School Of Lies (2023) Series: Dark Tales From A Boarding School

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School Of Lies series narrates dark tales from a boarding school in India. Its story is inspired by real-life incidents. This story is set in an elite school located in one of the hill stations.

Perhaps words of caution – the themes explored in it might make you uncomfortable. As the story involves young kids, we found it much more painful and distressing. The content of its story is perhaps inspired by some of the real-life boarding school cases in India. So, we decided to go ahead and take a closer look at this series. Our main reason is that it is directed by Avinash Arun Dhaware, who has given us a top-class series titled Paatal Lok.

Synopsis of the School of Lies (2023) Series

When a 12-year-old kid (Vir Pachisia) goes missing from a high-profile boarding school, the domino effect impacts many before a shocking secret gets revealed.

Spoilers Free Review of the School of Lies (2023) Series

The introduction

How can a young kid go missing in a boarding school? And everyone including the students as well as the responsible adults is busy hiding the truth in this school of lies. No doubt, most of the characters in this slow-burning dramatic tale come across as flawed and damaged people.

Many of them are carrying huge emotional baggage from their dark and traumatic past, perhaps therefore most of these folks (students, teachers and/or other staff members of the schools) conduct themselves in an immoral and unethical manner. And all of these make this boarding school an unsafe and dangerous place for young kids and adults, too.

Layered story deals with taboo subjects

In addition, we can state that almost all the characters in this series are like an onion. As you peel one layer of their personalities, the other layer takes over, and then they surprise us (the viewers) in a shocking and worrisome manner with their troublesome behaviour. This contemporary tale from India explores taboo subjects like – dysfunctional families, sexual abuse of children, childhood trauma, toxic relationships, mental health issues, drug addictions, sexuality, bullying, etc.

We liked its ensemble cast

The ensemble cast of this series has done a fairly good job. Special mention must be made about the relatively inexperienced actors (as school kids), such as Vir Pachisia (as Shakti Salgaonkar), Varin Roopani (as Vikram Singh) and Aryan Singh Ahlawat (as Tapan – TK), as well as fairly experienced actors like Aamir Bashir (as School Teacher Samuel “Sam” Singh), Nimrat Kaur (as School Counsellor Nandita Mehra), Geetika Vidya Ohlyan (as Trisha – Shakti’s mother), and Sonali Kulkarni (as Pallavi – Vikram’s mother).

These talented bunch of Indian actors have given tremendous performances to keep us (the viewers) engaged and on a tenterhook in this complex tale about hypocrisy and immorality. Yet the School of Lies series tries hard and almost succeeds with its haunting tale about human flaws and weaknesses. Mind you, it is not an easy story to tell, especially in India.

The conclusion

This distressing series makes you think deeply about the flaws in humans and our society as such. Tell me, really, what happens when the safest place for a child is no longer safe enough? Both at home as well as at school. This tale from the private elite boarding school – RISE (River Isaac School of Education) is all about the free down-FALL of humans – parents, school staff members, students, lawyers, etc.

‘School of Lies’ is not a palatable tale and certainly, it is not for everyone. It is a really disturbing but engrossing tale from an elite boarding school.

Ratings of the School of Lies (2023) Series

FM’s rating3.50/5
FM short commentsA disturbing series that raises quite a few uncomfortable yet pertinent questions about family and society in general. It is a good show but no doubt this show is difficult to watch.
FM ratings – School of Lies (2023) Series

Spoilers Alert – tales of key characters, real-life incidents & inspirations

Focus on key characters & their stories in this show

Shakti Salgaonkar – the missing kid

Twelve-year-old Shakti Salgaonkar goes missing from the boarding school campus. And no one knows the fate and whereabouts of the young kid – Shakti. Or is it so?

You know, the kids and adults lie.

It is a bad habit.

Finally, the truth is revealed in this whodunit case. However, it is unpalatable truth as he remains missing even as the show ends. His grief-stricken mother and the police do not have adequate proof to punish the wrongdoers.

Vikram & TK – the senior students

Vikram joined the boarding school to escape childhood trauma at his home. Yet in his hostel life, he rebuilds his life. He finds his best friend TK and makes a girlfriend Pritika. But then for Vikram, these are not enough for him.

Both Vikram and TK enter into a sexual relationship with their school teacher Samuel “Sam” Singh. Besides their bad habits of abuse, dishonesty, bullying and drug addiction turn them into tragic villains – the victims of circumstances.

Nandita – the student counsellor

While growing up, Nandita also suffered a repeated case of sexual abuse by her uncle (her father’s brother), a trusted family member. It seems that her emotional wounds and personality scars are deeply engrained in her psyche. One of the reasons is that she has embraced loneliness and cannot get into a loving relationship with her committed suitor. Also, it seems her childhood trauma stopped her from sharing the truth about the fate of the missing student Shakti Salgaonkar; besides he hid certain facts about the cold-blooded murder of Bhola (Nitin Goel) by her student.

Samuel – the house warden & teacher

Samuel is a bad guy in the eyes of the law as he enters into a sexual relationship with two of his students – Vikram and TK, that we know of. He is duly punished by the law for his crimes against underage minor students. However, Samuel is another victim of childhood trauma because of the regular sexual abuse by his elder brother (Mohun Kapur) during his growing up years. He is the bad guy but he is traumatized. He repents, owns up, speaks truths and admits his mistakes.

Focus on a real-life incident that perhaps inspired this show

This series is inspired by a real-life incident

According to the March 2019 news report in Times of India, “To illegally hide the criminal case, in which the 12-year-old boarding school student Vasu Yadav was murdered, after he was beaten to death by seniors with cricket bats and wickets, the authorities in a boarding school in Dehradun stealthily buried the body of the student after he was declared dead by doctors.”

However, the content of this realistic tale has been taken from other cases involving the various boarding schools in India.

Poster of the School of Lies (2023) Series

School of Lies (2023) Series – poster

Key details about the School of Lies (2023) Series

GenreDrama, Mystery, Thriller
Original languageHindi (India)
Released inJune 2023
Age-CertificationUA (16+)
CreatorsAvinash Arun & Ishani Banerjee
SeasonsSeason (1) One
EpisodesEpisodes (8) Eight
CastVir Pachisia, Varin Roopani, Aryan Singh Ahlawat, Aamir Bashir, Nimrat Kaur, Sonali Kulkarni, etc.
TaglineWhat happens when the safest place for a child is no longer safe enough?
About – School of Lies (2023) Series

Trailer of the School of Lies (2023) Series

Official Trailer – School of Lies (2023) Series – Hotstar | YouTube.

If you like crime shows about kids, then do check out another show named The Snow Girl from Spain.

Featured & Other Images: School of Lies Series | Disney Hotstar.

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