The weekend is finally here and we have a lot of content to cover, so lets dig in. First up, I finished watching the new Hindi series Tanaav which is the official Hindi adaptation of the Israeli show Fauda. Before I get to Fauda, I again had a small issue regarding the streaming of the show. The show was officially slated to release on 11th November but on that day only six episodes were out, with the message being new episodes every Friday.
I have to put this on record yet again that I am NOT a fan of this model of episodes being released weekly. It is an injustice to the show and the makers as well as the audience. We had seen a similar case with the third season of Criminal Justice which was a good show but had zero buzz by the time every episode was out. But this time I kind of understand as to where this decision was coming from considering the total number of episodes was 12. But the length of those episodes wasn’t much and so I would still stick to the argument of releasing all episodes in a single go! SonyLiv are you listening?
Coming back to the show, Fauda is one of the few foreign shows that I have managed to watch and so I was really curious as to how the Indian adaptation of it would be. There were layers within layers that did highlight the conflict between Gaza and Israel reaply well that did give me a clear insight into the issue(although it was somewhere on the surface). And I was expecting a similar level of tension to be created in Tanaav, especially with Sudhir Mishra at the helm of it. So then does Tanaav manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
An official adaptation of the Israeli show Fauda, Tanaav follows the story of the tensions escalating in the beautiful valley of Kashmir. The story is in its truest form an adaptation considering that it does get its setting right! The screenplay standing at 12 episodes of 30 odd minutes each does make for a compelling watch!
Right from the onset, the drama is a winner due to its setting. As we already know, the Kashmir issue is a delicate one and to translate that onscreen is not easy by any stretch of imagination. Yet you do find yourself getting involved in the drama with every passing episode. Now I have watched Fauda and so I was well aware of the twists and turns that this show had to offer. Yet the setting of the show did make me invest in the drama which does have a lot of meat to offer.
For those who have watched the original would know that brilliantly executed wedding sequence followed by a car chase that nicely sets the ball rolling for things to come. This adaptation follows a similar trope. There is a constant buildup of tension in that terrific wedding sequence that is equally well executed. And this particular sequence does create a butterfly effect with one thing leading to another.
The twists and turns are really engaging and engrossing. If anything, a subplot involving the family of the protagonist could have been better written as here it did seem slightly half-hearted as compared to the original. The Kashmir issue here has been kept vague and personal which was a good creative decision. There are layers and subtexts present and if you can read between the lines then you will be able to enjoy the drama that much more. <span;>But at its core, the drama is a subtle tale of power dynamics involving many characters from different parties(sometimes within the same party as well). And that leads to some interesting character dynamics that make for a layered viewing.
On the slight downside, things do get slightly repetitive, something that I did have an issue with the original as well. What that does is that the drama lags in certain places, only to show urgency sporadically after certain periods of lull. But credit where due, the writers do manage to keep you interested for most parts. That said, the final act is a little underwhelming as compared to the pulsating final act in the original despite a twist which may work for viewees who haven’t watched the original. I would still give a slight benefit of doubt to the writing simply because I knew what was coming my way, thus summing up a screenplay which definitely was a compelling and enthralling adaptation of the original.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are cerebral and really well written that does create a stirring impact. Moreover, it stays true to the region where the drama is set in. The BGM blends perfectly with the mood of the drama as well as the area where it is set in thus adding texture and authenticity to the drama. The cinematography is really good as is the editing. Directors Sudhir Mishra and Sachin Krishn do a splendid job here in driving this compelling tale of chaos although there are moments wherein they do let the grip on the narrative slip occasionally.
The performances here are really good. Arslan Goni and Rockey Raina make their presence felt. Mir Sarwar, Salonie Patel and Satyadeep Misra are also first rate although I really did wish for more of screen time from the latter given the prolific actor that he is. Sheen Dass as Fatima has a good screen presence and she does a good job. Waluscha De Sousa as Zainab is wonderfully restrained and she brings out the uncertainty to her character really well. Arryaman Seth as Danish does bring out his emotional outburst pretty well. Tarun Khem as Khalid has a stoic sense of fear to his character.
Rajat Kapoor as Malik is outstanding as is Rajesh Jais and Danish Husain. Sukhmani Sadana as Nusrat is pretty good, so is Sahiba Bali as Toshi who also has an interesting conflict to her character. Amit Gaur as Muneer is decent, Arbaaz Khan as Rathore is good but still could have pushed for a better impact to his character. Sumit Kaul as Umar is brilliant and his presence does send a shiver down your spine too.
Ekta Kaul as Farah is perhaps the find of the series for me. Not only does she look pretty but she does exceedingly well in certain scenes, holding her own even with a few seasoned actors in the same frame. Hope to watch more of her going forward. Shashank Arora is a spendid actor himself and it is heartening to see him get such meaty roles. And he excels in a character which was probably the best written on paper. Can’t wait for season 2 to unleash his new trait! Manaj Vij is a great actor himself. He has been repeatedly delivering some great performance(with Samrat Prithviraj being an aberration). Here it was a case of smart casting wherein Manav absolutely hits it out of the park. He is tremendous in every frame and does an exceedingly good job!
Tanaav is tense adaptation of the original series Fauda with some good performances. Available on SonyLiv.