The story so far -
Jai Singh Rathore (Anil Kapoor
) is the head of the Anti Terrorist Unit set up in Mumbai. Shown to be a dedicated officer, the story set for 24 episodes with each episode to be showing the goings-on for one hour starts with Jai getting a birthday cake for his wife Trisha's (Tisca Chopra
) birthday. They have a daughter Kiran (Sapna Pabbi
) who too is part of the celebration while their son Veer too calls at midnight to wish his mom. Just before the cake cutting Jai gets a call and is called at office for an urgent assignment. He rushes off leaving behind a sad family... while Trisha looks upset, Kiran retaliates by going off to a midnight party with a friend without informing her parents. After a bad phase her parents are now attempting a patch-up which Kiran is desperately waiting for.
Even as Jai is on his way, he receives a call from his friend Wasim Khan (Anupam Kher
) who has news about a traitor in the ATU (Anti-Terrorist Unit). At Jai's office, his colleagues Nikita Rai (Mandira Bedi
), Tej (Adheer Bhat) and others are waiting for him. During a quick meeting with the RAW chief, the team is briefed about the assassination threat to the yet-to-be sworn-in Prime Minister of India, Aditya Singhania (Neil Bhoopalam
) who is in Mumbai to address the nation on his father's death anniversary. Apparently, his father too was assassinated on the same day couple of years ago in Mumbai and his mother has plans to use the sympathy in his favour. Aditya is coming to Mumbai along with his entourage of his mother (Anita Raaj
), sister and her husband, his cousin and his staff.
Even as the Singhanias are gearing up for the next day, Aditya gets a call from a news channel head, Mehek Ahuja (Suchitra Pillai
) who unearths a 12 year old secret where Aditya has been involved in an accidental death at his graduation party. Despite knowing about the threat to his life, Aditya takes off with his cousin to an undisclosed location without telling anyone!
There is a parallel track running with the terrorist group making plans of killing Aditya and a plane carrying his official photographer Max is killed and the plane blown mid-air with the killer shown to be a young, attractive girl who saves herself in the nick of time as she ejects herself from the plane and lands to safety with the help of a parachute. We see her reaching her destination where the assassin has got plastic surgery done and now resembles the dead photographer, Max.
Meanwhile, Kiran and her friend Jahnavi are kidnapped apparently by the terrorist gang while Kiran's mother and Jahnavi's father (played by Ajinkya Deo
) go around looking for them. At the ATU office Jai gets an urgent call from Wasim who is injured while gathering evidence against the traitor. Jai rushes there and even as Wasim dies in the shoot-out, he hands over to Jai the evidence. Jai tries to find out who the traitor in his group is and the name of Nikita Rai who is shown to be earlier in love with Jai flashes on screen!
While all these incidents are happening in different parts of the city at the same time, they all have a common thread and are connected to each other in some or the other way!
What works -
Everything! The Indian story adaptation is perfect with the characters gelling well with the script and looking, behaving and dressing up like people do in real life. The pathos of a family living in an urban setting where work has to be given importance is shown brilliantly. The credit for the same goes to writer Rensil D'Silva. It is a seat clutching, nail biting drama minute after minute and you want to know what happens next with each shot coming in with a new and interesting twist! The Singhania family closely resembles the Gandhi family with the mother in charge, son who is a youth icon wanting to be a PM, the strong willed daughter who is married to a good for nothing husband and so on... however, the makers have always denied this but it looks like an open secret!
We like the way they have shot the outdoors in Mumbai at night... the locations look real and so do the interiors - whether it is a plane, a house, a party, or a 5 star. The production values are extremely high and demanding. With so many parallel tracks running at the same time, the multi-screen imaging works wonders and yet doesn't distract you a bit.
With an impressive star cast, there is no chance for a flaw when it comes to the acting department. While this is Anil Kapoor
, the film star's debut on Indian Television, he manages to make an immediate impression on the television audience. We can feel the pain in his heart as he sees his friend dying but has to leave everything behind when duty calls. Tisca despite her haggard and morose looks has something to say even in her slow movements. The rest of the cast including Anupam Kher
, Mandira Bedi
, Anita Raaj
, Ajinkya Deo
, Suchitra Pillai
, Sapna Pubbi, are impressive too to say the least. While all these are known names a special mention of the girl who blows off the plane - she is not only a good looker but has a solid screen presence as an actor.
The hard work behind the creative supervision of B.R. Sharan and Piyali Kar is noteworthy and actually they are the ones who should be congratulated for planning with such meticulous detail, and brilliantly putting together such a foreign concept to make it work in India.
What does not work -
Nothing actually... apart from a few bloopers that come to mind... If Anupam Kher
is lying injured inside the cinema theater with 3-4 shooters inside the theatre, how does Anil Kapoor
gain entry and reach all the way where he is lying injured so easily without getting shot at?
Also when Anil Kapoor
knows for sure that there is a traitor in his unit why does he forward the data to the girl from his office? What if she was or is the traitor? Why doesn't he wait to reach office and decode the data in front of his eyes rather than sending it out and depending on someone who might be the traitor? He actually asks for Nikita as he wants her to decode it but since she is not on her seat it is done by one of her colleagues who does the job for him and Nikita's name is seen flashing! How can he believe anyone from his office when one of them is a possible traitor or maybe there is a reason to it which we may come to know of in later episodes?
Our take -
is a fast paced thriller and the one hour episode just speeds past with so much happening in it. The Indian audience which is used to slow paced drama being unnecessarily stretched for days on end will welcome this change of track. However, it does look to be urban centric with its presentation and while it will have the metro audience (especially youngsters) hooked onto it the same cannot be said for the audience from the interiors of our country who may still want to watch the never ending saas-bahu sagas every evening.
Seema Khot Mattoo