The Whistleblower (2021) Review: Ritwik Bhowmik Starrer Uncovers the Dangerous Vyapam Scam

The Whistleblower Season 1 on SonyLIV is the second original scam-related story featured on the OTT platform after the critical success of Scam 1992 which depicted Harshad Mehta’s stock market rise and fall. Created and written by Ajay Monga, the series is directed by Manoj Pillai. Produced by Studio Next, the show is led by Ritwik Bhowmik, who rose to fame after his commendable performance in Amazon Prime’s Bandish Bandits. The supporting cast involves Ravi Kishan, Ridhi Khakhar, Sachin Khedekar, Ankita Sharma, Ashish Verma, Hemant Kher in prominent roles. The series is nine episodes long with a runtime of 43 to 50 minutes per episode.

– SonyLIV’s The Whistleblower Season 1 review does not contain spoilers –

The Whistleblower: Education or Business?

For the ones who are not aware, the Vyapam Scam or PMT Scam of 2013 was an entrance exam, admission and recruitment racket present in Madhya Pradesh that came to light in the year 2013, making the scam not only one of India’s most prominent scandals but also, created a ruffle globally. The scam involved an entire system made up of politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen and journalists who employed proxies and forged answer scripts for medical examinations in the state. Records state that this scam led to the arrest of around 1,700 and unnatural deaths of more than 50 people in connection to the case.

The Whistleblower holds the mirror for us to get a deeper insight and knowledge about the scam through a semi-fictionalized story. We meet Sanket, a medical intern by profession, constantly looking for a kick in life when he stumbles across the racket inside the education system based on bribes, proxies and selling of seats in the medical and police sector. Out of the sheer excitement, greed and adrenaline of breaking rules, Sanket gets involved which not only destroys him but his friends and family, in ways you don’t see coming.

However, the question is, will we watch Sanket and his war room companions unearth how the overlapping of education with business is more than just money and, there lies some greater truth at the end of the tunnel by the end of The Whistleblower series? Will they find out the root of the cause? Well, to see how far they come, you need to watch this series come to life on SonyLIV.

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The story demands Ritwik Bhowmik to shed off his shy demeanour from Bandish Bandits and show himself in a more extroverted and complicated light, which the actor brilliantly succeeds to do. Bhowmik is impressive as he goes from being the arrogant and ignorant person running behind the thrill in life to a man who becomes the ultimate whistleblower by the end. Ankita Sharma, who plays an equally important role in the series, is a pleasant surprise as she manifests the righteousness and love of her character. Ravi Kishan, who plays the quintessential bad guy in the show, really makes his presence felt starting from his body language to his accent, nailing it all on point.

Nonetheless, sometimes it feels like there are too many subplots in The Whistleblower digging in deeper than required and making us lose track of who’s who. There are obscure moments that demand you to rewind a little to connect the dots. Even though the screenplay is nicely structured, at times the dialogues (especially, moments that include Ritwik Bhowmik’s voice-over) come out underbaked and mawkishly.

The Whistleblower Season 1: Final Verdict

The Whistleblower still holds itself together with a plot that keeps you wondering about the present state of the education system and actors that deliver a strong performance. The show is worth streaming to just understand how dangerously and deeply education is interlinked with money in today’s world.

You can watch all the episodes of The Whistleblower Season 1 (2021) now streaming on SonyLIV.

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The Whistleblower starring Ritwik Bhowmik gives us the truth behind the infamous Vyapam Scam aka PMT Scam 2013.


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