Killer Soup is a new Indian dark comedy thriller series created by director Abhishek Chaubey for Netflix. Starring acclaimed actors Manoj Bajpayee and Konkona Sensharma in the lead roles, the show promises a heady mix of murder, mayhem and mystery served up in a bowl of sinister yet delicious paya soup. With its eccentric characters, supernatural elements and undertones of poetry, Killer Soup makes for a highly bingeable and entertaining watch. While it has its flaws, the show is commendable for its tight narrative, meaningful storytelling and outstanding performances. Let’s take a deeper look at what makes this twisted soup so killer.
Killer Soup Premise and Plot
The show follows Swathi Reddy (Konkona Sensharma), an aspiring chef who dreams of opening her own restaurant but lacks talent. Her wannabe signature dish is a paya soup that no one seems to like. Swathi is married to small-time crook Prabhakar Shetty (Manoj Bajpayee) who works for his shady brother Arvind (Sayaji Shinde). However, Swathi is having an affair with Prabhakar’s lookalike masseuse Umesh Pillai (also played by Bajpayee).
When Prabhakar ends up dead under mysterious circumstances, Swathi and Umesh hatch a plan to pass off Umesh as Prabhakar to cover up the murder. But their secret is threatened when a nosy cop Hassan (Nasser) starts investigating Prabhakar’s disappearance. As both the inspector and Arvind close in on them, Swathi and Umesh find themselves in a bigger soup than they bargained for.
The show keeps viewers hooked with its steady pace, curious characters and clever writing. The multitude of quirky personalities such as Arvind’s firebrand daughter Apeksha (Anula Navlekar) and Swathi’s eccentric cooking teacher Mehrunisa (Vaishali Bisht) makes things even more interesting. The occasional supernatural element like a mystical swarm of fireflies adds a whimsical touch.
The real flavor that makes Killer Soup shine is the incredible acting by its talented cast. Manoj Bajpayee aces both his roles as the timid Prabhakar and his brash, masseur lookalike Umesh. He portrays the stark contrast between the two characters masterfully. Meanwhile, Konkona Sensharma is excellent as the ambitious yet morally flexible Swathi who stops at nothing to get what she wants.
However, the true scene-stealers are the supporting actors. Nasser is delightful as the relentless Inspector Hassan, lending the perfect mix of humor and gravitas to his performance. Sayaji Shinde excels as the foul-mouthed crook Arvind, keeping things interesting with his volatile energy. Anula Navlekar also impresses as Arvind’s strong-willed daughter Apu, holding her own against the veterans.
Directing and Technical Aspects
Abhishek Chaubey does a commendable job as creator and director, delivering a tightly-knit narrative within an overall quirky atmosphere. He ensures that every scene has meaning and purpose which pays off well. Visually, Killer Soup is a treat with Chaubey using clever camera work like close-up shots to build intimacy and intrigue. The editing is slick and the background score dramatic when needed. The lovely rural setting of Mainjur village and brilliant costumes lend the show an authentic small-town vibe.
What Could Have Been Better
While Killer Soup succeeds as an entertaining dark comedy thriller, a few things could have been tighter. There are some exaggerated characters like the khansama which feel slightly out of sync with the tone. The constant bickering between Swathi and Prabhakar also lacks chemistry.
The plot takes some time to build momentum and feels draggy in a few moments. Some of the quirkier directorial choices also miss the mark. The paya soup metaphor gets overplayed after a point. Overall the show could have benefitted from being tighter, shorter and darker in parts.
Killer Soup makes for a highly bingeable show thanks to its eccentric characters, Southeast Asian sensibilities, and outstanding performances. Despite a few flaws, Abhishek Chaubey serves up a delicious broth brewing with dark humor, supernatural mystery and an underlying poetry. Manoj Bajpayee and Konkona Sensharma deliver strong performances, complemented ably by the supporting cast. For fans of black comedies and murder mysteries, this Soup is a must try! Just be prepared for a few uneven tastes amidst the killer flavors as per bollyflix.