The only thing certain in a politics-related scenario is the uncertainty but the show seems to completely forget this. The first five episodes are so dry that they can be easily foreseen from the trailer. The plot as a whole is highly predictable from the beginning till the end and every new surprise can be seen miles before it actually happens.
Amazon Prime’s new show, Tandav covers politics in two different modes but both in a way that is far away from reality. The show is heavily inspired by the famous American TV show House of Cards but it’s nothing like that, it mostly looks like a cheap version of that concept forcefully embedded in dynasty politics.
The only thing certain in a politics-related scenario is the uncertainty but the show seems to completely forget this. The first five episodes are so dry that they can be easily foreseen from the trailer. The plot as a whole is highly predictable from the beginning till the end and every new surprise can be seen miles before it actually happens. Samar Pratap (Saif), son of Devaki Nandan (Tigmanshu Dhulia) is a highly popular youth leader. Everyone is sure that he will be the next PM of the country but he knows how power-hungry his father is. As expected, he plans a way to get the throne and be the party leader and future PM but things go out of his hand when Anuradha Kishore aka Dimple Kapadia (his father’s long-time affair) finds out about the truth of Devaki’s demise. Samar devises a new plan to bounce back on the throne.
Now there are two different political scenarios running parallelly in the show. The first one is about Samar and the other one is about Shiva ( Mohammad Zeeshan). Shiva is a student of VNU, which is an obvious copy of the actual JNU scenario. He is an impulsive activist and cannot see something wrong happening. Samar takes an interest in him and he alters his life and politics of VNU directly but we never see how Shiva can be helpful for him in the assembly elections. Or maybe it is kept for the future season(s) but it could have been easily introduced in this one.
The show never touches the ground reality of the current scenario in politics. It lives on its own self-designed world far away from the actual reality. The characterization is one of the major faults of the plot. None of the characters gets an appreciable amount of backstory. We don’t get to know why is Samar acting the way he is? Or what actually made Anuradha so power-thirsty? In fact, the other characters just run around a few basic points and nobody gets out of their shell. Everyone falls victim to the games of Samar and Anuradha so easily, no one gets to go out of a confined space. Dimple’s son Raghu (Paresh Pahuja) easily accepts her mother’s wish. He was promised a position in the party, we were told that he is the kind of guy who would kill himself if he doesn’t get it but he easily accepts his fate. Gopal Das (Kumud Mishra) seems to hold an important position in the party but he blindly falls prey to the moves of Samar and Anuradha.
The show has many loose ends and it may seem interesting to the makers to keep it for future purposes but in a way, it hinders the quality of the show. The music on the show is very lazy. Every time the show cuts to show a sequence of college, it plays the same song from Yuva. We get that the plot has taken some inspiration from Yuva but you don’t have to play the same song again and again to tell us that.
As far as performance goes, Mohammad Zeeshan killed his role but as others didn’t get much material to shine, so they were all mediocre, except Sunil Grover, he finally gets a role he deserves. Saif Ali Khan was intense but this character doesn’t even touch the ten percent of what he is capable of and the same goes for Dimple Kapadia. The dialogues too were loosely written and not up to the mark.
Overall, Tandav may look interesting at the surface but it is very dry at the core. It has interesting elements but it never gets to know how to play with them masterfully.
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Dimple Kapadia, Kumud Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Anup Soni, Gauhar Khan, Sunil Grover.
Created by: Ali Abbas Zafar
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video
Verdict: Poor, could have been way better.