Applause Entertainment, an Aditya Birla Group company working in the entertainment sector, has bought the rights to make popular web series in different languages around the world in Hindi. He has been taking out samples one by one from his box. Sometimes a rabbit comes out of the hat, there is applause and sometimes its chief Sameer Nair makes a mistake.
This time the matter is of Yes Studio’s web series ‘Favda’ composed by Avi Ischaroff and Lior Raj, who have worked in Israeli security agencies. Those who have watched the web series in its original form would know that the story is set in a frontier region against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
The geography of the web series ‘Tension’ is of Kashmir. It is made with the help of the Jammu and Kashmir government and its mention also comes at the end of every episode of the web series. The issue is of innocent lives being crushed in the atmosphere of terror. Directed by Sudhir Mishra and Sachin Krishna, this is a sensitive peek into the personal lives of the characters in the world of crime, terror and law. The story kicks in slowly and is not like those Hindi crime web series where everything happens in a panic and in a hurry.
The geography of the web series ‘Tension’ is of Kashmir. It is made with the help of the Jammu and Kashmir government and its mention also comes at the end of every episode of the web series. The issue is of innocent lives being crushed in the atmosphere of terror. Directed by Sudhir Mishra and Sachin Krishna, this is a sensitive peek into the personal lives of the characters in the world of crime, terror and law. The story kicks in slowly and is not like those Hindi crime web series where everything happens in a panic and in a hurry. There is a dreaded terrorist named Panther whom Kabir, who won the medal of bravery by killing in an encounter, is now retired and running an apple orchard. It is revealed that the panther, who till now was believed to be dead by the security agencies, is alive.
The real crux of the story comes from there when the head of the task force turns up at Kabir’s house like an uninvited guest and leaves after shaking Kabir’s conscience. Obviously Kabir will return. Kashmir politics, cross border aid in local politics, arms smuggling are the threads of this cat and mouse game going on between Kabir and Panther. The whole exercise is about the blast that the Panther is about to make soon. Kabir has a happy family in which his being away from home creates tension. There is a doctor who has returned from Mumbai, coming to whom Kabir seems to be relieved. There’s a panther pawn that’s trying to capture all these different strings. Right now only six episodes of the web series have been released on OTT. After this, six episodes are to be released one by one every Friday.
While watching the web series ‘Tension’, if you are not in tension, then the pleasure of watching it is different. However, as a reviewer, the stress of watching it all come together is another matter. The first episode is about an hour and the rest are about half an hour. I have binge watched all 12 episodes and this is the victory of this web series that it gives a kick to watch the next episode immediately after one episode is over. Since only six episodes have come on OTT, it would be okay to talk about it without revealing the secrets of the story. In all the stories that Sudhir Mishra has made as a filmmaker, the tension of different characters from society, family, profession and himself has come to the fore, the web series ‘Tanav’ further strengthens his identity.
Sachin Krishna, the second director of the web series, is basically a cinematographer. Here he has directed the series along with his original responsibility. Like a capable ally, Sachin has succeeded in taking Sudhir Mishra’s streak to the end. Since the story has been sown around the terror that was flourishing in the valley, a lot of attention has been given to the local dialect in it. The same imprint of Sudhir Mishra’s filmmaking is also seen in writing the series, which brought him a different reputation in Hindi cinema with the film ‘Is Raat Ki Subah Nahi’.
There is so much repetition in the stories of web series that many times while watching a new web series it seems that hey, we have already seen this scene. Prime Video’s ‘Jack Ryan’ web series is also remembered while watching ‘Tension’ and also the recently released film ‘Code Name Tiranga’. There are some other mistakes in the web series which probably should have been caught at the time of editing, like, Muneer is in the control room in the climax and also on Maukaa-e-Vardaat. Kabir changes his shirt in the middle of the incident. But, it is said that such mistakes work to spoil the cinema, so it is amen for this from my side as well.
But, the thing that is going to knock again and again in the web series ‘Tanav’ is that in a series created in Kashmir, only Kashmir does not emerge properly. When the camera is in the sky, Kashmir looks like a painting. But, when this camera comes on the characters, then the environment behind them does not emerge. Presenting the environment as a character in the stories builds their relationship with the audience. Music is also a strong part of such web series. The background music has also been well composed here, just the lack of Kashmiriyat is visible in it.
After the weak links of the web series ‘Tanav’, let’s talk about its solid ground which has been prepared by some of its very strong actors. Manav Vij as Kabir, the father of two children and the husband of a debauched wife, impresses in his portrayal of the character. For every issue, his character wears a new identity and it is the victory of his acting to play that covered identity honestly. Viewers watching the series will get to see the real work of Ekta Kaul in the upcoming episodes and due to her impressive acting, she emerges as the number one heroine of the series.
Casting Sumit Kaul and MK Raina, actors of Kashmiri background, to play key roles in the series is a casting victory. Both have played Muslim characters but their accent is 100% accurate. I feel like praising Shashank Arora and he seems to be the next artist of Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s series. But, he must watch the flop films of both and learn that when an artist is unable to break the image created by himself, then how narrow the path ahead becomes.
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