Tandav evaluation: A pedestrian sequence
The brand new nine-part net sequence Tandav wears its politics on its many sleeves, the motion divvied up in a few parallel strands. There’s the ‘sturdy’ social gathering which has been in energy for ‘two phrases’, with its ruling satraps, uber bold leaders eyeing the ‘kursi’, and devoted henchmen (and girls) who know that actual energy vests in those that keep behind the throne, as a result of they will see the enemy most clearly.
And there’s the scholar politics, taking part in out in a college, which seems suspiciously like Jawaharlal Nehru College, known as right here, nudge, wink, Vivekanand Nationwide Univerity, with its blocs of ‘left’ and ‘proper’, slogans of ‘azaadi’, and charismatic leaders being bunged into jail with none recourse.
Sounds acquainted? In fact. That’s the complete level of this sequence, created and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar. You don’t have to be a media hound to twig on to the sly digs which are strewn by way of the present. Robust events which swing proper, ‘left’ politics in vilified purple brick varsities with controversial statues, and the potential problem of the ‘yuva varg’: all these ‘real-life’ components come up in ‘Tandav’.
However that’s precisely the rub. The difficulty with cobbling plotlines from headlines is that it could slide into seen-it-been-here territory. Tandav’s insistence on clinging to formulaic telling, with its staccato slicing forwards and backwards from the ‘satta ke galiyaare’ to the ‘chahal pahal’ of the scholar arcades, lets down its characters, and dilutes its impression.
It begins properly, giving us a refreshing father-son equation. After we first stumble upon Devki Nandan Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia), he’s taking a look at Samar Pratap (Saif Ali Khan) as solely a died-in-the-wool ‘neta’ can: the latter could also be his ‘beta’, however Samar can also be Devki’s strongest rival. By that single look, we all know that these two could also be united by blood, however are divided by their ambitions. And so when blood is spilled, we’re not shocked. The act launches the sequence into predictable arcs, the place we are able to see what’s coming from miles off.
This a terrific, various ensemble: Dimple Kapadia because the power-hungry Anuradha Kishore, Kumud Mishra as senior social gathering chief Gopal Das, at all times the bridesmaid, by no means the bride, Sunil Grover as Gurpal, Samar’s ruthless yesman, Gauahar Khan as Maithili, the canny lady behind Anuradha, Anup Soni as Kailash, the decrease caste chief who is aware of the worth of holding on to anger. And on the opposite facet, Zeeshan Ayyub as dynamic scholar chief Shiva Shekhar, Kritika Kamra as his complicated compatriot Sana, Sandhya Mridul as a feisty professor, Dino Morea as a two-faced bridge between the 2 sides.
Given this bunch, Tandav ought to have been a lot smarter, and far more attention-grabbing. What floats up prime is the deep mistrust between relations of politicians, as does the curse of ambition– to dwell with no peace, at all times nervous about somebody stabbing you within the again. Saif Ali Khan has moments, however comes off too Bollywood-familiar, as does Kapadia, clad in probably the most mouth-watering saris: each are able to a lot extra. Those that rise above the pedestrian writing are Grover (his Gurpal is shiver-inducing), Gauahar Khan and Sandhya Mridul, and Tigmanshu Dhulia, who infuses his half with actual brio, and is the most effective a part of the present.
No matter punch there’s comes from the ‘netas’ and their machinations. The portrayal of the scholars, their in-fighting-speeches-campaigns, by no means actually elevate off the display; neither does, much more surprisingly, Zeeshan Ayyub, normally so good. Disappointing that this goes the best way it does. The best way it ends, although, is clearly not the top. Can the second season be sharper, an precise ‘tandav’?
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