Dahaad (transl. Roar) is a Hindi-language crime, mystery, thriller web series created by Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar and directed by Reema Kagti, Ruchika Oberoi, starring Sonakshi Sinha, Gulshan Devaiah, Sohum Shah, Vijay Varma, Manyuu Doshi, Yogi Singha, Sanghmitra Hitaishi, Ratnabali Bhattacharjee, Varad Bhatnagar, Nirmal Chiraniyan, Vijay Kumar Dogra, Abhishek Bhalerao, and Waris Ahmed Zaidi. Inspired by Mohan Kumar (serial killer), also known as Cyanide Mohan, is a serial killer who preyed on women looking for marriage. Dahaad is the first ever Indian web series to premiere at Berlin International film festival, where it will compete for Berlinale Series Award. The show was streamed on Amazon Prime Video on the 12th of May
In a small village in Rajasthan, Sub-Inspector Anjali Bhaati (Sonakshi Sinha) comes across a case where twenty-seven women have been disappearing without a trace, yet the locals seem unfazed. However, everything changes when Bhaati finds a common thread connecting all cases, leading her to suspect a serial killer may be on the loose. This revelation shifts her attention from unexplained disappearances to a well-planned and calculated scheme. Anjali, in her thirties, rebels against the traditional background of her village, making it difficult for her mother to find a suitable marriage proposal. She also faces discrimination due to her caste. However, she remains a strong-headed cop. Two parallel cases emerge, intertwined by fate. A brother from a scheduled caste reports his sister missing. In the other case, inter-caste love blossoms between a village figure's daughter and a Muslim boy. Anjali helps the boy escape and focuses on the other case. She discovers a pattern among the missing girls from scheduled castes: aged above 25, unable to marry due to poverty and lack of dowry, emotionally vulnerable. Tracing the phones to a previous victim, she realizes that 27 girls were killed the day after they ran away with their partners, poisoned with cyanide. While some believe it's a gang, Anjali suspects a lone psychopath. She argues that the killer has adhered to a meticulous plan without making a single mistake. She believes a gang would increase the chances of errors, unlike this case. Anand Swarnakar, a college lecturer with a wife and son, teaches underprivileged children. His wife Vandana has an affair with a coworker named Jai. Anand's son Kapish finds a phone in their father's van. The police trace it to Anand, leading to his interrogation. No evidence is found, but subsequent clues point to Shiv, who is arrested. Realizing it was Anand, Shiv aids the police. Anand flees Rajasthan and starts a new life in Goa with Mariam. Anjali arrests him before he can commit another murder. In the end, Anjali questions Anand's motives for killing innocent girls. He justifies his actions, claiming the girls were not innocent and deserved punishment. He criticizes Anjali's caste background despite her police role and blames her relationship with her boss. Anjali decides to change her surname back to Meghwal, symbolizing her defiance against societal expectations and prejudices.
The trailer of Dahaad was released on May 3, 2023. The web series premiered at 73rd Berlin International Film Festival, Germany on February 22, 2023. Dahaad released on 12 May 2023 on Amazon Prime Video in 240 countries
Dahaad is better than what we have seen in recent times in terms of web series. It's the women's storytelling that makes the series usual yet unique given the backdrop it has been set in.
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