‘Khufiya’ (2023) Plot, Story, Release Date & Where To Stream: Is It Based On A Book Or Real Events?

Netflix India has released some really good content this year, and the most prominent show from the streaming giant is Kohrra. Other than this Punjab based Netflix India Original; Class, Friday Night Plan, Choona, Guns & Gulaabs, and Jaane Jaan are some of the latest additions to the Netflix India lineup. Khufiya, directed by the famous Vishal Bharadwaj, is a new inclusion that, by the looks of it, is a spy thriller set in post-liberalization India. Vishal Bharadwaj also dropped a whodunnit web series Charlie Chopra and the Mystery of the Solang Valley, and we think the filmmaker is on a roll to be coming out with back-to-back work that will further diversify his filmography.


Mild Spoilers Ahead

Story And Plot

The trailer for what we think is a spy/espionage thriller is nicely cut, and it begins with information that there is a mole in the agency that is leaking sensitive intel to a foreign agency. There is a possibility that a major incident might have occurred, which led the senior officials of R&AW to start an investigation into finding who the leak could be and the name of the agency that is at the receiving end of this information. The trailer was quick to reveal the mole, who is seen photocopying what we think are top secret documents. The mole is Ravi Mohan, a high-ranking intelligence official. His high level access is the only reason for the enemy agency to approach him for intelligence.


Ravi Mohan seems to have a loving family, but his wife questions the financial source of the opulence that he is showering on her. It can be believed that Ravi Mohan’s wife comes across as a character who sees the difference between right and wrong and questions her husband when required, which means she believes in morals. In the trailer, she confronts him about his allegiance to the country, but Ravi claims to be a patriot.

There will be surveillance carried out by the agency on him and his family to understand the depth of their network and to find out if his wife is involved in this ring as well. Either Ravi could be a red herring or there will be a powerful person above him who is making him carry out this act of espionage. Either Ravi willingly volunteered to spy for the foreign agency, or he was hone trapped and coerced into leaking the information from the Indian side. It is only detailed surveillance that will give them enough intel to form a case against Ravi and arrest him for treason.


Certain scenes of the film are set in a snow-clad place. It seems likely the story will either take them to Kashmir or a foreign country. In the trailer, there is a shot of Ravi’s wife in a different avatar walking through the snow hit town. Khufiya will take the viewers through her past. The film will most likely showcase her as someone who is running away from the law and hiding away in a secluded town outside her home country. The character of Krishna Mehra, aka KM, will try her level best to find Ravi’s wife. Ravi Mohan could also be on the run in the film, and probably the story could be about the hunt for the man who abandoned his duty and left his country to seek asylum.

Is It Based On A Book Or Real Events?

The movie is an adaptation of the book by Amar Bhushan, an ex-R&AW analyst who based this book on a real-life high-ranking intelligence official, Major Rabinder Singh, who had passed on plenty of intel to the CIA. It is believed that the man eventually deserted his position with the intelligence agency and fled to the United States with the help of the CIA. Khufiya could be based on this story, and apart from that, the makers will most likely take some cinematic liberties and present a story that will suit Indian audiences. The movie will either end with Ravi Mohan absconding forever or the R&AW will find a way to capture the man, bring him back to India, and put him on trial for treason.


Cast And characters

Tabu as Krishna Mehra/KM is a bold choice of casting. She has never been cast as an R&AW analyst or in any spy thrillers. Tabu is easily one of the best actresses in our country, and we want to see how Vishal Bharadwaj uses her this time around. This director-actress combination has worked in the past, and we hope this time around we get to watch this duo knock it out of the park.

Ali Fazal, who plays the role of Agent Ravi Mohan, has done a commenable job. The audience will love to watch the complexities and nuances he brings forward with a character this gray. Since he proclaims himself to be a patriot, there will be layers given to him, and his performance could be a game changer.


Wamiqa Gabbi has been the talk of the town since she has made quite an impact through Jubilee, Modern Love: Chennai, and Vishal Bharadwaj’s Charlie Chopra & The Mystery of Solang Valley. She is another interesting casting choice, and it is intriguing to comprehend what her character as a housewife would bring to this film.

Ashish Vidyarthi has been a staple in many Vishal Bharadwaj films; in the past, he either had a bigger role or a cameo. A veteran actor such as him in the supporting cast will give this film the depth that is required.


The cast is something that will draw the audience to watch the film. Vishal Bharadwaj is an institution himself in filmmaking and music direction and has excelled in these two departments.

Where To Watch

This brand-new Netflix India Original is based on the book Escape to Nowhere by Amar Bhushan, and it will release on October 5, 2023, on the streaming platform. This is probably the first of many for Vishal Bhardwaj’s introduction into the OTT space.



Vishal Bharadwaj, apart from adapting Shakespearean plays to full-fledged feature films, is known to have delivered out-of-the-box stories in the past. 7 Khoon Maaf, Rangoon, Patakha, Kaminey, and The Blue Umbrella—these films are a testament to the talent the man carries and his ability to deliver diverse stories most vividly. It could go from colorful to somber in no time. The Khufiya trailer will hopefully garner enough attention simply because of the director’s name attached to it, for he has earned this reputation.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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