“Dangerous” (series streaming on MX Player); Cast: Bipasha Basu, Karan Singh Grover, Natasha Suri, Sonali Raut, Suyyash Rai; Direction: Bhushan Patel; Rating: * * (two stars)
By Vinayak Chakravorty
Vikram Bhatt products bear a trademark. The genre is normally thriller. The crime factor is juxtaposed onto inevitable sexual tension between the hero and the heroine. Music plays a big role. Content and execution often reveal, uh, foreign inspiration.
You could recall the three “Raaz” films he made or, at random, “Kasoor”, “Fareb”, “Aetbaar”, and “1920”. He has been trying out his formula pack every now and then even lately (“Hacked” and “Ghost”) but no one’s probably kept track anymore.
No one’s also kept track that Vikram Bhatt has actually dished out a sizeable number of web series, too. “Dangerous”, his latest in line, checklists all the essentials that have trademarked Bhatts’ works on the big screen. What’s more he is back with Bipasha Basu as his heroine. Back in the day, she toplined some of his best-known thrillers.
In “Dangerous”, a seven-part web series billed as a psychological thriller, Bhatt takes charge of scripting and co-production (with singer-musician Mika Singh, if you must know), so you would expect a minimum suspense drama. The series teams Bipasha with her husband Karan Singh Grover, so you would expect a minimum chemistry. Bhatt has passed on directorial duties to Bhushan Patel, who made (the definitely flawed) “Alone” with Bipasha and Karan before this, but you would still expect a minimum assuredness in handling the lead cast, and the relationship dynamics meant to evolve as the story moves.
Little of what goes on lives up to what you expect, and that becomes obvious early on in the show. For a thriller that is supposed to thrive on keeping its audience guessing, it starts to nag you when you sense you may have figured out the culprit. Look closely as the episodes roll, and you might figure out the bad guy around the halfway mark.
Karan Singh Grover is Aditya Dhanraj, a struggling business in the UK. Why London? For no palpable reason, so we will assume that production had the budget. Aditya reports to the cops one day that his wife Dia (Sonali Raut) is missing. In sync with the grand old Bollywood cliche, the investigating officer assigned the case is an Indian named Neha Singh (Bipasha Basu). What’s more, Neha, it turns out, is Aditya’s ex-girlfriend.
With the backdrop laid, the screenplay plays out over seven episodes before setting up a rather tepid climax. Even if you didn’t see it coming, the end is too lamely executed, devoid of any thriller quotient whatsoever.
“Dangerous” is an amateurishly executed series with some of the cheesiest lines you may have heard. The attempts to set up twists in the tale don’t come across as too assured, but that may be because the writing is overall contrived. A major turn in events — one that will uncover the final mystery — pertains to a particular song, and you would expect a memorable tune (Vikram Bhatt films in the past have had some fine music). However co-producer Mika Singh’s composition fails to resonate.
In fact, very little in “Dangerous” resonates — and that includes the efforts of the cast. Grappling with a plot that has many loose ends and dialogues that seem utterly inane, even Bipasha and Karan share next to nil sexual tension in the scenes they play out together.