Director: Vidyasaagar Mutukumar
Starring: Priyadarshi, Uma Maheshwara Rao, Posani Krishna Murali, Sai Priyanka Ruth, Nandini Rai, Vikas
The first episode of In the name of God is a mess. It has all the elements needed to make a series worthy. You meet a porn director, an extramarital affair, a murder and a whole suitcase of money, which is faced with many crores. From now on, if you think you can easily guess how the rest of the show will unfold, you will eventually climb the wrong mountain.
I wouldn’t blame you for wondering why this isn’t a show on how to get away with murder. I hoped to watch something in that direction until I came across episode three and realized that it had branched out to accommodate different strands of crime and punishment. What begins as a black comedy (thanks to Posani Krishna Murali) is slowly changing paths and turning into a nasty drama involving morality and sin.
Lies and crimes go hand in hand. If you commit crimes, you obviously have to lie to keep them. But what if you are buried under the wreckage? How do you get out of it? In the name of God does not answer these questions. Instead, it wraps itself in unnecessarily long-term plot points. There are about a dozen people that the series follows and Aadhi (Priyadarshi) is the most important of them all.
Aadhi is a driver and in an honest world he would be treated with respect. But there is no place on Earth that is fair enough for everyone. While people with money and muscle throw orders around, those who do not have such a luxury perform the tasks assigned to them without raising their voices much. This is a pyramid in which the richest and strongest occupy the highest part. Fakir (Uma Maheshwara Rao) appears as a noisy man who is not afraid of anyone in the opening scenes. The cops are even happy to take instructions from him, but as the skeletons come out of the closet, it becomes clear that he is just another link in the chain.
Therefore, Fakir has a boss who is more powerful than him. Then take, for example, the story that deals with Aadhi. In one of the early episodes, he was defeated in black and blue. He is trying to sprint to a safe place. However, when he learns to start chasing, he does not stop at the first thought of revenge. He wants his enemies to pay for the trauma they have caused. He literally moved to driver’s seat of the show. Although these individual layers are really interesting to chew on, they don’t fit all the roots of the story well.
And the execution time will not help you catch up all at once. In the name of God is a seven-episode crime thriller where most of the characters appear as buzzing flies. They don’t really shake things up, although they are charged as the main role. Mina (Nandini Rai) and Thomas (Vikas), who are the main drivers of the story in the early hours, slip into the shadows of the unknown as soon as Aadhi takes control.
Thomas, the son of a pastor, returns to the folds of God after committing a handful of heinous crimes, while Mina simply moves to another city to leave her past behind. Make no mistake, there are no people here who are genuinely good at heart. Well, you can argue on behalf of Thomas, but he’s more of a confused punk. He unloads his soul by confessing his sins to a woman who later blackmails him. Try as much as you can, you can’t feel bad for him, because somewhere in the dark corner of your conscience you will think that it is good for him to suffer. His attitude toward the devil may leave him when he is most needed.
And I’ve reserved the best part for an annoying character, Rossi (Mohammad Ali Baig), for the last one since he did it himself In the name of God it looks awful. He cuts the syllables to such an extent that it makes you feel that he is pushing them out of his throat from the rooms of different epochs. This is the cinematic equivalent of being in the same room as someone scratching a wall. You may be surprised to learn that he is not alone in this regard. He is joined by a bunch of other actors who speak Telugu as if it were a foreign language. Deliberately shifting gears in pronunciation is not pleasing to the ears. It actually kills some of the filth.
Among the many things that happen in the show, a wedding is taking place in all its noise and I will probably take the weekend to reflect on the significance of the mega event from the point of view of the writer-director Vidyasaagar Mutukumar. For Priyadarshi, In the name of God is undoubtedly a large vehicle. It allows him to scream, vomit, curse words and break away from the stereotype of the hero’s friend in one go, but it is not entirely a vehicle that has all its parts in place. His brakes miraculously don’t work.