BOTTOM LINE: An Engaging Investigative Thriller Barring a Few Pitfalls
Rating: 5.5 /10
Skin N Swear: Several instances of strong language and on-screen intimacy
|Platform: Zee5||Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller|
What Is the Story About?
Vishwa has everything one seeks for, in an ideal life. Happily married to his longtime friend Disha, he is the CEO of Mumbai’s top-notch construction, software company and a compassionate man at heart. The moment he realises his wife Disha has been cheating on him all this while, Vishwa is a transformed man, a disgruntled soul. Tempers flare up and one fine day, things take a turn for the worse.
Another submissive woman Sunita too is finding it tough to put up with her womaniser husband Sunny, till a point where momentary anger gets the better of her. Their cover-up job only gets murkier by the moment; the veteran investigative cop Deva isn’t going to make Vishwa and Sunita’s lives any easier.
Badla-actor Tony Luke’s part feels like a male version of Taapsee’s role (in Badla) – he’s the one being charged for murder by the cops. The actor fits the role of Vishwa well, though it would have been more interesting had he played the part with more panache and elegance. Sneha Ullal bags a role with decent screen space, though it doesn’t demand anything extraordinary out of her.
It’s Madhu Shalini who’s the most impressive of the lot, who stays composed in several situations when going berserk would have been an easier option. It remains a mystery why the actor doesn’t get her due as a performer. Ali Reza is decent in a brief but impactful role. Bharath Reddy tries to oversell his role as a stern cop beyond necessity. The supporting cast in the show is its weakling and the actors’ amateurishness threatens to derail the momentum many a time.
Expiry Date has most of its ingredients bundled in the right proportion to make for a quality investigative thriller. With several interesting coincidences to liven up a racy, multilayered screenplay lead besides comprising a dependable lead cast, the show sustains your attention for a five-hour span. Keeping aside a few logical loopholes, inconsistent execution and the fact that extramarital affairs have been a regular feature across web shows, Expiry Date gives an interesting spin to the trope by tying up two stories with infidelity issues into a single plot.
The characters may not be as well-rounded as you expect them to, although the spunky narration keeps a viewer guessing. The initial episodes aren’t as arresting as the later portions. It all begins as a series of episodes where the booming – more or less jarring – background score dominates everything else in the frame. Beyond the exaggeration though, the director thankfully doesn’t let the narrative lose steam. The show hits the sweet spot when the protagonists Vishwa and Sunita come up with wacky ideas to evade cops at every step and succeed almost every time.
The screenplay is filled with instances where the protagonists preempt the worst-case scenario and prepare for it accordingly. The writers’ ability to look at every incident from multiple dimensions proves that this is no lazy effort. The dialogues are comical when you least expect them to be, but the length of the episodes feel just right. The makers have very smartly attempted to pass off several locations in Hyderabad as Mumbai. One wonders why Expiry Date needs to be set in Mumbai when it would have been completely okay to set up a Hindi show in a Hyderabadi backdrop.
Given that Telugu actors play most of the roles, their Hindi accent is sometimes deplorable. The voices of the characters keep changing and the dubbing inconsistencies hurt. The portrayal of IT wings and technical staff within the police department is laughable; the characters look like receptionists at a software company and keep giving details to their superiors like call-centre executives. The over-the-top mannerisms of the cops are a cause for unintentional humour. The contract killers wearing gaudy costumes and flashy shades aren’t exactly a treat to the senses. Expiry Date, barring these missteps, is a paisa wasool watch.
Music and Other Departments?
One wonders what had gotten into Anup Rubens while composing the background score. The score repeatedly underlines that the show is moving at a breathtaking pace and the screechy pitch is an unwelcoming distraction from the proceedings. It doesn’t even waste a moment of silence for the viewers. Suresh Ragutu’s cinematography is one of the show’s strengths. The writing of the show is not bad at all, though it’s the execution that feels muddled.
Interesting spin to a done-to-death trope
Madhu Shalini’s performance
Deafening background score
Logical loopholes in the case investigation
Mediocre supporting cast
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, in parts
Will You Recommend It?
Expiry Date Review by Binged Bureau
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