Amazon Prime starts off 2021 with the much anticipated Tandav. Tandav was on the list of releases since the beginning of 2020 but like all other series, it was delayed too. But nevermind, it’s here now and I have watched it so let’s now talk about the good and bad aspects in our piece Tandav Review: A Prime Mishit? The show stars big names and has no less when it comes to talent, experience, and money but still, it failed to impress me. Which I predicted when I saw the trailer which said from the makers of Tiger Zinda Hai and Bharat.
I mean I didn’t even expect anything from them when I saw this but then it was Amazon Prime which I consider having better Indian content than any other OTT platforms such as Netflix in from of Paatal Lpk, Mirzapur, A Family Man, Made In Heaven etc. And then I was attracted to the casting. Saif Ali Khan who I feel is doing a tremendous job compared to when he started out in the late 90s and 20s. His creative choices and acting has improved significantly.
Anyways, without further ado, let’s jump right into the Tandav Review: A Prime Mishit?
Storyline: A Baseless Controversy
As I have mentioned earlier since it was from the makers of Tiger Zinda Hai and Bharat, I didn’t really expect much. The storyline was absolutely the most disheartening part of the series. Though the story had the true potential for dept and undertones, sadly none was explored. It has subplots and strong characters but none stood out and was shadowed. The characters weren’t defined and at times sounded dumb. Like Shiva suspecting Chetan so easily and without giving a second thought to it irrespective of the fact that it was crystal clearly defined.
The story was slow-paced and disengaging for almost all of the show except the last 2 episodes when everything happened at once and rushed to make sense of the series so far. The story was very poorly designed as though it was a political thriller, there was almost no thrill. Everything seemed scripted and I feel everyone saw every aspect of it coming.
Cliffhangers are okay but then the show was done without even explaining anything about the first season. It’s like the series of so many hours had no meaning. The creators were showing and the audience just watched. A lot of the story elements were illogical and unnecessary. The story lacked sense of reality and couldn’t connect to the audience at any point.
The politics were shown black and white. It failed to address the grey zones and elements which ain’t really that easy to explain.
Star Cast & Direction
The casting is rich and brewing with talent but sadly here too audiences were disheartened. I won’t say Saif Ali Khan was bad but this certainly wasn’t his best. His performance was degraded further due to clingy dialogues and unnecessary scenes. The other lead, Shiva aka Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub was an absolute let down too. He was most painful to watch. But kudos to Dimple Kapadia who left no stone unturned portraying a manipulative, ambitious, hungry for power lady politician. She was the real charm.
Sunil Grover did a tremendous job as Gurpal too. I mean for many it would be hard to see Sunil something other than comic roles that too dressed as fictitious characters. Well, there were others too who get a great job but sadly their roles weren’t explored and their characters were just a side piece thanks to the beautiful writing (sarcasm). Actors like Kritika Kamra, Richa Avasthi, Kumud Mishra etc.
The direction was not that bad but I seriously douth that there weren’t better creative options available to luster the otherwise series that gave a very mainstream Bollywood vibe. No Doubt, Ali Abas Zafar is a genius but I don’t agree that political dramas are his genre.
The Only Good Thing in Tandav
Sorry to say, but the only good thing about Tandav was costume and set design. Though Saif Ali Khan is rather skeptical about renting his palace for shooting purposes he did an exception this time. And damn, it’s a place of pure royalty. The costume was sheer brilliance. It was more than perfect. Each character was like coming from a Vogue shoot.
It may be rather too much based on what the series wanted to convey. At many points, Made In Heaven had beautiful costumes but it was to showcase the lavish lives for the individuals and to draw a contrast with the middle or poor class. So, it may have been perfect here but certainly not needed to that level.