Tandav, On Amazon Prime Video, Is Intermittently Entertaining But Shallow


Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Author: Gaurav Solanki
Solid: Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Sunil Grover
Cinematographer: Karol Stadnik
Editor: Steven H Bernard
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Tandav begins with a quote by distinguished Polish thinker Leszek Kolakowski, who stated: In politics, being deceived is not any excuse. A number of hours later, Saif Ali Khan, taking part in the Machiavellian mastermind and inheritor to the throne, Samar Pratap Singh, explains to a buddy that having energy is like having an additional penis. Which is so lengthy and throbbing that inevitably even the perfect girls succumb to it. He explains a few of this in Hindi so you may think about the way it sounds. Between this vary of excessive and low, director Ali Abbas Zafar and author Gaurav Solanki try and create a sweeping saga of politics in modern India.

It’s an intriguing mixture. Ali is greatest identified for larger-than-life Salman Khan films corresponding to Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai. Gaurav rose to fame with grittier materials like Article 15. Collectively, they assemble a twisted story of ambition, betrayal, deception, corruption and the evil that women and men do within the quest for energy. Gaurav takes his cues from headlines – we see dynastic politics and farmer protests; a piece of the narrative is ready in a politically charged Delhi College, clearly modeled on JNU; there are IT farms to create Twitter developments, chants of Azadi, deeply entrenched sexism and bigotry and draconian legal guidelines, that are misused by sold-out cops. However this deep dive into the guts of darkness doesn’t chill your bones in the best way that Paatal Lok did. As a result of Tandav is written in broad strokes and performs out like a pulpy cleaning soap opera. At its greatest – episodes two to 5 – Tandav is a deliciously depraved story that retains you hooked. At its weakest, which is the remainder of it, the collection is a patchily written smorgasbord of horrible folks doing horrible issues.

The star-cast is immediately attractive. Saif turns into the silky, devious Samar with ease. The character doesn’t have the vicious pressure of Langda Tyagi or his newer Udaybhan in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior. However the actor revels in Samar’s sophistication, his ruthlessness, his bouts of insecurity and weak point. The identical for Dimple Kapadia who performs Samar’s nemesis Anuradha Kishore. She has a steely magnificence. Her brittle exterior hints on the many video games performed and compromises made to reach the place she is. Which could remind you of her stellar flip because the ageing star Neena Walia in Zoya Akhtar’s Luck By Chance. However once more, Tandav isn’t excited about that depth or nuance.

Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub doesn’t have the youth of a college scholar however he performs Shiva with blazing eyes and insistent integrity. And the scene stealer is Sunil Grover as Gurpal, Samar’s right-hand man for whom nothing is out of bounds. With a thick accent and poker face, Gurpal carries out the soiled work that have to be finished to maintain the wheels of democracy turning. He’s the final word stoic unhealthy man. In a single scene, Samar asks him if his darkish deeds crush his soul and Gurpal replies that he takes care of it by holding a pet.

Tandav doesn’t provide a lot when it comes to perceptive political commentary. There are some traces in regards to the combat for the soul of the nation however largely, it prioritizes plot

Politics may be soiled enterprise however Ali and DOP Karol Stadnik showcase it with a shiny sheen. Nothing seems dirty, not even homicide. Saif’s ancestral house Pataudi Palace, used right here as Samar’s house, turns into an emblem of standing and authority. The approach to life is lavish with close-ups of gleaming whisky glasses, Samar grilling meat on his expansive lawns and a scene between him and his spouse in a pool which has no ostensible objective besides to make Saif and Sarah Jane Dias look enticing. The ladies, wearing beautiful handloom saris styled by Subarna Ray Chaudhuri, appear prepared for a style journal shoot. In a single scene, Anuradha is carrying pearls and tussar silk when eating alone. South Block and India Gate are recurringly used as backdrops, maybe to lend authenticity.

However Tandav doesn’t provide a lot when it comes to perceptive political commentary. There are some traces in regards to the combat for the soul of the nation however largely, Ali and Gaurav prioritize plot. Each episode is chock-full of twists and turns. There’s little room for the characters to breathe or evolve. Within the later episodes, as sub-plots are added, the story scatters. Our bodies pile up, the situation turns into more and more far-fetched and moments that appear pivotal are forgotten. Further narrative threads are tacked on as an alternative of being organically stitched into the tapestry. So instantly a love angle develops, someone’s sister emerges or two different characters are seen in mattress. However when something is feasible, nothing feels pressing.

Julius Packiam’s background rating is stable however used a lot too usually to infuse suspense into scenes which vary from bland to downright foolish

Editor Steven H. Bernard ramps up the drama by cross-cutting between the numerous tales. At one level, he skillfully juxtaposes the idealism of the scholars with the terrible opportunism and deal-making of the folks in energy. The irony of the way it begins and what it turns into is stark. However later within the collection, the enhancing turns into a band-aid, which barely holds the numerous strings collectively. Julius Packiam’s background rating is stable however used a lot too usually to infuse suspense into scenes which vary from bland to downright foolish.

Tandav has an excessive amount of Bollywood masala in its DNA. Which makes it intermittently entertaining but additionally shallow and never very sensible.

You possibly can see the 9-part collection on Amazon Prime Video.



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