Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, Kritika Kamra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Gauahar Khan and others
Directed by: Ali Abbas Zafar
Written by: Gaurav Solanki
What is it about:
TANDAV is a show that tells the story of people playing a game of dog and the bone; whichever dog gets the bone, in this case the PM’s chair, is the winner. One day before the Lok Sabha elections are to be announced, the prime-ministerial candidate, Devki Nandan (Tigmanshu Dhulia), dies of a heart attack. He was to return for a third term, but alas. Leave the opposition party who are now trying to change the game, the candidate’s party itself goes into total anarchy. Saif Ali Khan plays Samar Pratap Singh, the son of Devki. After his death, Samar obviously thinks the chair rightfully belongs to him, even though he never had a good relationship with his father. Then there is Anuradha Kishore (Dimple Kapadia), a senior member in his party and Devki’s ‘close confidante’ of 30 years. Samar thinks it will be a smooth transfer of power, but it isn’t so much. Parallel to Samar’s schemes for vengeance is the story of hopeful and sincere Shiva Shekhar (Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub), Sana Mir ( Kritika Kamra) and their friends who are students at the fictional VNU. Samar, unknowingly to them, drags them into politics and uses them to gain support from the student population. Helping him, a tad too obviously, is his henchman Gurpal (Sunil Grover) who follows orders, no matter what those might be. What happens next, forms the rest of the show.
What we liked:
Right from the word go Tandav throws light on the current political scene in the country, the brutal police behaviour, distress among farmers and student unrest in college campuses though all these get touched upon but they brushed aside and the writing goes all over the place as the issues which could’ve been addressed are forgotten very easily and quickly. Sunil Grover makes a strong impression in the show and clearly shows he’s a lot more than being a funny guy on the television.
What we didn’t like:
Political thrillers are always welcomed and loved but without a good idea, narration and execution, everything is down the drain and the energy, time and money could have been spent on something better; that’s the case with this show. It was quite evident from the trailer that the show has taken its inspiration from the popular Netflix show HOUSE OF CARDS; but let alone the whole show, TANDAV could barely manage to top the under whelming last season of HOC.
TANDAV has been Indian-ized and all the stereotypical elements have been added in ample. The makers these days have found a template to make Indian original shows and they’re all following it; similar to the early days where TV serials had become very popular and every show looked the same.
The acting performances have been a letdown as well. A pool of talented actors and no one manages to shine, nor make any impact. There was a lack of subtlety in the performance as well as the story. The makers had to spell everything out for the audiences, as if they are children who need to be spoon fed, while at the same time, audiences were expecting it to be a smart show like HOC. That’s where the problem arrived.