces life to the fullest while in prison.

Arjun quickly replaces Karan after the latter's death, but in an attempt to save himself, he adopts the "role" of his brother, a move that appears to fool no one. Thus begins the life of a mistaken identity, only to invite more trouble as the moment passes by. 

Despite making fewer mistakes of his own, Arjun becomes entangled in a love triangle by acting in a completely different manner from his brother, all the while unaware that Karan was about to separate from Devika. This doesn't leave a police officer like her suspicious, but she gives him the benefit of doubt that, after the accident, he is evolving for the better and giving their marriage another chance.

On the other hand, Kiki, his girlfriend, experiences jealousy despite facing other challenges, such as being a prime witness and a suspect in a journalist murder case. But here the priorities kick in, as if the storyboard lists down the important subjects that matter in a certain order.

Renzil D'Silva, Sameer Arora, Srinita Bhoumick, Rehan Khan, and Venika Mitra, the series' five writers, collaborated to craft an eight-episode series that could have spanned two or two and a half hours of film. However, we received a daily soap-like drama lasting approximately 20–22 minutes, and it's worth noting that I've only viewed six of the series' weekly episodes.

However, despite the presence of five writers and D'Silva in the lead, nothing contributes to this drama's initial success. Why is that? The story idea itself shouldn't have even been considered for production. The pitch, while initially intriguing, falls short, and despite Gulshan taking on a dual role following Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, his performance doesn't significantly improve.

Anurag Kashyap, who plays the villain, performs a variety of stunts to showcase his presence. Anurag Kashyap performs a variety of stunts to showcase his presence, ranging from dancing on top of a prostitute to hosting a DJ party in jail. He also tries to make everything humorous with his dialogue-baazi, but it doesn't seem to be effective. 

Meanwhile, Saurabh Sachdeva, who comes fresh off Animal, has fewer dialogues in the initial sequences of the series. His performance will make you think, Ah, there's finally someone who will bring some depth. However, his portrayal as a CBI officer lacks depth, and the actor, who also serves as an acting tutor, is unable to showcase his full range due to the constraints placed on his character development. The absence of a backstory for his character is commendable, as it focuses solely on his friend's murder. But that's about it, and all we have to see is him in the present looking into the future to nab the murderer. 

The leading ladies, Harleen Sethi and Aishwarya Sushmita, evoke doubts with their inconsistent accents that connect all possible regions together. However, the story does not neglect the ladies' roles. But it feels like the struggle has been real to make them a real deal in the storyline.

Bad Cop is yet another template that has been seen before, with doubts about who is a good cop gone bad becoming increasingly predictable, and a villain who makes a comeback from the 90s only to find no place in this era of entertainment.

Bad Cop verdict:

Bad Cop stumbles as it tries to straddle the line between gripping thriller and daily soap. Despite the high-octane action and the talent involved, it can't escape the clichés of its genre. 


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