Available On: Netflix
Duration: Episode 10/ 20-30 minutes
Story: Jamtara: Sabka Number Aayega is Netflix's first Hindi original series of 2020. Based on the phishing scams that took place between 2015 to 2017, the series follows tech savy boys, who take advantage of the booming internet services and scam gullable people into sharing their card and OTP details.
Review: Jamtara is a fictional story which takes place during the high number of phishing scams, that took place in the Jamtara district. It starts with 16 to 17-year-olds already deep into the cybercrime and have managed to scam plenty of people around the country. We also get to to see how the legal system treats these underaged criminals and the politicians working with them in the area. While one cop is set out to save the day, and close the racket, the politician is hell-bent on making it his own business on his turf. Soumendra Padhi's story isn't about the phishing scams that turns into a business but it is about the people who have the greedy for money.
Each episode lasts for about 20 minutes, excluding the intro song and end credits, and that is very little time to set in and introduce a long list of characters. The main characters to keep in mind are, Sunny Mondal, his elder brother Rocky, Sunny's love interest Gudiya, the politician Brijesh and Jamtara SP Dolly Shah. We find out very little about the characters throughout the series, but it is enough to be invested in them for the sake of the web series. Information is only provided as and when needed, which adds to the Netflix show's suspense.
The story works great on paper, but even with only 20 minutes in the episode, we get to see a lot of repetition. Through the series, we will see everyone talking and asking for money all the time, which is part of the theme, but we also see many scenes where the hackers are running away from the cops, yelling at each other, and constantly fighting scene after scene. It brings down the urgency in the story and lowers your interest in the show. What keeps you hook is the look and feel of the web series, the defined and well-thought-out visual look of the film is by National Award-winning director Soumendra Padhi.
The actors, Panwar and Shrivastava have given their best and it comes off, off the screen. All characters have a unique dynamic with each other and it was certainly pleasant to watch it progress through the show. However, the makers seemed to have forgotten who the main characters are halfway through, we even have a reporter who gets plenty of screen time but we never find out anything about his or his purpose on the show. Sunny, Rocky and Gudiya are the most developed characters, Brijesh was made out to be the bad guy and Dolly just seems one dimensional. It almost seems like these characters are isolated from their surroundings and the show and no retrospect of the small-town folks. Jamtara does have two characters who try to relate the story to Mahabarata, instead to me, Jamtara resembled more to town about to be eaten up by its own residents.
Overall, Jamtara: Sabka Number Aayega is a fun watch if you enjoy listening to plenty of cuss words and do not want to feel attached to the show. You can consider this one as a mini-series and quickly step away from it.