March 10, 2020 18 By Ruchi Verma

The coming of the OTT platforms has taken India to a new level when it comes to entertainment and creativity. The Murder, mystery and thriller genres, in particular, are my favorites as they don’t just reveal a gripping tale but also surprises me with never before turnarounds.

Up latest on Zee5 is its gripping Zee5 Original murder mystery “The Chargesheet: Innocent or guilty?” starring Arunoday Singh, Shiv Pandit, Tridha Chaudhury, Hrishita Bhatt, Ashwini Kalsekar, Satish Kaushik, Kishori Shahane, Shakti Anand and Sikandar Kher as some of the main characters and directed by Shashank Shah. It is one of the finest suspense thrillers to watch owing to its intricate plot and excellent performances.

The Chargesheet: The plot!

The series has a quintessential backdrop of the 80s in the city of Lucknow dealing in the dynamics of a murder investigation turning into a condensed courtroom drama. At the center of the plot is the events revolving around the life of a National Table Tennis Champion, Shiraz Malik (played by Shiv Pandit), married to a District Level Table Tennis Champion, Antara Malik ( played by Tridha Choudhury). The players get married against the wishes of their families. The complicated relationship of love and resentment between the couple where Shiraz unceasingly belittles Antara’s talents while she constantly blames him for giving up her career for their marriage. The couple shares a rocky relationship until things unflinchingly come to a halt as Shiraz gets fatally shot in front of a stadium in Lucknow in broad daylight.

Indeed, the unforeseen turnaround of events leaves Antara grievously distressed and surfaces tales that revolve around the political structure. The political events and mysteries take new turns until the case is transferred to CBI with Investigating Office Sidhant Kher, played by Vidur Mehra. The rest of the story unfolds innumerably political dramas, emotional turmoil, and suspense that unravel the culprits and exposes them to a lengthy courtroom battle.


The Chargesheet has quite a lot of artists with strong mettle of skills driving this tale to its end. The charming Arunoday Singh sets the mood right for the show with an excellent display of charm, mystery, and cunningness in each sight. Characterizations of Shiv Pandit and Sikander Kher deserve attention with starking dialogues, screen presence, and tremendous power to show on the screen.

“The Chargesheet: Innocent or Guilty?” is driven by strong women performances with Ashwini Kalsekar, and Tridha Choudhury standing out with their charm and acting skills. Although the narrative of Ashwini Kalsekar as advocate Abha Abhyankar has some glitches, the actress brings in her experience into play to rule the scenes with vigor. Hrishitaa Bhatt as Chitrangadha Singh has impressively delivered her role and captures attention from the audience.

Above all, Satish Kaushik, playing Advocate Laxman Chotrani takes away the limelight with his excellent acting skills and demeanor. Although his role is limited to the courtroom battle that begins only after the story is halfway there, his legend presence adds a spark to the show.

The Chargesheet
Image Credit: An OTT Platform

Screenplay and beauty of mystery

Oscillating beautifully between the past and the present, the story unravels a beautiful tale that is filled with romance, truths, lies, politics and courtroom drama. The narratives come with a few glitches and could be done better with the dialogues, but the actors bring the situation to life lending little notice to it. While the CBI Investigating Officer plays amongst the motleys of players and gathers enough evidence to rope in the real culprits, the razor-sharp plot makes it too difficult for the audience to predict anything anytime soon. The series effectively plays with timing and psychology of the viewer as it leaves no sight of tappings or needless froths to cover the story. Sharp and brilliant, the story unflinchingly brings together a wonderful experience, with tightly-coiled scenes, opportune moments, conspiracies, and mysteries that make you bite your nails.

Why does it work? Why it is going popular?

The Chargesheet ever since the launch of its trailer had been into the limelight because of its strong portrayal. While the trailer revolved around the story and story alone, it throws just the right attention on the characters, their personalities and the essence of Lucknow city with its charm and reverence. If not for the sake of mystery, the character portrayals, real-life scenarios and grippingly beautiful depiction of stories with Lucknow city on the background give life to this hearty drama.

Stars like Arunoday Singh, Ashwini Kalsekar, Sidharth Kher and Shiv Pandit have a good following – driving the audience to watch. The portrayal of the mighty city of Lucknow, its essence, and stunning presence is another reason to watch the drama. Styling and Art Direction deserve special accolades for making this rather raw and exciting story a piece of art with a fusion of colors, richness and inspiring portrayal of spaces. The diversion from the past and the present are clinked on beautifully.


The juicy spin of the tale frequently surpasses our expectations. Adding up to the list of thrilling web series dramas and murder tales floating on the OTT platforms today, The Chargesheet stands out with its raw and unabashed drama in no time. By far, its one of the most interesting and unpredictable murder mystery to watch for people who realty love to look beneath the surface and connect to the links.

Putting it succinctly, the Chargesheet: Innocent or Guilty, runs at an incessant pace, with a resolution to grip your mind and keep you intrigued with its mysteries, narratives, and dialogues.

Check out: Movies to catch this week on Zee5

© Ruchi Verma


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