It takes time for “Whereas We Watched” to search out momentum: Shukla’s vérité method spends the primary half hour or so notating the broad drawback. What follows is a collection of blaring clips of blustering Indian anchors vying for the general public’s consideration by providing up polarizing purple meat. For them, that quantities to denouncing any dissenter as an enemy of the state or an anti-nationalist. Shukla juxtaposes these deafening clips with photographs of Kumar in melancholic silence. This dynamically jarring back-and-forth borders on overwrought, because it doesn’t take lengthy to get the gist of the grave journalistic state of affairs at hand.
“Whereas We Watched” doesn’t get going till it turns right into a disaster of religion for Kumar. Can he nonetheless observe the type of reporting vital to take care of an knowledgeable public within the face of extremism, or ought to he depart the career altogether?
We start to see NDTV take many hits as a result of Kumar’s seek for fact: the federal government presumably censors the station’s broadcasts by scrambling its sign, different anchors assault Kumar, and he receives a mountain of loss of life threats from irate viewers. Consequently, NDTV begins to lose viewers and attain, inflicting some journalists to depart, to the purpose of the community being decreased to a skeleton crew. Even Kumar’s superiors trace that perhaps he ought to pull again slightly from his criticisms of the federal government and different rival information packages.
Among the documentary’s finest scenes come up from watching the craft of reporting at work as these writers attempt to pull collectively breaking information tales at the same time as their restricted assets put obstacles of their manner. Different fascinating, introspective moments happen as Kumar ponders his place within the trade. He begins to lose religion, even circling the drain of delirium. In a single scene, he responds to a crank caller by patronizing him; he even asks the threatening voice to sing alongside. The hazard solely ramps up as tensions between Hindus and Muslims fray when a 2019 terrorist assault results in the loss of life of 40 CRPF troopers in India.