Movie Reviews

Is Kaalkoot Based on a True Story?

‘Kaalkoot’ is an Indian crime drama series created by Arunabh Kumar and Sumit Saxena. The narrative focuses on Sub-Inspector Ravi Shankar Tripathi who is handling the case of an acid victim. But he can only do so much in a corrupt system. Wrong deeds abound but any right deed requires an explanation. He even considers resigning after being subjected to all this for the past three months. How he finds the motivation to find and bring the criminal to justice against all the odds is what the show reveals. The show offers power-packed performances by Vijay Varma who plays Ravi Shankar Tripathi and Shweta Tripathi who plays the acid victim Parul Chaturvedi, along with Suzanna Mukherjee, Gopal Dutt, Seema Biswas, Yashpal Sharma, and Tigmanshu Dhulia.

Acid attacks, mostly on women, are one of the major crimes committed in India. And it is increasing every year. Lack of law and legislative support allows the criminals to walk free even after being convicted of the crime. This has made this crime the subject of many Indian films and shows. The Indian biopic ‘Chhapaak’ is based on the life of acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, played by Deepika Padukone. Laxmi presently runs the Laxmi Foundation which promotes the prevention of the sale of acid. She is also a recipient of America’s International Women of Courage award 2014. All this can easily make you wonder whether the events of ‘Kaalkoot’ are inspired by real life and real people. Well, we have it all covered for you.

Is Kaalkoot a True Story?

‘Kaalkoot’ is not based on a true story. The fictional screenplay, written by Arunabh Kumar and Sumit Saxena, is however inspired by real events, and by this, we don’t just mean the acid attacks but also a corrupt system that obstructs a just person from getting justice. However, the research that goes into making such a show is crucial because it deals with a very sensitive issue. Needless to say, the actors had to make sure that they portrayed their characters authentically.

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In an interview with ABP Live, actress Shweta Tripathi, while talking about meeting real-life acid-attack victims, stated, “I met them, I heard them and they were smiling, they love makeup and they love making reels. The one thing that I felt bad about was that their attackers’ lives are as normal as possible. They are married and have kids. How bad does it have to get for us to take notice? Just because this is not happening to our door, we neglect it. We need to spark those conversations and this was the motive of ‘Kaalkoot’.” Realizing the pain of the victims allows Tripathi to bring it out on screen which in turn brings about an authentic reaction from us, the viewers.

Commenting on the themes, Vijay Varma stated, “Kaalkoot is a coming-of-age story of Ravi, the character I portray, and I believe it will undoubtedly be a transformative experience for anyone who watches it. The show digs deep into our souls, challenging how we see ourselves, and reveals the hidden sides of humanity, the parts we often overlook. I am sure that it will leave viewers to reflect and raise important questions and spark a meaningful dialogue.”

Talking about his character in an interview with Outlook India, he said, “It’s one of the most well-written crime and investigative dramas and we have humanized cops in a way that you will feel related. It talks about a lot of social issues but it does it with much intelligence and empathy that it will give you an essence of the world and the reality that we live in and we will probably understand why acid attack is a real problem and what can be done with it.”

‘Kaalkoot’ means poison in Sanskrit. The show’s title is used to stress crimes like acid attacks, illegal abortions, and female infanticide, and address them as the ingredients of a poison that is slowly killing our society. In this way, the show also adds a metaphysical perspective to its primary theme; an added layer of sentiment that the Indian audience can easily connect to.

So while there is no true story behind ‘Kaalkoot’, many if not all the aspects of the series have been inspired by real life. Ultimately, by introducing a fictional disillusioned cop in the middle of the exploration of a crime through multiple real-life lenses and showing how that character rises, the creators establish a narrative that is not only organic but also cathartic.

Read More: Best Crime TV Shows