#OnReview – ZEE5’s ‘Poison’ is an engaging revenge thriller
The show has been titled ‘Poison’ because it portrays how vengeance effects not only the antagonists but also how it consumes the protagonist.
ZEE5 has lately been on a solid spree, churning out one original content after another and has upped its ante with interesting content like Rangbaaz, The Final Call and recently the third season of Karenjit Kaur, which has definitely earned immense appreciation for the OTT platform. Close on its heels, ZEE5 has come up with yet another original, a revenge thriller, titled ‘Poison’.
The show, ‘Poison’, is being produced by Altus media and Jatin Wagle has been roped in as the director. The writing has been done by Shiraz Ahmed (writer of the Race film series). The revenge thriller is 11-episodes long and has a strong ensemble cast including Tanuj Virwani (of Inside Edge fame). Taking a cue from her sister Raima Sen, Riya Sen to has collaborated with ZEE5 for this series. However, it also marks the ‘digital debut’ of Arbaaz Khan.
Poison is essentially a story of Ranveer (Tanuj Virwani) seeking revenge for having been jailed on the false charges of raping a minor. After having completed his term, Ranveer is out now on the path of retribution. The series is set up mostly in Goa and some parts of it based in Mumbai. However, the story doesn’t end up being a stereotypical revenge drama. The show introduces different characters against the backdrop of the Goan Mafia. There is ACP Vikram (Freddy Daruwala), an inspector who has set out to clear the rungs of Mafia in the region, all under the expectation of being promoted. The Mafia is controlled by Antonio Verghese (Arbaaz Khan) who runs his fiefdom under the wraps of a real estate company, Horizon Infra. He has hired Dominic (Shantanu Moghe) to do all his dirty work while Antonio masquerades as a businessman. Riya Sen is cast as Natasha who is part of Verghese’s mafia. She also acts as an informer to Vikram as they both share a history. Vikram has a family to look after too, consisting of his wife Megha and his two sisters Ashu (Pranati Rai Prakash) and Jhanvi (Ruhani Sharma). With this rather engaging backdrop in Goa, Ranveer arrives seeking revenge. This sets off a chain of events, affecting each of these characters.
Poison works a lot because of the performances by the ensemble cast. Tanuj Virwani as a fabled good-guy on a mission brings life to the character of Ranveer. There is a certain undertone of confidence to the character of Ranveer, which Tanuj has been able to bring out well. He is equally complemented by Freddy Daruwala’s Vikram, a seemingly forthright cop eyeing a promotion. Riya Sen is also pleasant to watch in her new avatar of Natasha. However, it is Arbaaz Khan, who steals the limelight with his portrayal of Antonio in his debut performance in the digital space. As a Mafia boss garbed as a businessman, Arbaaz is successful in bringing the required restraint when he acts as a white collar guy and yet is ruthlessly seething when he switches over as a gangster. A special note should be made to Sakshi Pradhan, who plays ‘Rani’. Despite having limited screen presence, she comes up with lasting performance.
With so many characters introduced, it is great to see that none of them one-dimensional. Each of the characters has their own story-arc or motivations to get involved in this overall revenge saga of Ranveer. The writing flounders at places but several crackling moments of tension and strong story arcs keep the storyline together. The director pulls off all stops in depicting nefarious drug deals, sexuality, and violence with utmost realism. The director is also successful is bringing out the contrast between Ranveer and Vikram, with Vikram almost coming out as a parallel lead and since both have shades of grey in them, it will be tough time for audiences to keep switching their sympathies between both the characters.
The show has been titled ‘Poison’ because it portrays how vengeance effects not only the antagonists but also how it consumes the protagonist. Will Ranveer be able to extract his revenge? Who are the ones who framed him? Will there be redemption for Ranveer or will his need for revenge consume him completely? What happens to Vikram? How will his family get affected? Well, not to be a spoilsport, the answers to these will only be revealed when you watch the show!
Revenge is a dish best served cold and ZEE5’s Poison has enough chilling moments and the right amount of inspired performances! Go for it!