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The Indrani Mukerjea Story – Buried Truth review: Snarky but not salacious, Netflix’s true crime series examines Sheena Bora case with uncommon sensitivity | Web-series News


In David Fincher’s 2011 adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, an elderly man summons a journalist to investigate the 40-year disappearance of his grandniece. He issues an ominous warning: “You will be investigating thieves, misers, bullies. The most detestable collection of people that you will ever meet – my family.” The same warning could very easily have been given to the filmmakers behind The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth, the new true crime documentary series that reexamines a crime that gripped the entire nation not too long ago.

Even those who might not necessarily be familiar with the intricacies of the case would remember the Chinatown parallels. Indrani is alleged to have murdered Sheena Bora, initially reported to be her sister, but later revealed as her daughter. Sheena was missing for three years before charges were filed against Indrani and her alleged co-conspirators — her driver, and second ex-husband, and her then-spouse Peter Mukerjea. The case drew attention primarily because of the inbuilt sleaze factor, but also because Indrani and Peter happened to be influential people — the were media magnates who’d just raised hundreds of millions of dollars for their new business, and were regularly rubbing shoulders with movie stars and politicians.

Also read – Curry and Cyanide movie review: Netflix’s dissatisfying true crime documentary inelegantly exhumes Jolly Joseph serial killings case

Unlike most true-crime documentaries of its kind, the sort that would devote far too much time to the details of the investigation, Buried Truth recognises that its responsibility isn’t to solve a murder. Instead, it makes sweeping statements about greed and loyalty, while also dismantling misconceptions about that great sacred cow of our culture: family. After three episodes that recount the narrative — Sheena went missing in 2012, Indrani was arrested in 2015, the skeletons in her closet subsequently came tumbling out immediately afterwards — the show arrives at the moment that has been building towards, a twist that makes you reconsider the concept of morality itself.

Doing her best impression of Ananya Panday at Lollapalooza, Indrani’s daughter Vidhie, for close to two hours, comes across as the sanest member of the clan. Unlike her half-brother Mikhail, whose selfishness is swiftly exposed by the show, or even the hapless Peter, Vidhie seems sharp, observant, and above all, self-aware. She frequently describes the story as ‘f**cked up’, and seems to be the only person who’s actually sad about Sheena’s apparent death.

Festive offer

Indrani, on the other hand, couldn’t care less. She’s featured prominently in the show — she’s also the only accused who’s agreed to participate — and gets plenty of opportunity to present her side of the story. A lesser show would’ve probably allowed her to get away with falsehoods, but Buried Truth regularly counters her claims with previously established facts. The show also highlights Indrani’s bizarre behaviour by cutting away to her off-camera asides. In one particularly memorable moment, she interrupts her lawyer while he’s reciting their position for the cameras. “Indrani, relax,” he says, with the look of a man who’d rather spent three months at Tihar himself than deal with her as a client any more.

But Vidhie is different. In fact, she sided with her adoptive father Peter after Indrani was jailed. She also makes keen observations about money being a big motivator in these matters, as she begins dishing about Mikhail and Rahul — her half-siblings. All of this makes the show’s final ‘twist’ all the more ironic. Without passing any actual judgement, the filmmakers assemble a sequence that conveys everything that they want to, clearly, concisely, and also rather coyly. Indrani divorced Peter, got heaps of cash and property in the settlement, and thereby restored some of her lost power.

The show doesn’t exactly point fingers at her parenting, although, despite Indrani’s best efforts (or perhaps because of them), it’s virtually impossible to feel any sympathy for her. While her actual culpability in Sheena’s death hasn’t been proven, she admits on camera to having essentially abandoned her as a child, and doesn’t bat an eye before demanding why she, Indrani, is expected to feel sorry for her daughter. She blames Sheena for bringing her nothing but endless inconvenience for lacking the decency to not disappear. Indrani’s new position, by the way, is that Sheena is alive and well.

Read more – The Hunt for Veerappan review: Engaging Netflix documentary paints complex portrait of notorious brigand

An innocent young woman lost her life, but her deceptive family members used her death to launch attacks against each other, accumulate influence, and in doing so, expose what human beings are capable of at their worst. It is to the show’s credit that it never loses sight of the actual tragedy here, even as it pulps the juiciest aspects of the story for our entertainment.

The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth
Director – Uraaz Bahl, Shaana Levy
Rating – 4/5





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