“Delhi Crime”, based on Nirbhaya case files, explores the 2012 heinous gangrape and murder from the viewpoint of the Delhi Police team that probed the incident, but Netflix’s new web series was shot with a non-judgemental eye, says director Richie Mehta.
The seven-part series, which started streaming on Friday, directed by the Indian-Canadian filmmaker follows the investigation to nab the six males who raped the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern on a cold December night in a moving bus in the national capital. She died of her grievous injuries 13 days later in a Singapore hospital.
Mehta said it was a family friend serving in Delhi Police who suggested him to make a film on the subject. He started the research in 2013 after a trial court convicted and gave death sentence to the four adult defendants.
After four years of research and writing, the director said he came up with a 170-page bible followed by 430-page script, wherein he has explored the perspective of “the people who were in the front lines”.
“I realised they have a point of view on these things that we don’t talk about. We had a very visceral reaction to this particular case and these are the people who are doing it every day. So why aren’t we talking to them and getting their points of view?” Mehta told agencies in an interview here.
The director, known for films like “Amal” and “Siddharth”, has not depicted the act of gangrape in the series neither in visuals nor audio.
“I was very clear from the beginning that I didn’t want to showcase the rape scene because I wanted the series to be about the procedure, not the crime,” he said.
Mehta said the team filmed the series as if they were a “bystander”, sneaking up to see and listen in to what was happening.
“We would take point of view shots, bystander shots. Sometimes we took long shots, people are walking down the hallway and we’re behind them or we are just a person listening in. This was part of the non-judgmentalness of it. The whole show was shot in that particular style.”
He said the only time he changed tack was when DCP (south district) Vartika Chaturvedi, played by Shefali Shah, gets Jai Singh, the main rapist, to confess.
“In rest of the scenes, you’re just sitting in the corner. The only time I broke that rule was when I needed to see both the people’s eyes, it was that moment – behind Vartika’s and Jai Singh’s shoulders. This was not a bystander thing anymore,” he said.
“Delhi Crime” season two is afoot and the director said the series will be back with same characters in “more or less the same rank” and a different crime.