Tanaav which is produced by Applause Entertainment gets its terror dynamics right from the start. It’s not just the families of the Indian officers and the terrorists who suffer, even friends and acquaintances are not spared. There is a chilling clarity in the narrative in the way it identifies the two sides and then leaves them to their devices.
Authentic in look and speech, Tanaav doesn’t look like an adaptation, of the Israeli series Fauda. The terror contexts are smartly changed and localized. The characters do not waste time in allowing us to get to know them. Their jobs are well-planned from before. Heads will roll, tides will turn and the fugitive terrorist Umar (played with an eerie quietude by Sumit Kaul) will find his nemesis.
I like the way the series makes room for the families to have their say. There is this one especially revealing encounter where Indian Intelligence officer Jagjit Malik (Rajit Kapoor, always a natural) barges into terror kingpin Umar’s home and threatens his mother (Zarina Wahab) and wife (Waluscha De Souza) with subtle terror tactics. The sequence shows how and why the two sides adopt the same modes to get their way.
The murder of a respected professor in the Valley is one of the several triggering points in the plot. The writing (by Adhir Bhat) though set to a pounding beat, never oversteps the line of action.
Tanaav constantly feels tenable, if not always fully credible. Some of the terror violence seems too haphazardly planned and the execution of these terror activities has a touch of amateurish. But let us not forget that more often than not, many of the young recruits in terror outfits are completely new to the violence.
Tanaav could have done some serious editing. But the action is never compromised. The interaction between the Indian officers and the terrorists draws out that disturbing element of moral ambiguity—who is right and who is wrong—which navigates the plot through choppy waters.
Among the actors, Manav Vij holds his own as the muddled counter-terrorist. Too little of Satyadeep Mishra, Rajat Kapoor, Zarina Wahab and M K Raina and too much of actors who don’t even deserve to be here.
Rating: **** (4/5)
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