An ongoing dramatic action web series by AltBalaji, “The Test Case”, Starring Nimrat Kaur, the web series journals the endeavor of a woman officer in the armed forces. It is after a long time that a woman is seen donning a uniform on the small screen. Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor of Iqbal fame, the show has an altogether cast comprising Atul Kulkarni, Rahul Dev, Rituraj, and others. Juhi Chawla plays a cameo role as India’s defense minister.
The episode of the much-anticipated web series commences with a fantastic profound introduction sequence wherein the cadets including Captain Shikha Sharma (Kaur) aspiring to be inducted into the Indian Army’s Special Forces are paraded on arrival and asked to do 100 push-ups. They are supposed to undergo grueling training session under the supervision of Kripal Bhatti (Rahul Dev), whose motive is to ‘break’ them, as a tough training course. After an arduous test of strength, the young blokes in uniform are made to stand in the sun while facing raw harmony from the Big Boss, Commandant-Special Ajinkya Sathe (Atul Kulkarni). Sathe is a typical bad-ass army official who will not compromise with discipline. He seemed to be a way too much tough and shown a kind of disapproval for Capt. Shikha and he end up asking her to read out loud, “What’s written on the wall”, she treads, “WE Make Men Out of Boys” and he reverts that what would he make out of her, in her reply to his question, she fearlessly and bravely says, “A Commando, sir”. Her body language including the manner in which she stands on her toes to salute her superior is damn perfect. The first episode portrays how women find it extremely hard to make their way out in the armed forces. Kukunoor has got his casting right as both Rahul Dev and Atul Kulkarni have gone into the skin of their characters.
Captain Shikha Sharma is a Test Case, being the first aspiring woman to be a part of Special Forces. The 41-minute long episode chronicles her first day at the academy, wherein she realizes that a course to be inducted into the elite squad of the armed forces is much tougher than she had imagined. Nevertheless, Sharma tries her best to gel with her peers and proves her caliber before Commandant Sathe, who is indifferent towards her. As the episode proceeds, everybody gets in the dome to relax but Capt. Shikha was asked to stay separately being a woman, she refuses for those privileges given to her rather she asks to stay in the same dome with her other peers. Though the accounts of Capt. Sharma’s endurance reaches the ministry, only Dozakh will be the ultimate test. Tensions between Capt. Rathore and Capt. Sharma increases as he gets punished for reporting late next morning, being drunk in a bet for bed with Capt. Sharma, last night. But the commando training is not just laborious but, the officers get the evening to rest and enjoy.
With a past heavily approaching her psyche, Capt. Sharma works it all tough in Dozakh task. Capt. Siddiqui gets upset when she refuses to discuss her personal life with him. Meanwhile, Col. Ajinkya Sathe pulls a surprise by suddenly changing a decision. One more is to bite the dust. Heading on to the Dozakh task, in an operation Capt. Sharma and Capt. Siddiqui has major injuries, leaving Cpt. Sharma to be hospitalized and leaving others in a strange dilemma of what happened there? Seeing things unusual and the injuries to Capt. Sharma seeming not be normal combat ones, he asks everybody to write debrief report of what happened in the operation.
The final task may be over this lead to the beginning of new strategies for Capt. Sharma. Now, go through similar but confusing debrief reports and an anonymous mail sent to General. Ramani, he appoints a trusted officer to investigate. Coil. Imtiaz Hussain is here to look for some answers and members of Team Alpha are concerned. He begins by interrogating RMO Capt. Aparna Rao, she also being in perplex tries to hide the things. Meanwhile, Shika’s debrief is submitted. Lt. Col. Imtiaz Hussain approaches Capt. Sharma to know her account of the events and she got to learn some new things which further bought some clarity. Further, Capt. Bilal Siddiqui has word with Col. Hussain, the latter hack her phone and sends a text to Shivalik, Capt. Shika’s boyfriend and make them meet, where Cpt. Shikha out of frustration gets rude with Shivalik too, the scene portrays that she is hiding the anger and pain within her and also the story of hell, which she has been through.
Reaching nearer to the conclusion and with everyone’s extreme efforts to unveil the truth especially Col. Imtiaz, he finds out that Capt. Rohan was that anonymous person who wrote the mail, which bore that Capt. Shikha was sexually assaulted during Dozakh. Lt. Col. Imtiaz Hussain figures out the actual sequence of events that fateful day. Unexpectedly, while in conversation with Col. Hussain, Capt. Rohan comes out to be a really nice and a helpful guy as he briefs the story to Col. Imtiaz revealing the truth and accusing Capt. Manit for the wrong he did to Cpt. Shikha during Dozakh, further Col. Imtiaz discuss the things with Capt. Shikha, but she denies to seek from any male as she wants to remove this stereotype that woman isn’t strong enough to handle her ups and downs, so she asks for 24 hours to make Capt. Manit confess about whatever he did during Dozakh operation. Col. Ajinkya Sathe is outraged after learning the findings of the investigation. Moreover, he finds Capt. Shikha Sharma’s decision more shocking.
Heading towards for a final task and shrewdly managing to make Cot. Manit her buddy for the task, so that she can revenge on him alone when gets a chance for his deeds and she did it by beating the hell out of him and recording his confession in the hidden camera she had with her. Along with the rescue operation, Shikha Sharma also finishes another very important operation i.e, taking revenge on the accused. Now, finally, that proud moment comes where the history was to be made, everybody passes out wearing a Maroon Beret, honored by the Defence Minister and Col. Ajinkya Sathe. They are now part of the elite of the elite forces and Capt. Shikha Sharma, “THE TEST CASE”, proves out to be, “THE BEST CASE”.
A best and truly encouraging series, especially for strengthening women for being strong and deserving of everything they are meant to have.
Rating – 4.5/5 stars