Poacher Review

In the world of Indian web shows and movies, where cops, spies, gangsters, and terrorists dominate the narrative, “Poacher” stands out as a refreshing respite. Co-produced by Alia Bhatt, this powerful wildlife crime thriller takes a different approach, offering a captivating story that goes beyond hollow bluster and empty rhetoric.

Written and directed by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Richie Mehta, “Poacher” is an eight-episode series that sheds light on the arduous battle of forest rangers against elephant poachers in Kerala.

A Compelling Story with a Purpose

“Poacher” takes us deep into the lives of unsung government officials who dedicate their lives to protecting Kerala’s wildlife. As the forest rangers wage a relentless war against the poachers, they face not only external threats but also internal conflicts. The series showcases the painstaking efforts of these men and women as they chip away at the criminal network, risking their own safety in the process.

Beyond the Usual Genre Tropes

Unlike typical Indian web shows and movies, “Poacher” maintains a restrained and focused approach. It seamlessly transitions from a wildlife crime thriller to an urgent ecological cautionary tale. The series lays bare the brutality of poachers, the vulnerability of the majestic tuskers they hunt, and the tenacity of the investigating forest officers who strive to balance their work and personal lives.

Real and Relatable Characters

“Poacher” introduces us to a diverse cast of characters who are not your typical heroes. Mala Jogi, played by Nimisha Sajayan, is a young Indian Forest Service officer with a personal motivation to solve the elephant poaching case. Neel Banerjee, portrayed by Dibyendu Bhattacharya, is a seasoned officer dealing with health issues and a rocky marriage. Alan Joseph, played by Roshan Mathew, is a computer programmer who assists in analyzing call records data. These characters, while being part of a larger narrative, are real and relatable, avoiding bombast and grandstanding.

Tension, Suspense, and Immersion

“Poacher” takes viewers on a multi-location, multi-pronged manhunt across Kerala, from cities and villages to wildlife sanctuaries. The forest officers conduct surprise raids, set up stakeouts, and gather intelligence, resembling secret agents and crime investigators. However, the series distinguishes itself from police dramas and espionage thrillers by presenting a unique and immersive narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

A Chronicle of India’s Biggest Anti-Poaching Operation

Based on true events that unfolded in 2015, “Poacher” offers an impeccably mounted fictionalized account of India’s biggest-ever elephant poaching case. It meticulously captures the sense of place and purpose, providing an authentic portrayal of the challenges faced by forest officials. The series goes beyond a mere crime-and-punishment story, becoming an essential chronicle of the fight against poaching.

Stellar Performances and Authenticity

With its steady writing, robust execution, and top-notch performances, “Poacher” immerses viewers in the world of the forest officials. Nimisha Sajayan, Roshan Mathew, and Dibyendu Bhattacharya lead a great ensemble cast, delivering outstanding performances that bring authenticity and depth to their characters. The series strikes a delicate balance between fact and fiction, showcasing the dedication of the cast and crew.

A Haunting Metaphor

Throughout “Poacher,” the presence of Kerala’s wildlife, especially the elephants, looms large. The series opens with the aftermath of a horrific poaching incident, serving as a powerful metaphor for the threats faced by these magnificent creatures. The visuals of the decaying elephant, gradually consumed by nature, serve as a stark reminder of the consequences of poaching.

A Testament to Mehta’s Craftsmanship

Richie Mehta, known for his work on “Delhi Crime,” once again demonstrates his skill as a filmmaker. Working with a talented technical team, including cinematographer Johan Heurlin Aidt, editor Beverley Mills, and composer Andrew Lockington, Mehta weaves together fact and fiction seamlessly. “Poacher” pulsates with life, delivering a powerful and thought-provoking narrative.


1. Is “Poacher” based on a true story?
Yes, “Poacher” is based on true events that unfolded in 2015 during India’s biggest-ever elephant poaching case. The series provides a fictionalized account of the investigation into this case.

2. Who are the main characters in “Poacher”?
The main characters in “Poacher” include Mala Jogi, a young Indian Forest Service officer played by Nimisha Sajayan, Neel Banerjee, a seasoned officer portrayed by Dibyendu Bhattacharya, and Alan Joseph, a computer programmer played byRoshan Mathew.

3. Is “Poacher” available on any streaming platforms?
Yes, “Poacher” is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.