Express news service
Ritwik Bhowmik straining his vocal cords in the Bandish Bandits musical series. Now in The Whistleblower he is tiring his veins. Airing on SonyLIV, the 9-part series takes a deep dive into the world of admission scams, drug addiction, murder, bribery and more. The character of Ritwik, a first year medical student named Sanket, is our point of entry into the story. It’s a hell of a package: officer in drug dens, cheating on his girlfriend. Sanket’s father, played by Sachin Khedekar, heads a renowned medical school. Sanket uses this privilege to enable a scam. However, when something unforeseen happens, it starts to be good.
“I was impressed with the intricate details of the show,” says Ritwik. “It’s a thriller that works on information rather than shock.” For Sanket, he was not given a specific reference or asked to date medical students. All director Manoj Pillai told him was to be himself and find the character on his own. “I was delighted to tap into Dr Sanket’s psyche,” Ritwik shares. “If you think he’s very flawed and unkind, that’s probably what our creators wanted it to be. The show plays with our perception of him. He is never completely right or completely wrong.
A surprise is Sonali Kulkarni as editor-in-chief. The actor had played a reporter in the little-seen cricket film, Silence Please … The Dressing Room. She was also a correspondent in Mohandas. “I was inspired by the news I met,” Sonali says of her character building, Zainab, in The Whistleblower. “It’s not about their dress or their vocal culture. Rather, it is about the decision-making of these journalists. How they think, how they network… when no one is watching.
The show is a fictional account of the 2013 Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh. The complicated bond goes back to the family level.
“Families need to realize that they are raising a human being and not a grade sheet,” Sonali says. “Unless we have that empathy, we can’t talk about professions or paychecks. “