The original British series also saw a US version that earlier aired on HBO as “A Night Of” starring Riz Ahmed.
Those who grew up binge-watching Bollywood during the ’80s and ’90s would know the enigma actor Jackie Shroff had on a generation of Indian cinema fans. And for the younger Indian Americans who may have missed out on why Shroff had such a big fan following among a generation before them, now is the time to know the original bhidu (colloquial Mumbai lingo for bhai) better.
Jackie Shroff makes his digital debut with Criminal Justice on Fox’s Indian streamer Hotstar. The show had its series premiere on April 5. Hotstar, an Indian video streaming service that streams in eight Indian languages, has been gaining popularity in the US, especially owing to its cricket coverage and popular Bollywood chat shows, such as Koffee with Karan.
Criminal Justice is an Indian series that is currently being aired on Hotstar’s new label, titled “Hotstar Specials.” Available to watch in the US, the series is co-directed by Bollywood director Tigmanshu Dhulia of Paan Singh Tomar fame and by Vishal Furia. The series has been gathering a steady fan following among viewers in this country. It also stars other Indian cinema veterans such as Pankaj Tripathi, Vikrant Massey, Mita Vashist and Anupriya Goenka in lead roles.
While the series revolves around Massey’s character, Aditya, who finds the girl he had a one-night stand with murdered the night after, it is Jackie Shroff in his role of Mustafa, Aditya’s fellow jail mate, who impresses with his profound acting.
Hotstar Specials describes the series as a tale of sex, drugs and a gruesome murder. What may be particularly engaging for Indian American viewers could be that while there are many crime stories on American TV, an Indian adaptation on gritty subjects is a rarity to come by. The original eponymous British series had also in the past been adapted for the US as A Night Of on HBO. The series featured John Turturro and Riz Ahmed, who won an Emmy for his performance.
Hotstar Originals has the streamer partnering with filmmakers and content creators to create its original content. It certainly can be described as a great move by Hotstar, which has been in the recent past engaging in intense competition with Netflix and Amazon. Upping the ante for its new line up, the streamer promises to partner with Bollywood biggies, such as Shekhar Kapoor, Salman Khan and Kabir Khan.