Quick and Riveting
80%Overall Score

Shuttling between present day Kolkata and Calcutta in the 1980s, SonyLIV’s JL50 spins around a plane crash that occurs 35 years after the plane was reported missing. CBI agents Shantanu (Abhay Deol) and Gaurango (Rajesh Sharma) are tasked with discovering what happened to the flight. Shantanu begins to discover that there’s more to this case than meets the eye – from age-old tales from the times of Emperor Ashoka to the idea of time travel.

There’s mystery in the air

The story begins in a small town in West Bengal, when a plane looms over a field of boys playing football, only to crash in the nearby valley. At the same time, in Calcutta, the city is in a fix because of a missing plane – flight AO26. CBI Officers Shantanu and Gaurango are tasked with looking into this missing plane, which they believe is the same plane that crashed recently in the aforementioned small town.

However, an organisation called Azad Bangla Association (ABA) soon comes to the fore and claims to have hijacked flight AO26. They demand that their leader be freed in exchange for the sparing of all innocent lives on board the plane. Shantanu and Gaurango, who’re investigating the crash site of the other plane, realise that this isn’t AO26, but JL50, a plane that took off from Calcutta 35 years ago and then went missing. Only two people onboard this flight survived the crash – pilot Bihu Ghosh (Ritika Anand) and scientist Biswajit Mitra (Piyush Mishra).

Their investigation puts them in contact with Professor Subrata Das (Pankaj Kapur), a quantum physicist with secrets of his own. Along with Professor Das and pilot Bihu Ghosh, Shantanu slowly begins to understand what truly happened to flight JL50.

To believe or not to believe?

While the show takes no time to pull you in and keep you there, there are a few things that niggle. For instance, Professor Das believes that the answer to what happened to flight JL50 has everything to do with time travel, but Shantanu refuses to believe this.

Time travel as a concept is tricky territory. JL50 doesn’t deliver a convincing enough idea of traveling through time. As a result, the story quickly becomes pretty hard to believe.

Having said that, the series has a stellar cast of actors, who essay their roles wonderfully. Pankaj Kapur as Professor Das is powerful on screen and Abhay Deol as the no-nonsense Shantanu, is brilliant. With only four episodes in all, the series progresses at a fast pace with an ending that some may find far-fetched.

A great cast. Crisp episodes that serve to drive the action forward. Effective storytelling. Aside from the shaky time-travel philosophy, JL50 is an intriguing watch and one that you can devour in one sitting.

Creator: Shailender Vyas
Starring: Abhay Deol, Pankaj Kapur, Ritika Anand, Piyush Mishra, Rajesh Sharma
Streaming on: SonyLIV

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