There is no dearth of specials coming out of Disney+ Hotstar. Kerala Crime Files, Criminal Justice, Grahan, Shaitan, and Mathagam are just some of the dramas that revolve around police investigations in a big way. Aakhri Sach is yet another investigative drama from this OTT space, directed by Robbie Grewal and written by Saurav Dey, which takes us through a peculiar case of murder or suicide involving a family of eleven.
Aakhri Sach Episode 1 titled ‘Breaking News: Ek Saaya,’ begins with a neighbor and a local milkman discovering the bodies of ten members (initially) of one family who have died by apparent suicide. It is understood from the first scene that the show is inspired by the Burari murders of 2018, which shook the nation. The entire scene is set up as per the description given by the media to the public. The most recent memory of this incident must be the Netflix documentary House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths. The makers must have used some information from this documentary to wrap their heads around the tragedy.
Anya Joins The Investigation Team
As the news breaks out to the media about the mass death, there is a crowd that has gathered outside the home of the Rajawat family. In just thirty minutes of running time, a lot is packed into Aakhri Sach Episode 1 to get a grasp of the seriousness of the incident. Anya is introduced as a cop who goes undercover as a beautiful siren to nab a credit card fraudster. The entire introductory scene involving her is executed in the tackiest manner. We had hoped the makers could have thought of a better way of introducing Anya to the scene. It was needless to sensuously showcase a Crime Branch officer.
Anya immediately joins her investigation team inside the home, only to be horrified by what she witnesses. The reaction is natural. When the original news broke out several years ago, their neighbors and people in general around the country were horrified to comprehend what led eleven members of the family to kill themselves together in the same fashion. The scene of Anya walking around the bodies hanging in front of her is a disturbing sight. Sadly, the entire scene was anticlimactic because they showed us the face of the deceased. It is morally wrong to show such images because they unsettle the viewers. It seems the makers added this scene only to create a shock value. This is an example of bad direction, in our opinion.
There is a scene involving a young boy who happened to be a close friend of Parth, one of the eleven members of Rajawat family who died. The scene of him coming to terms with his friend’s untimely death is gut wrenching. The same boy heads to the police station in the hope to share something about what we think he might have witnessed at his friends home. He is spooked by the police constable at the station. Such unprofessional behavior showcased by the Delhi Police only proves their incompetence.
Anya was the first to conclude that this was a murder/suicide because eleven members had their eyes shut with a cloth and their hands tied. Only one person did not do any of this before killing himself. It is easy to conclude from this setup that the members were either murdered or manipulated into killing themselves. The director and the writer did not leave any stone unturned in recreating this entire scene as told to the public by the media. The resemblance to the documentary is uncanny. It was bold of the makers to bring out a show on this subject matter when Netflix’s work is still relevant and fresh in people’s minds.
What Did the Crime Branch Find in the Mass Suicide Case?
The investigation begins, and the audience is introduced to the deceased family. It is understood from the family tree that three generations of family members died in this incident. The police also found out that the elderly lady struggled before she was killed. Since many are aware of this case, a lot of things can be implied from this scene. The narrative can’t be kept engaging from here on because this case has been discussed enough in public, and there are multiple speculations. The director and writer needed to tighten the screenplay to keep the audience hooked on this one.
Anya and her team bring in two people closest to the family for interrogation. The first woman to be interviewed happened to be the last living sibling out of the four because she lived in another state. She claimed to have spoken to her niece, Anshika, and sister-in-law the night before their deaths. Anshika was engaged to be married to Aman. The entire family had organized an engagement party to celebrate the nuptial ceremony. The neighbors claimed that the family was happy and was looking forward to the wedding. It is understandable that all of them are in shock and cannot comprehend what made the family take such a step. We wonder if anyone outside of the family knew what was happening inside the home. The police also interrogate Aman, who claims to have known nothing in detail about the family. But the flashback had something else to reveal about his and Anshika’s conversation about her family. She had spoken to Aman a few days ago, and there was talk about her father, which led to an argument.
There is no definite reason why he is hiding this piece of information from the police. Maybe he is worried that he might get implicated over false allegations. From the conversation he had with Anshika, it is implied that Aman knows something more than he lets on. The truth about Anshika’s father died with them, and Aman is unwilling to share it with the police. It does not make sense to make Aman a suspect in this case. It seems the makers took enough cinematic liberty to give this story some weight and deviate from the actual incident. The deviating technique is so obvious, making the narrative predictable from here on.
At this juncture, the investigating team finally finds a breakthrough. The local milkman comes forward and lets Anya know that he saw Aadesh, the older son of the family, having a tiff with the henchmen of a local gangster. We think the gangster angle is a red herring because killing someone out of revenge is an obvious motive for the police to come up with. Anya’s first breakthrough proves that we always tend to underestimate the human mind and its tendency to wander into a place that makes it take extreme steps. The local milkman claims that he can identify the men. He showed a lot of courage to come forward and speak against a gangster who could be a threat to him. Anya and her team are equally terrified of what they saw at the crime scene, but the work needs to be done. The culprit has to be found, and it looks like they found their first legitimate suspect, who might have some concrete answers.
Aakhri Sach Episode 1 ends with the investigation team coming across CCTV footage from across the home of the deceased. The CCTV footage was the only way to prove if anyone entered the home. If there was no sign of forced entry it could mean that a person known to the family was allowed entry into the house, and he/she killed them one by one. They spot a man who arrives on a bike entering the house post midnight. The police can’t seem to figure out who the person might be but for the audience we see it is Aman entering the house. Does that mean he helped someone in facilitating the murder or did he commit the murders himself? It is bizarre way to mislead the audience because we all know who had facilitated this murder/suicide. Bringing Aman in the picture is just adding an additional element to prolong the story of the show.