Largely, humans don’t care about animals, let alone wildlife conservation. This is why we need stories around the topic.

Poacher, a new Amazon Prime series, does the same. It is an Indian crime thriller show, shot originally in the Malayalam language.

There are eight episodes with a total duration of over six hours. You can watch the show in five Indian languages.

Here is my review.

Poacher Synopsis

After the news of Elephant poaching breaks the Kerala Forest Department, some able and wise officers get on track to nab the culprits.

Image Credits: Amazon Prime Video

Created by Richie Mehta, the show features Dibyendu Bhattacharya (Neel), Nimisha Sajayan (Mala), Roshan Mathew (Alan), Ankith Madhav (Vijay Babu), and others.

What Works for Poacher?

It is not as if we haven’t had stories in this genre. Still, Poacher feels like a fresh concept because of the sheer depth it brings along, which is rare in the times we live. 

Cinema has been so commercialized that creativity has been compromised for populism.

Poacher’s way of presenting the human-animal conflict, and the perception of ignorance is amazing.

A forest watcher confesses to being part of the poaching of 18 elephants in a forest in Kerala. While some don’t give a damn about the news, a few concerned officers of the Indian Forest Services take matters into their hands and begin a trail that becomes more dangerous than they had ever imagined.

Poacher Series Brief Outline

The storyline is woven to perfection. It is realistic, gritty, and naturally intimidating. 

There are many noticeable things, thoughtfully put up on the screen. 

Image Credits: Amazon Prime Video

For example, the visuals of different animal species in each episode, from Tigers to Deer, and the aerial shots of birds. 

Poacher is also unique in that it depicts a subtle emotional connection between officials and the animals. 

Their sensitive approach defies ostentatious means and remains at the very core of the series. 

The penetrative writing takes care of various much-needed elements to sustain the initial intrigue.

Showing the rich diversity of the forests in Kerala while gradually building a narrative around it could have been a task. 

However, the nuanced written setup rises to the occasion and delivers a profound plot with the right buildups and thrill. 

I usually watch Indian Films in the Hindi Language but with Poacher, I went for the original Malayalam language, relying on subtitles. 

The experience was great, to say the least, as it helped in assessing the vocal symmetries. 

Image Credits: Amazon Prime Video

Many scenes in Poacher are shot in real locations, which strengthens the realistic portrayal of the tale and gives wings to the well-paced, intense narration. 

Furthermore, mostly, the Amazon series is dark in nature, allowing for the captivation to stay afloat throughout. 

It never misses the mark on engagement. At all times, the investigative rhythm remains upbeat. 

The series emotes the audience on a very concrete level, playing on the general idea that humans are empathetic.

They do it without the use of drama.

There’s a scene in Poacher where a cop in Delhi is told about Elephant killings but he prefers “Chhole Bhature” over them. 

That is, perhaps, the true reflection of how most people think of wildlife conservation.

How are the Performances?

Dibyendu Bhattacharya was one of the reasons I watched Poacher in the original language. 

You cannot ignore his dialogue delivery and it is tough to imagine someone else’s voice overlaying his. 

The actor plays Neel in the series. His natural acting which includes intricate expressions, screen maneuvering, conversation abilities, script understanding, etc., demands your attention.

Image Credits: Amazon Prime Video

He grows on you almost immediately. All you have to do is keep watching. I have never seen him overdo even a single shot ever since I have been watching films.

In Poacher, despite being in an authoritative position, Dibyendu is rooted in reality, thanks to a composed yet highly flexible demeanor.

Nimisha Sajayan, as Mala, holds her forte. She’s gritty, persuasive, and with zero embellishments. Using her held-back, mute charisma, she makes you believe in Mala.

The actress is nuanced and emotionally authentic. She genuinely reflects the daily life of a forest officer.

Roshan Mathew is another marvelous actor who depicts Alan in Poacher. His calm embodiment generates the right emotions and sits well with the theme of the series.

If you look at Mala and Alan in hindsight, you’d understand how hard it was to bring the two characters to life because they are too simple and nonchalant.

What Doesn’t Work for Poacher?

It is one of the best and most important Indian shows to have ever released. And after a long time, finally, there’s a series I cannot find flaws in.

Minor drawbacks are unimportant, as I have always maintained.

Stream or Skip?

In times when propaganda is running high, shows like Poacher reinstall the faith in stories that capture pertinent issues.

It’s a must-watch.

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