Where the land is tinted a dreary shade of blue and brown, you know there will be misery and sadness. The young lads of Jamkara are fraudsters, cyber criminals and well, “These boys call people posing as bank employees, and make fake calls and steal their money'' as inspector Biswa (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) says. Everybody knows about the cyber crimes that have been going on, and yet, nothing keeps them from being tempted by a trip to Goa or a Maruti car, into sharing their security details. The young lads, led by the brains behind these phone calls - Sunny Mondal (Sparsh Shrivastava), a boy of 17 - know just how to take advantage of gullible, greedy and ignorant Indians.
The series is written by Trishant Srivastava and directed by Soumendra Padhi who won the National Award for Best Children’s Film for Budhia Singh: Born to Run in 2016. Jamtara - Sabka Number Aayega is based on true cyber crimes from Jamtara in Jharkhand. Jamtara has long been known as the cyber crime hub of India where a majority of India’s cyber crimes have their roots.
The local boys of Jamtara trick people into giving them their card details and security numbers. From magistrates to TV anchors, who are assured by the sincere feminine voices on the other end, the victims are fooled and robbed of the money in their bank accounts. There is a hint of spilled milk and crying in vain as the story sets in.
You take the trip to Jamtara - its tall grasses, the dry lands and the fishy people - knowing that you are not in for a smooth ride. The paleness of the blue sky and the stiffness of the brown earth are a sign for what happens in Jamtara.
As one watches the series, one gets reminded of Article 15 - what with the appointment of officials who are fresh with a fervour to set things right, in a place darkened by its own name, in both the pictures. Dolly Sahu (Aksha Pardasany), an SP officer on her first posting, arrives with her fists clenched. The shadows under her eyes are a testimony to her determination to end phishing. Despite the many times she is warned about Jamtara (“You’ll have fun here in Jamtara. Just take care”) the fire is flaming in her eyes, especially later on: “I was sent to Jamtara to stop the rampant phishing they’re doing,” she sharply retorts.
And like in Article 15, there is the vile and powerful politician whose integrity everyone knows is compromised but is scared to question. The people and police are either puppets or resting six feet under the ground, the stink of rotting flesh fresh from snapped strings. And then there is Sunny - who refuses to have strings attached to him, who says, “I’m not boot licking. I don’t have any ambitions of becoming a politician.”
The series, through the 10 episodes of 25 - 40 minutes each, is about this chase between the predator and prey; Brajesh Bhan (Amit Sial) and Sunny. Brajesh knows that Sunny is the best lunch he can have and Sunny just doesn’t want to be eaten.
The clashes between the corrupt politicians and the police are consistent, and the helplessness of everyone in between is evident from their bulging bellies, the new red Mahindra or the unexpected bail that freed them from prison. The darkened land of Jamtara is unanimously under the stinking nose of Brajesh.
The tangent that tries to connect Sunny into the circle is his trying and yet illiterate, disrespected and incompetent brother, Rocky Mondal (Anshuman Pushkar). Sunny despises his brother for sticking up to Brajesh and stands on his feet despite all the edges, with his heart set on Gudiya, whom he wants to marry, though he is three years younger than she is. Gudiya is his partner-in-crime whose English speaking skills come in handy to trick unsuspecting account holders on whom Sunny wants to prey.
Oh, and watching all the chase, commentating on the parties, charting scores and drawing parallels to the Mahabharata, are two young lads lost in a different universe of sanity. Caught between his hunger to be a good journalist and his friendship with the criminals is a befuddled reporter, Anas (Aasif Khan).
Jamtara: Sabka Number Aayega is one thrilling tale that will leave you binging on the whole season, with its unexpected turns and twists. Among spectacular performances by all actors, one that truly grips you is Monika Panwar’s. It’s hard not to like her character, Gudiya. The cinematography and the background score have set a vividly chilling stage for narrating this suspenseful story. It is undoubtedly one of the best Netflix India originals to have come out.
Well, now you know that there is a menacing forest with vicious animals on the loose and a chase is building up. Watch if you are in the mood for a kill.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.