The Pawn’s Move
Dark, formulaic and full of all the usual procedural beats you’d expect from a series like this, Indian Netflix series She is an enjoyable enough watch but it’s also one that’s rather predictable. The story takes on a few well-timed twists and the story runs several different narrative strings together to form a crime drama that’s as much about an exploration of self as it is a crime drama. The cinematography is pretty good, and the score is surprisingly gripping, and although this is unlikely to turn heads given the formulaic nature of the story, there’s enough here to enjoy nonetheless.
She’s story is not an original concept and in essence, the story plays out two-fold; police constable Bhumi finds herself battling against the odds to change the opinion of her male colleagues who don’t believe she can make a difference in her undercover role. In order to change their mind, she goes undercover and uses her sexuality as a tool for seducing men and defying expectations for what she’s capable of.
This manifests itself by seeing Bhumi take down different shady characters across the season. At the same time, this undercover role awakens something painful yet empowering that lies dormant in Bhumi’s soul as we see the struggles she has across the 7 episodes.
Mother issues, sister issues, husband issues; you name it, all the usual suspects are here and this woman has not had an easy life.
Across the season, all the usual tropes for this genre show up, including the “call to action” early on as Bhumi is thrown into this unknown role, before the cycle repeats itself again midway through the series. The early run-in with drug cartel boss Sasya works to set the foundations for this series and what follows afterwards is a tale that sees Bhumi go up against much tougher predators to come.
Stylistically the series works reasonably well and with each episode clocking in at under 40 minutes, there’s an urgency displayed through the show that keeps things moving in a consistent manner. The action is pretty well shot and there’s a fair amount of flashbacks early on, used to establish Bhumi’s painful history. It’s here the scenes mute the colours as a way of depicting this change, and that works surprisingly well to emphasize this change. On top of that, the show does a good job showing off some of the beauty inherent in India and the establishing shots certainly capture some of that essence.
Alongside Bhumi are several compelling characters, including Fernandez who works really well as Bhumi’s superior and adds enough fire to her character to make things interesting.
It’s not the most original story you’re likely to see, nor is it a story that’s going to win any awards anytime soon. She is a solid enough crime drama though, sprinkling in a female empowerment angle to add some extra depth to this story. With only 7 episodes and a relatively short run-time, this crime drama is an easy one to watch through if you’re a fan of this genre, but it never quite rises up from mediocrity to become the empowering drama it so easily could have been.