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Critics Review
Nakaab series review: Esha Gupta, Gautam Rode, Mallika Sherawat leave a lasting impression at the end

The show gets really interesting towards its end.

Shaheen Irani
Sep 15, 2021
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Vibha Dutta's sudden and mysterious death causes panic in the whole nation. Three people - producer Zohra Mehra (Mallika Sherawat) and police officers Pawan Bisht (Gautam Rode) and Aditi Ambre (Esha Gupta) - are closely involved with the case. While Zohra tries to shut the case and Aditi digs deeper, Pawan constantly keeps people confused about his stance in the death case.


Nakaab (mask) is a web series that develops slowly into something powerful. The three lead characters Zohra Mehra (Mallika Sherawat), Pawan Bisht (Gautam Rode) and Aditi Ambre (Esha Gupta) discover their true selves and grow into beautiful characters, in their own ways, once their 'Nakaab' is off.

Esha Gupta makes a lukewarm entry. Although she switches from a sexy female in a club to a smart woman in the police uniform within a few seconds, the scene does not leave as much of an impression as expected. But that takes a 360-degree turn as the episode progresses.

The audiences are introduced to TV superstar Vibha Dutta's demise soon after the show begins. Aditi lives a complicated life, which is eerily similar to Vibha's. Vibha and Aditi's drunken moments, especially, are beautiful because they are complex.

By the third episode, Aditi (Esha) goes through a powerful scene. Despite being an officer, Aditi is forced to think twice before taking action on a crime. She listens to a man's account of domestic violence against his wife but cannot do much about it, as she goes through marital rape herself, all in silence.

Her character takes a predictable turn. However, Esha almost shines in the scene. Aditi's confrontation with Zohra, on the other hand, is interesting. Esha manages to stand out as much as, if not more than Mallika, in their scenes together.

Gautam Rode's entry as Pawan Bisht is powerful. However, he goes on and interrogates the number one suspect, TV's 'Bauji'. While that is too obvious, his acting doesn't help the scene either, thus nullifying his almost high-point entry. He tries to be angry but doesn't leave as much of an impact. Although he cannot emote anger well, his disgusted expression is on point. His character takes an interesting turn as the series takes you through his past and reveals scenes that shaped his life.

Gautam also has a shirtless scene, which is sure to make his fans drool. Soon after that scene, he is shown as a family man, which is closer to his TV image.

The actor's acting grows on you as the series comes to an end. His confrontation with Gaitonde is exceptional. The last scene, featuring Gautam also comes as a surprise. He manages to show his scary side by doing something unexpected.

Zohra Mehra (Mallika Sherawat) gives a powerful performance. While being sensual, she also looks dangerous and scary.

She overpowers a man, which comes as a pleasant surprise for her character. Her last scene is also all about the woman's power but Esha stands out with a better performance in the scene.

The plot, of how someone in power can force others to change the law, is the star of this show. It also reveals some shocking details.

#JusticeForVibha is also something that takes you back to a similar case that shook Bollywood. Soon on the show, we also see #JusticeForBauji slogans. If this was a distraction or if the case is simply uninspired, is something that the makers can answer.

There is a mention of drugs too. More so, there's an important scene that involves drugs during a crucial moment. There are many other 'pleasures' as you get closer to this 'world of sin'.

Nakaab has taken a dig at the media time and again. The headlines, talking about Vibha's wedding, were especially highlighted on the show. This almost felt like the makers were attacking journalists for trying to do their job.

Anyhow, bipolar disorder is also explored in the show but not in-depth. Vibha Dutta's pregnancy is also a part of the series and becomes one of the hook points of the show.

A few scenes, however, are too weird. Every time, Aditi and her husband are having sex, a frame drops showing furniture shaking hard like in the case of an earthquake. This makes for a weird way of portraying the act. Furthermore, a random love story develops between Arti and Pavan. Although their steamy moments are beautiful at places, it simply feels undeveloped.

As the Vibha case still goes on, people come across another mysterious case, leaving the series with an open ending. Thus, Soumik Sen has hinted at a new season too. No matter if the makers come with a new season, Nakaab Season 1 will sure leave a lasting impression.

You may need patience and reasons to hang on to the show and find out what happened with Vibha, all the while, also getting involved in other cases, which will leave several questions on your mind. But the ending makes up for it. The show gets more interesting towards its end.

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