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Naxalbari, Naxalism As A Formula

Naxalbari(Zee5, 9 Episodes)

Starring Rajeev Khandelwal, Aamir Ali, Tina Dutta, Sreejita De, Shakti Anand, Satyadeep Mishra

Rating: ** ½

 This one  had my attention from the word go.And then  they lost it. Cops as  the heroes, Naxalities as  the  villains. The dramatic conflict couldn’t be more in-your-face.  Naxalbari is not much into subtlety.The shootouts are  so  coarse  that  they bring back the ‘dhishoom’  into  onscreen action.I had forgotten that sound from Bollywood’s  kitsch kitchen of  the last  millennium.

 Here  they call a spade a spade , and  a Naxal a trouble  maker. There are Naxalites  of both genders  owning the  forest with their mission  of mayhem. They blow of fleets of cars  , maim and murder with impunity. But these evil Naxals cross the line when they kidnap the dynamic cop Raghav (Rajeev Khandelwal) who  has his Daddy and Girlfriend issues to deal with at  home, even as the  ‘villains’(read: naxalites) create  havoc in his  life.

The  plot movement and and the inter-relationships in  the first three episodes reminded me very  strongly  of  Aditya Dhar’s war  film Uri.Even the opening vehicle ambush  seems  copied from  Uri. By the time I  trudged  it to episode 4(admittedly not too excitedly) Khandelwal’s cop character was  kidnapped  by the  big bad  Naxals , one of whom is super-sadistic. And to prove it he wears a chic scar on his  forehead. This character is played by the talented Satyadeep Mishra who is just about the best actor you will  find in this violent series.

To  keep our interest on alert  mode until the end  , there are  some unexpected  twists and towards the end. Suffice it to say that Aamir Ali’s character is  not what it seems. Ali, suspiciously quiet initially,  puts in  an  interesting  performance as a  masked capitalist .Tina  Dutta(playing Khandelwal’s girl) is not who she seems  to be. And this  series  is  probably  better than it seems.Who knows!

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