Netflix is betting big on the Indian market. Go anywhere out on the Indian street and you will see at least one hoarding advertising the next big Netflix series. Every day, we get news about Netflix making inroads into the Indian streaming market. They are collaborating with some of the biggest names in India, and one them is Russel Peters, the man who made standup comedy successful in India. They collaborate for The Indian Detective, a comedy-crime-caper starring Russel Peters as an Indian who’s employed with the Canadian police force.
Peters plays Douglas D’Mello, who’s suspended from the police force for a month after he botches a drug peddling investigation. He reaches Mumbai, to meet his father, Stanley D’Mello and unwittingly is pulled into a conspiracy that’s threatening to demolish a slum in India, but the real story lies in Canada.
What’s Wow: It’s difficult to make a believable detective story today because of obvious reasons, so TID decides to show the worse side of crime and detection, and that’s what works for the series. A wafer-thin storyline is balanced by a quirky screenplay that makes one binge-watch. Russel is the star of the series that moves from Canada to India in split screens. The characters are believable, the story is something that’s right out of an interesting headline.
What’s Blah: What’s really grating though, is the depiction of Indians in the series. From blatant ‘the system is broken’ sequences where Doug is just locked up on a flimsy reason to a police officer lightly saying that he can locked up for no reason, the spiral that the Indian Judicial system takes is disheartening. Also, the kind of Indian accented English that’s shown about – not many people have heard that kind of accent – even after living in this country for 35 years. It’s not just the accented English, it’s the stunted Hindi that’s everywhere.
Basically, The Indian Detective is the ‘Burra Sahib’ version of India that the western world loves to talk about, death, drudge, poverty and of course, crime right at the next corner. It’s everywhere, you don’t know why an Indian police officer is pronouncing Indian names in an accent. But what takes the cake is when a VHS tape comes up somewhere at the end of the series. That stuff’s not been much in use in India too, people.
Parting Shot: A nice watch.
Cast: Russel Peters, Anupam Kher, William Shatner, Christina Cole
You can watch it on Netflix
Have a point of view? We are all ears! Leave your comments below