Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Politics
Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video
Tandav Review: What’s The Story? And How’s The Screenplay?
Samar Pratap Singh (Saif Ali Khan) is the son of Devki Nandan (Tigmanshu Dhulia), Prime Minister of India who has been consistently winning elections and is highly likely to win this time as well. Samar wants to be the PM of the country but Devki feels he may be a risk for its democracy and stability. Although Devki himself is far from clean, he thinks if Samar becomes the PM he will divide and destroy the nation.
To make way for himself, Samar kills his father by poisoning him. But just when he is close to realising his dream of becoming the PM of India, he gets another obstacle in the form of Devki’s lover and political associate Anuradha Kishore (Dimple Kapadia). Anuradha knows that Samar has killed Devki and hence blackmails him to back out. She also pushes him to announce her as the PM instead.
What happens next? Watch Tandav to know more.
Although the Disclaimer calls Tandav a complete work of fiction, the best thing about the show is that it takes inspiration from current politics without holding itself back. While watching the show you won’t be able to unnotice the similarities between the onscreen political scenario and the real one.
A lot of real past and present events have an uncanny resemblance to what is happening in the show and it instantly buys you as the viewer. The fact that you can relate to what’s happening makes you stay glued to the drama. The characters again as the makers say has no relation to someone in reality but there’s a lot about them which will make you create parallels. There’s a scene in which a politician talks to an IT guy about Twitter trends, hashtags and counter hashtags. While the show gives the viewers much required ‘Political Education’, it does that in an entertaining way.
But give the show a little time to pick up. The first episode is rather slow and uninteresting but things start getting intense and intriguing from the 2nd episode. The show picks itself well from there and continues doing that for the next couple of episodes. After reaching an optimum bar, it moves ahead like a straight line. From there it doesn’t really make you bite your nails but doesn’t bore you as well. After a certain point, it just becomes a good time pass political drama with some thrills which is enough for one-time watching.
Dialogues are one of the highlights. While most of them are beautifully written a few are truly gems. I guess it will need a separate post to discuss the best dialogues of Tandav.
One thing about the show that really bothered me was that the drama never matches the intensity its title promises. When you tell your viewers to expect ‘Tandav’, you can’t deliver them anything less than that. It has to be Tandav and not a mere dance. You can’t promise your viewers Manchurian and offer them Loki ke Kofte.
Yes, the makers have justified the selection of title as well but again that makes the whole season 1 look like a trailer or build-up for season 2. Ending the show on a cliff-hanger is good. Making the audience curious for season 2 by leaving multiple questions unanswered is even better. But give them something to cherish in the first season at least.
On the whole, Tandav is a good thriller but it’s not good enough and one of the biggest reasons behind that is its length. The makers have rushed to wrap up the first season in 9 episodes of less than 45 mins. A lot of episodes have a duration of less than 30 mins. While an ideal length for a show like this could’ve easily been 10 episodes of 45-60 mins each.
Tandav Review: How Are The Performances & Direction?
The show is packed with an immensely talented and huge star cast and it definitely works in its favour.
A character like Samar is something which falls in Saif Ali Khan’s comfort zone. He has a personality which totally justifies the character and half of the task is done there. And then he is a skilful actor who knows how to adapt his characteristics and nuances. Saif Ali Khan lives the layered character of Samar and never lets you think that he is acting while jumping from one shade to another.
Dimple Kapadia as Anuradha makes you ask where was she all this time? She and Saif together take the charm of the show to next level. After Tenet, this is yet another excellent performance by Dimple which will make you look forward to seeing more from her.
Sunil Grover as Gurpal lends a decent performance. His character is such that will make viewers appreciate him but as an actor, he could’ve done better. While everything about his performance was fine, I just wish he worked a little more on the accent because it looks forced.
Kumud Mishra is excellent. Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub lends another amazing performance. While he has played a very strong role in season 1, it looks like his character has more in store for season 2. Gauahar Khan doesn’t have much to offer. Kritika Kamra is decent. Tigmanshu Dhulia has a small role and he is very good in it. Others are also fine.
Ali Abbas Zafar has made a good directorial debut on OTT as his show has a lot going on in its favour. He has done his job well but it would’ve been better if he chose to be a little more subtle and less on the face while making it. Quite a few times, the show looks like explaining itself more than required.
Tandav Review: Final Verdict
Tandav is a good one time watch but nothing extraordinary which you may think of it going by the title. It’s also a trailer for the season 2 which promises to justify the name.
Rating: 3 Stars!