Created by Sudip Sharma (Pataal Lok, NH10), Gunjit Chopra, and Diggi Sisodia and directed by Randeep Jha, Kohrra brings together multiple social issues pertinent to Punjab in the form of a murder mystery. Suvinder Vicky and Barun Sobti play the cop duo assigned to solve a murder case. While Suvinder’s Balbir Singh brings in the wisdom of experience, Sobti’s Garundi offers rawness and muscle. In the six episodes, multiple facets concerning the socio-economic condition of the state, as well as land issues and drug abuse, surface. Kohrra delves into the politics of love, which is governed by social expectations. In the course of the series, there comes a point when the murder mystery takes a backseat while emotions run wild. The characters are brilliantly written, and the actors execute them to perfection. Kohrra is much more than a murder mystery, and that is what makes it worth a watch.
What Is The Series About?
An NRI man was found dead in the countryside of Punjab. His face was covered in blood, and his throat was slit. The police identified the man with the documents found in his car. Paul Dhillon, a London resident, had come to Punjab to get married. Two days before the wedding, he was brutally murdered. Balbir Singh and Garundi were assigned the case, and they headed to Steve Dhillon’s residence to find out more about the victim. While discussing the case, they noticed Steve’s wife, Jassi, blaming Steve’s brother, Manna, for the murder. Tracing the conflict between Steve and Manna became crucial to the case.
Singh also learned that Paul’s best friend, Liam, was staying at the Dhillon residence to attend the wedding. Liam was with Paul the night he was murdered, and surprisingly, he had not returned. Singh and Garundi interrogated Paul’s fiancee. Veera and Paul met for the first time two weeks before their wedding. Since it was an arranged marriage, their relationship was still quite formal. The last time she met him was at their engagement party, and she had no clue who could be responsible for his murder. Garundi was not suspicious of Veera; he believed that Paul could have been murdered for money by the drug addicts who frequented the area for a quick fix.
Punjab is suffering from a raging drug epidemic, with most young adults addicted to substance abuse as a result of socio-economic conditions as well as the geographical factor making drugs more accessible in the state. Most crimes are often related to drug abuse, and there was a possible chance that the murder of the NRI had something to do with the crisis. While the nature of the murder case was yet to be detected, Singh was pressured to find Liam. His pictures were circulated all across Punjab, but they barely received any promising leads. Meanwhile, Balbir and Garundi questioned Veera’s friends to find out if she had any reason for getting Paul murdered. They became suspicious when they found out that Veera’s ex-boyfriend, Saakar, was bitter about their breakup. As soon as Veera broke up, she was engaged to get married, and that did not sit well with Saakar. A bitter ex-boyfriend is an obvious suspect, and the fact that Saakar’s phone went missing on the night of the murder raised alarm. Saakar pleaded innocence, but the police had more than one reason to suspect him.
How Were Saakar And Veera Related To The Murder Case?
In the autopsy, Veera’s saliva was found on Paul’s body, indicating that she had met him on the night of the murder. Not only was Veera with Paul, but even Saakar’s phone location suggested that he was with them that night. Even though Veera admitted that she was with Paul that night, she said that she had returned home after spending time with him and did not seem to know what led to his murder. The fact that both Veera and Saakar lied to the police during the initial interrogation turned them into suspects. Also, with the help of CCTV footage, Singh found out that Saakar had gotten into a brawl with Paul and Liam at a local bar that night. He had the perfect motive to murder Paul, and maybe Veera helped him execute his plan. But no matter how badly he was tortured, Saakar did not admit to the crime.
Meanwhile, Paul’s smartwatch, which went missing on the murder night, was turned on. The police tracked it down and found a random guy wearing it. Apparently, his father, a popular local drug lord, was offered the watch in exchange for drugs by an addict named Kulli. This was the second time someone had mentioned Kulli; the liquor shop where Paul and Liam were last seen admitted that he had given them Kulli’s number since they were searching for a quick fix. Kulli was clearly a potential link to the case. After spending days trying to find Kulli, the police finally got hold of him at a hospital. He was released from the hospital and brought to the station. He was unconscious for the first few days, but eventually he came to his senses and discussed his role in the murder of Paul.
Paul and Liam were not happy with the product Kulli handed them. They did not pay him and drove away in their car. Kulli knew that they were rich brats, and he assumed that he could get a few bucks if he threatened them. He used to work as a pizza delivery boy then, and he followed the car on his scooter. Halfway through, his scooter gave up. After spending some minutes fixing it, he continued to drive in the direction in which the car went. He found the car parked and was shocked to see Paul’s body on the ground. Someone had slashed his throat, and Kulli decided to rob the dead body. He tried to take off the watch and the ring, but he panicked when Paul grabbed hold of his hand. He found a rock lying there, and he battered Paul’s face with it. Since Kulli was left-handed, Singh knew he was not the one who had slashed Paul’s throat. They got hold of the thief, but the murderer was yet to be found.
Was Happy Responsible For Paul’s Murder?
After questioning Manna, Balbir Singh found out that he and Steve were at loggerheads over a piece of land that belonged to their deceased sister. Manna took care of Charuno when she was suffering from cancer, whereas Steve never cared to come visit her. He offered financial help, but Manna did not care for it. Manna filed a land dispute case after Charuno’s death because he believed he had the right to own his sister’s land. Manna could not forgive Steve for his aloofness and he wanted to make sure that Steve was denied ownership of the land. Manna’s enmity was with his brother, but was he capable of murdering Paul to teach Steve a lesson?
Manna’s son, Happy, harbored ill feelings for Paul. His father considered Paul to be the ideal young man and never cared to appreciate his own son. Manna ridiculed Happy’s dream of becoming a race car driver. He did not think Happy was intelligent enough to make it into foreign universities like Paul did. Happy wanted to be respected by his father, and he went to great lengths to be appreciated. He paid a bus driver to murder Paul. The driver tried to create an accident scenario, but Paul tackled the situation and survived. The bus attack was recorded on surveillance cameras, which the police took note of. The driver knew that the police were after him, and he demanded more money. Happy paid him to remain silent, but the bank had informed his father about the hefty withdrawal. Manna connected the dots and decided to have a word with his son. Happy admitted that he had paid a man to kill Paul a week before the actual murder. He was desperate to win over his father, and he assumed that by murdering Paul, Steve would leave, and the land dispute case would come to an end. He despised Paul, and therefore he did not think twice before plotting against him.
Manna realized how deeply his behavior and actions had affected his son and how far Happy was willing to go just to impress him. Manna decided to come clean to Steve about the attempted murder. While discussing the entire incident with Steve, Manna added that he was dropping the land dispute case. He knew that Charuno always preferred Steve over him, and she would have wanted Steve to own it. All his life, Manna had been jealous of his sister’s affection for Steve. But after Happy confessed the entire truth, Manna realized how jealousy had destroyed their lives, and he no longer wanted to carry any resentment for Steve. The driver was found dead in the end, and it was possibly Manna’s men who got rid of the man when the police started hunting for him. Steve did not take any action against Happy, and the conflict between the brothers finally dissolved.
Who Murdered Paul? And What Happened To Liam?
A number of factors helped Balbir Singh guess the course of events on the night of the murder, and one of the key pieces of evidence was Liam’s DNA on Paul’s body. While investigating the murder case, Singh had to also deal with family crises, and through the process, he realized how often romantic relationships that defy societal expectations can cause extreme conflict. As a patriarch, Singh always had the last word in every decision with regards to his family, and he was enraged when his daughter refused to abide. He exerted physical power to bring her under control without realizing how his hyper masculinity was tearing the family apart. Apart from nearly losing his daughter for life, he realized the importance of acceptance.
The forensic evidence proved that Liam and Paul were lovers, not friends. After Toti was admitted to a hospital, the police were informed about him. The young guy was yelling about hitting a foreigner, and upon further questioning, the police found out the name of the truck driver he assisted. Shinde was arrested, and he revealed that the fog that night blurred his vision and that his truck ran into a foreigner. He was afraid of the legal consequences, so he drowned the body in a well. The body was recovered by the police, and it was confirmed to be Liam’s. While Singh knew that Paul and Liam had been intimate that night, he did not know what occurred after. Steve was furious when Singh discussed the evidence with him, Jassi, and Clara. He was not ready to accept that his son was a gay man and accused Singh of making a wrongful allegation. Clara was the only person who knew about Paul and Liam’s relationship, and that night she admitted that Singh was right. Paul was afraid of his parents, especially his father, and had requested that Clara keep their relationship a secret. Steve always cared about his honor over everything else, and even though he lived abroad, his sensibility had not evolved. He held onto patriarchal values and often resorted to torturing Paul if he dared to deviate from fulfilling his gender expectations. Paul agreed to the wedding because he was afraid of disappointing his father. He did not expect Steve to ever understand him, and he suffered every day living in an oppressive household. When Liam’s body was brought back from the autopsy, Clara confided in Balbir Singh that her son had left her a voicemail on the night of the murder.
After listening to the voicemail, Balbir deduced that Paul met Veera that night, and they were followed by Saakar; this explains why they were found to be in the same location. While it was assumed that the former lovers united to murder Paul, at the end of Kohrra, we get to know that Veera and Saakar were not the murderers. Veera came clean about her love life, and they shared a moment of intimacy. After dropping Veera off at her home, Paul met Liam. We can assume that Saakar confronted Paul and Liam at the bar, and after leaving, they arrived at the gas station and drove to the liquor store. They contacted Kulli, and after the altercation, they drove off. They parked the car at the murder location and had a discussion about the future of their relationship. Liam expected Paul to discuss his sexuality with Veera, but he was afraid. He knew that the truth would hurt Veera, and he was not ready to destroy her life. He wanted Liam to be his secret lover for the rest of his life while he pretended to be a straight man. Even though Liam loved Paul with all his heart, he could no longer bear to keep their relationship a secret. He pushed Paul away and held the blade that Saakar used to strike Paul at the bar. Perhaps Paul had already hinted at the possibility of their relationship coming to an end, and Liam was in a terrible mental state. Or he might have kept the blade in case Saakar attempted to attack him and Paul again.
When Liam realized that Paul had already made up his mind about the wedding, he experienced extreme hatred and acted out. He slashed Paul’s throat using Saakar’s blade. He was intoxicated and experienced an emotional outburst, which resulted in the murder. When he watched Paul collapse to the ground, he came to his senses. Liam made his last call to his mother. He was devastated and expressed his disappointment in himself. He repeatedly said how he could not live without Paul. Liam walked into the middle of the road, perhaps intentionally, and was run over by a truck. To put it bluntly, it was the lack of acceptance that led to the murder. Had Steve been more accepting of his son, he would not have had to lose him to a crime of passion. Whether Paul and Liam were meant to be together or whether or not Liam lacked conscience is not relevant to the discussion, and therefore we are not engaging in it.
Kohrra explores how toxic masculinity is garbed in the form of tradition. It was not just Steve who learned how he had indirectly murdered his son, but Balbir Singh also realized the mistake he was about to make. His daughter, Nimrat, was married and had a child, but lately she had been living with Balbir. Nimrat never intended on getting married; she prioritized education and wanted to build a life on her own, but it was Balbir who forced her into marriage. Nimrat never found the happiness that she had been searching for all her life, and she ended up contacting her ex-lover for comfort. A real estate businessman, Karan Gill, was not ashamed of being in love with Nimrat, and when Balbir confronted him, he showed confidence. Later, when Karan visited Nimrat at her house, Balbir physically assaulted him to show his dominance. It was almost impossible for Balbir to accept that his daughter was capable of making her own decisions, and as a father, he assumed it was his responsibility to exert control over her life. Balbir was later kidnapped by henchmen working for Gill’s grandfather. By the time Balbir was kidnapped, he had almost lost his daughter to suicide. He decided not to create further complications in his daughter’s life and united the lovers.
Balbir had also developed affection for Indira, the wife of his late informant. After his daughter attempted to commit suicide, he realized how he had failed as a father and a husband. Nimrat blamed Balbir for her mother’s suicide since she had grown up watching him physically abuse her, and somewhere deep down, perhaps he too blamed himself for it. As he was falling in love with Indira, he decided to be honest. He confessed to murdering her late husband for his own advantage. Balbir’s complication stems from his fear of losing himself to modern expectations. What was once celebrated is now ridiculed, and he struggled to position himself in the changing times. He prioritized honoring traditional values over individual happiness, and that was what led to Nimrat’s attempted suicide. He wanted to build an honest relationship, and he chose to disclose the bitter truth rather than pretend to be a good, respectable man. During Kohrra‘s ending, Indira accepts Balbir and his past. Garundi finally got married, even though the decision did not sit well with his sister-in-law. Veera was engaged to marry another NRI, and Saakar was left devastated once again. Saakar is left a broken man after being subjected to extreme police torture. After being punished for a crime he did not commit, one is left to wonder whether Saakar will take a criminally motivated step.