Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:07 IST
Cast: Saqib Saleem, Rajesh Tailang, Iqbal Khan, Shriya Pilgaonkar
Director: Apoorva Lakhia
Platform: Voot select
Whenever anyone takes the name of Crackdown, the one thing that comes up in mind is the action-adventure video games series 'Crackdown' created by David Jones. Well, India has now its own Crackdown series, special thanks to Apoorva Lakhia, who invested his precious mind to direct this not so appreciable series. If you have a fascination with seasons, sometimes justice is not often done with stories and this is what happened with Voot select 'Crackdown'. Where the first season ends with a hint of the second season. So talking about the 'Crackdown' the series is based on a RAW's 'DO' department's head, his favorite disciples and a RAW deputy who wants to shut 'DO'. Focusing more on terrorist aspects, the series hits more on the personal lives of characters.
Crackdown begins with an undercover mission in which Research & Analysis Wing chief Ashwini (Rajesh Tailang) orders the covert team's leading man Riyaz Pathan (who is also known as RP) (Saqib Saleem) to track down the terrorists but unfortunately, a female civilian died of suicide when she finds herself trapped in the situation. Ashwini and Riyaz hide the news of civilian death news from others as they think if anyone will get to know about the civilian casualty then everyone will raise a question on RAW's DO work. But later on, Riyaz finds out about the girl being a terrorist and identifies her as Mariam. Although the deputy director of RAW Zorawar(Iqbal Khan) gets aware of the civilian casualty and raises several questions on Ashwini and also points out Riyaz's loyalty towards the nation. As in the past, Riyaz was captured by the terrorist group and was tortured for 8 months before escaping.
On the other side, Ashwini wants to track down terrorist Hamid and he asks Riyaz to attend a marriage in Mumbai and instruct him to meet a Henna designer named Divya (Shriya Pilgaonkar). But when the first time he meets her, the story takes a new twist as Divya is exactly a look-alike of the dead civilian. After convincing her several times, Divya agreed to be part of a secret mission and adopted the identity of dead Mariam. But things are not as easy as you think, after being Mariam, Divya faces huge difficulty and almost faces death. So what will happen next when Divya will meet the terrorist group, will she be able to hide her real identity, or will change her mind? Riyaz is honest towards his nation or playing some mind games or is actually a mole in RAW. You will get all the answers once you will watch this cringe and second-grade series!
'Haseena Parkar', 'Mission Istanbul', 'Knock Out', 'Zanjeer' and much more unbearable films in the row's director, Apoorva Lakhia has directed this eight episodes long shudder series. On the serious note, after watching Crackdown, it seems like you have watched an old styled film where actors are forcefully acting and passing non-sense dialogues. Even after spending 20 years, Apoorva's direction hasn't changed a bit as he still thinks to direct anything to serve as a delicious dish, in front of the audience. There is no special creativity in moving a drone from one SUV to another. The story is stereotyped, the direction is second-rated, Ohh!! Yes, we haven't talked about the writer yet so let's introduce this great series writer Suresh Nair (a famous Kahaani film writer).
Well, Suresh Nair forgets to write the serious issues on terrorism rather stains directly on RAW. Well, this tut-tut storyline really goes nowhere and disappoints you at the end of each and every episode. The plot looks so hilarious at a moment when Ashwani sees death civilian face and recalls her look-alike, went straight to her wife and asked her if she remembers anything from a marriage they both attended last year. After getting notes from her wife, he immediately orders Riyaz to attend a marriage in Mumbai and also provides him a marriage invitation card. Well, without even questioning he forced Divya to do something she didn't want. What is this? Who writes such an unimaginative screenplay and Divya also gets ready to do so. Questioning more on the society, the writer marked a huge question on the highly recognized secret service of India. So any circular for the series, if released against the makers, it shouldn't be surprising.
The series is full of bizarre dialogues and all the credit goes to Chintan Gandhi. Even at a serious point, who blames Govinda movies lyrics and compares the film lyrics with Gulzar and who denotes their colleagues as 'Pappiyo'? Well, Chintan may think it will look cool but sadly it turns too annoying and especially when dialogues are recited by Saqib. Iqbal has acted better than his role writing but unfortunately, his dialogues are so lame that you will realize his life is so frustrating.
Talking about the performances, it was too painful to watch Saqib Saleem again in a show after his 2018 release 'Race 3'. His top-notch overacting straight hits your head and gives an immense headache. So if you are a fan of Saqib and want to watch him again then please take prior headache medicine. More about Shriya Pilgaonkar, she acts as a fine wine for the series and performed averagely, nothing much to say about her acting skills (Period). But, the man of the series is none other than Iqbal Khan, who acted so intensely that you will fall for him. Unfortunately, his role is so poorly written that you will feel sad for him. It is so miserable that even Iqbal has to make his character look more prominent on the screen and exasperate on every scene. Really don't want to say anything for the rest of the star cast. They all acted well but their dialogues were too hard to handle.
Amar Mohile's background score will remind you of Saas Bhau serials and it sounds so old that nothing is more jarring than watching the series with its background sound design.
Overall, the story is cliched, the direction is second-rate and the courage to face Saqib Salim no longer remains in the audience. There is nothing exhilarated about Crackdown as the series is not written precisely. First of all, the story comes late on the track, secondly, its balance continuously deteriorates. More than the terrorists and ISI conspiracies, the writer-director's attention was focused on showing the conflicts between the RAW people. While giving real treatment to the story, putting an angle of Mariam's face in it, makes the web series ramshackle. All in all, if you want to sleep for 5 hours or want to waste your valuable 'time', then we will suggest you watch 'Crackdown'. Wish we could appraise more about the actor's acting, well-executed storyline, over the top direction and other stuff in the series. But Crackdown miserably failed in showcasing any of this and became a misogynistic piece of bad art!
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