Genuine Insights

Poacher Web Series – A Stellar Watch That Will Give You Goosebumps

Poacher Web Series - Dive Into The Dark Web of Ivory Trade

Directed by: Richie Mehta

Star cast: Nimisha Sajayan, Roshan Mathew, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Kani Kusruti and others


Dear Diary,

I had been hoping that 2024 would bring films addressing the environmental crisis, and ‘Poacher’ was released. I am a diehard fan of wildlife documentaries and continually follow them.

In fact, I have binge-watched some. So, I was highly anticipating this web series. My interest in it wasn’t swayed by the fact that Alia Bhatt produced it; it was already on my watchlist.

And my verdict is – this web series is an absolute must-watch!

What is Poacher web series all about?

As its name suggests, “Poacher” delves into the grim world of elephant poaching, weaving a narrative around real-life incidents. It follows forest officials in Kerala as they uncover an extensive ivory poaching ring. As the series unfolds, it becomes apparent that this illicit trade extends far beyond Kerala, implicating high-ranking individuals across the country.

The story centers on three pivotal characters: Mala, played by Nimisha Sajayan, is driven by a profound sense of remorse stemming from her father’s past as a hunter. Determined to atone for her family’s history, she is relentless in her pursuit of justice.

Alan, portrayed by Roshan Mathew, is the analytical mind of the group, piecing together the puzzle by scrutinizing telephone records. Their senior, Neel, brought to life by Dibyendu Bhattacharya, offers unwavering support to the team, guiding them through their perilous journey.

Originally produced in Malayalam, the series is also available in various languages, including Hindi, making it accessible to a wider audience. Each character, especially Mala, plays a crucial role in the narrative, highlighting the complex emotions and motivations driving those who fight against wildlife crimes.

What did I like the most?

Let me begin with the cinematography. The camera work is impeccable, capturing the lush greenery, the animals, and the dense forests in breathtaking detail. The bird’s-eye view shots, in particular, are outstanding and definitely a highlight. Equally impressive is the direction; each frame and the actors’ nuanced performances convey profound messages without words.

The director has masterfully brought the story to life onscreen. But the acting truly stands out—all the actors deliver exceptional performances. Dibyendu Bhattacharya’s presence is especially notable. Having been a fan since “Dev D,” I can say he continues to impress without fail.

Admittedly, my exposure to films from the South had been limited, leading me to an uninformed assumption that they primarily produced “masala” films. This series proved me wrong and was a genuine eye-opener. It even rekindled a childhood memory of visiting Kerala, where I encountered the sale of Hastidanta (elephant tusks) and my father’s stern advice against buying it.

This series made me realize the challenging and often thankless job of forest officials, akin to police officers but constrained by numerous rules and permissions before action can be taken. The portrayal of the struggle to save elephants is convincingly real, and the computer-generated images of animals serve as a somber reminder of human encroachment on their territories. It’s deeply saddening and heart-wrenching.

The poaching scenes are particularly impactful, inducing goosebumps. They underscore the urgency and passion behind wildlife conservation efforts. Witnessing the inhumane treatment of such majestic creatures for mere profit is distressing. The lack of remorse in the poachers’ eyes literally made me immensely angry. Moreover, the poaching scenes are particularly powerful, invoking a deep sense of urgency for wildlife conservation.

What I didn’t like about the Poacher?

However, the series is not without its flaws. Certain scenes feel unnecessarily prolonged, diluting the narrative’s impact. The inclusion of characters who serve primarily to deliver moral lessons can feel forced and detract from the story’s engagement.

I felt, Kani Kusruti, a talented actor, is underutilized and I literally yearned for more of her presence. The subplot concerning Neel’s (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) illness feels disconnected from the main narrative, serving more as a distraction than a valuable addition.

Moreover, the character of Mala (Nimisha Sajayan) is often portrayed in a consistently serious manner, lacking moments of fun that could have added depth to her character. The parallel narratives of past and present poaching events sometimes create confusion rather than clarity.

The series finale, particularly, felt lacking. The dramatization of the events in the sensitive area, leading to a mob scene, seemed unnecessary and failed to resonate with me.

Despite these critiques, “Poacher” remains a compelling watch, offering a powerful exploration of wildlife conservation issues that leave a lasting impression.

Over to you…

Regardless of one’s stance on environmentalism or affinity for animals, “Poacher” is a series that resonates deeply. It possesses the power to stir something within us, compelling to reconsider our actions towards animals.

Despite facing certain limitations, the team behind this series has accomplished a commendable feat. Their effort in crafting such a thought-provoking web series deserves high praise. So, a hearty kudos to the entire team for their remarkable achievement in creating a series that entertains, educates and inspires.

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