The series doesn’t waste time in exposing the seedy underbelly of crime, where contract killers and shady gangsters run amock and unchecked, while also sealing their fates by choosing a life of no respite. Even those who are not necessarily tied to crime launch into vitriolic tirades that sting enough to incapacitate one emotionally, and go about inflicting the same hurt that they nurse deep within them.
The two policemen who are meant to solve the mystery at hand are more than what their uniforms dictate them to do — Balbir (Suvinder Vicky) and Amarpal (Barun Sobti) often share existential doubts with one another despite sharing contrarian worldviews and ambitions. While Balbir tends to be more calm and cynical, Amarpal leads with emotion, namely grit, and anger.
Moreover, here, love is not an emotion that exists in a dreamy bubble, but a visceral bond between two or more people that mutates under the pressure of class-based discrimination and heteronormative expressions of sexuality. The problematic perception of gender roles in a traditional relationship mars the very concept of love, which is either commodified or uneven, bursting into violence, both physical and emotional. This turns love from a source of solace into something intrinsically terrifying.
Another key subversion that “Kohrra” pulls off is its honest, grounded representation of Punjab and its socio-political climate, which has always been traditionally etched in overly cheerful and over-the-top tones. The romance in the mustard field trope takes on a terrifying tint in the opening scene, where the line between love and aggression is thinned, while violence rears its ugly head right after. Culture-specific issues of hypermasculinity, drug abuse, and patriarchal trauma are also explored in vivid, nuanced detail, making “Kohrra” a must-watch.
“Kohhra” is currently streaming on Netflix.