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Scoop On Netflix Review: An Understated Thriller Spotlighting The Ethics Of Indian Journalism

Hansal Mehta is one of my favourite filmmakers. Many of his work features situations and stories that could easily become cheesy, over the top or just plain melodramatic. However, Mehta has a restrained style of storytelling that makes those moments work. Brilliantly, I might add. Similarly, as I’ll showcase in this Scoop on Netflix review, Mehta once again tells a chilling and shocking story, but in a way that that’s effective and conveys a realism that other filmmakers have a hard time doing. Scoop is a Netflix original series about journalism and crime in India that hits so very hard!

Scoop On Netflix Review Is Spoiler-Free

Scoop on Netflix review Tanna.

Image via Netflix.

Scoop is all about crime-reporter Jagruti Pathak (Karishma Tanna), an accomplished Indian journalist who is constantly chasing the biggest scoop. As a crime reporter, Jagruti is a woman trying to make it in a male-dominated field, and excelling at it so far. However, as she gets one of the biggest scoops, along with it comes a series of events that leads to completely devastating her life and career.

Based on real events, and a real person, Scoop starts as this amazing journalism story, unlike anything I’ve seen come out of India before. While the series could easily be a crime thriller, it’s from the perspective of the journalists on the ground trying to break the story. It puts a spotlight on Indian investigative crime journalism, from the lens of reporters on the ground. Instead of showcasing the story from the viewpoint of the police or villains, it’s all from the POV of crime reporters doing the legwork. It’s a story that could be India’s first-ever series that showcases the nuances of journalism; the ethics, processes, politics, competition and dangers that come with it.

The Writers Create An Amazing Protagonist

Tanna 2

Image via Netflix.

One of the best things in this Scoop on Netflix review is how the show touches upon many subjects, without making too big a meal out of them. Jagruti is a single mother with an abusive former husband. She’s the single-wage earner in her family and has to constantly juggle her home life with her ambitious and demanding job as a crime reporter. But the show never shows these elements of her life as a crutch or something to pity her for. Her characterization is also pretty genius.

Jagruti is never shown as an idealistic, principled naive reporter proclaiming truth and justice all the time. She has morals and ideals but is also pragmatic about the realism her job entails. She will do anything to get the story, but nothing that compromises her integrity or the objectivity of the story itself. It’s a great nuance and balance that many protagonists from Indian media rarely get.

Is Scoop Indian’s First-Ever Journalism Story?

Tanna

Image via Netflix.

What I also loved about Scoop on Netflix is how the story really digs into the journalism industry of India.Many other movies and shows portray journalists, news reporters or TV anchors in a very superficial way. But the main character of Scoop is journalism itself, along with Jagruti. The show dives deep into how ethical journalism works, within an Indian backdrop. There are real conversations about the nature of reporting news and making a profit from it. About reconciling an idea meant to find the truth, with how to maintain a successful business empire with the same ideology.

But again, none of it is in a preachy way. None of it is long drawn our speeches about morality and justice. It’s all done in a way that is subtle and understated. Which conveys the harshness and brutal truth of reality in a much more effective way, than blaring patriotic music over some emotionally tear-jerking scene.

Scoop On Netflix Review Praises Its Performances

Scoop on Netflix review Ayyub

Image via Netflix.

Scoop also works because of its amazing cast of powerful actors that really enhance every subplot, no matter how brief their screen time is. Imran (Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub) is Jagruti’s editor who gives us the most insight into the world of journalism and its ethics, through his character of a veteran reporter who stands by his protege. JCP Shroff (Harman Baweja) plays a police leader who initially has a good working relationship with Jagruti but then is in a position to completely betray her. Baweja is a great example of a actor forced into a leading man role years ago but is so much more effective in a supporting role like this.

The series features many other appearances by amazing actors like Tannishtha Chatterjee as a rival newspaper editor, and Deven Bhojani as Jagruti’s uncle who stands by her no matter what. Not to mention Prasenjit Chatterjee in an awesome role of a senior reporter whose death kickstarts the main plot of the series.

Where Scoop On Netflix Falters, Ever So Slightly

Scoop on Netflix review Baweja.

Image via Netflix.

My only issues with Scoop are some of the minor subplots. There’s a storyline with an ambitious reporter (Tanmay Dhanania) who is kind of sleazy, attributing Jagruti’s rise to power to her sleeping around. But then, when his strong and independent wife, played by the amazing Ira Dubey, is accused of the same at her job, he acts like a jerk. Even going as far as to imply that her success is also due to things other than merit. And while it’s a subplot that seemed important and relevant, it kind of goes nowhere. It serves to make the character realize his mistake and have an Aha! moment, but it feels like his wife gets sidelined to serve his story. Which is a shame given how talented Dubey is.

The ending of Scoop also feels a little abrupt and rushed. However, that’s a complaint I can’t really credit to the writing, given that the series about the real-life experiences of crime-journalist Jigna Vora. I do love that the series ended with Vora herself speaking directly to the camera. It punctuates the story we see in the entire series with some real-life blurring of lines.

All episodes of Scoop are now streaming on Netflix.

What did you think of Scoop On Netflix? Share your thoughts in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter at @theshahshahid to discuss further.

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