Posted with permission from IndiaToday

Subhas Chandra Bose is one of the most fascinating figures in India's independence struggle, not only because his belief in armed struggle saw him part ways with Mahatma Gandhi but also because his real-life exploits seem straight out of John le Carre.

His adventures included a daring disguised escape from British India, a journey through Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany, and finally an alliance with Imperial Japan's General Hideki Tojo, where he raised an army from captured British Indian army soldiers. His death in an air crash in present-day Taiwan in August 1945 continues to be the subject of enduring mystery and conspiracy theories-which seem credible only because of Bose's extraordinary life.

Despite all that, he has hardly made a blip in recent cinema. The one recent biopic, Shyam Benegal's 2004 film Subhas Chandra Bose: A Forgotten Hero, is best forgotten. And ALTBalaji's new nine-part web series based on Bose historian Anuj Dhar's best-selling India's Biggest Coverup is also a dud. It serves Bose's life story with a dash of mystery narrated by a fictitious Indian policeman Darbari (Naveen Kasturia), who crosses paths with Bose (Rajkummar Rao) as a student leader in Presidency College and then trails him through his transformation into a fiery revolutionary leader who disappears mysteriously in 1945.

The series is a rare foray into a political thriller territory but is marred by a jerky narrative, poor acting and character development, and tacky sets and costumes. This is tragic because it offers much promise in the casting of the very talented Rao, who plays Bose from ages 24 to 48. Watch it only for him.