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Special Ops (Hotstar) Review: It Is An Entertaining Pulpy Take On Parliamentary Attack



Watch Special Ops, Hotstar Special Ops, Bollywood news, Bollywood

Special Ops (Hotstar, 8 Episodes)

Starring Kay Kay Menon,Karan Tacker, Saiyami Kher, Muzammil  Ibrahim,Meher Vij,  Neeraj  Pathak, Divya Dutta

Directed by Neeraj Pandey, Shivum Nair

Rating : ***(3 stars)

Calling the film’s  constantly-grimacing RAW agent hero Himmat Singh is  not the most subtle of  scriptural exercizes .Himmat Singh, as played by the redoubtable  K K Menon,seems to find most of his associates and colleagues intellectually challenged. Or so his attitude suggests particularly when  he is  being interrogated   by two  of his colleagues (Parmeet Sethi  and Kali Prasad Bannerjee , the smirking duo)  who want to know where all the funds he’s allotted for special tasks is being used.We  could ask the makers of the  series the same  question and would probably get  the same smirking response.

  No one questions the national  heroes when they  are  putting their life at stake to protect us good-for-nothing citizens from those awful  terrorists who have  mayhem in their hearts, blood on  their hands and kajal  in their eyes.

 Special Ops takes us halfway cross the world to track down these vile evil-Laden Osama clones.Though the  plot is action-heavy none  of the thrills are  exceedingly thrilling. Hear-in-the-mouth is  not  a description that  fits  this project.

The RAW agents’ special target  in this  not-so-special series is an international terrorist whom our Indian government  chases for 18 years after  the parliamentary attack.  It takes  no time at all to  figure out that Neeraj Pandey and hi co-director Shivum Nair has no patience with  subtlety in recreating the  events that shook the underbelly  of global terror activities after the Indian  parliament was attacked. There was  that fine film that Pandey directed  on global  terrorism. That was Baby. This is Bawling Sprawling  Baby.

The first 20 minutes  of  the lengthy and loud series are devoted to  recreating  the attack on parliament in New Delhi. The  action is staged with all the sensitivity of  a hammer  on a  particularly stubborn wall with the  screeching cars, and  rat-a-tating guns  deployed for a merciless assault on our senses. The terrorist squad comprises  various out-of-work actors who are made to sport accents peculiar  indeterminate  accents.

Then  there is  the token Muslim moderate, Himmat Singh’s  duty-bound colleague Abbas(Vinay Pathak) who interrogates hardcore types like  the school principal questioning a student who has  pushed a colleague too hard on  the playground.Though the  series  proudly wears an air  of slickness  there are glaring continuity lapses here and there.In one sequence a noodle-eating terrorist is shot  in the head. In the next sequence his head is on the table in a pool of blood(or is that the sauce from the noodle?)  the  noodle-bag gone.

 In  truth, Special Ops makes no attempt to understand  the  complexities of  the terror situation. The eight  episodes  serve the  purpose of  a collective tornado leading us by the scruff of our neck through events that  have  little  bearing on  actual facts. The plot feeds on the  Indian hunger for  an anti-terror fiction that  assures us  that  those who try to  blow up  our  national pride are bound to come to a  sticky end.

Not all global attacks have a happy ending. This one certainly does,

While K K Menon  is  suitably cheerless as   the RAW agent with a  mind that smells foul play from far away, his team consists of a bunch of amateurs played by actors who are too raw to  immerse  themselves in  the ‘RAW’ materials. Actors  like Karan Tacker and Syma Kher are  happy to  dress and conduct themselves like nation’s  custodians,though they are often put into  situations that beg to be  believable.

 In episode 5 which is entitled  Chaudvin Ka Chand,  each of the RAW  team members is seen indulging on one extended fight sequence.As though  they  are all being given bonus time in the  extended series.

Every episode is named after a Bollywood classic. Naturally the  last climactic episode in called Sholay which in  spite  of   some terrific momentum  fizzles  out. But do hang on till the end  for a very fine  performance by Divya Dutta as  a riot-and-rape survivor who has nothing to lose.She represents a will that is the opposite of  the frantic spirit of  the series. Must get  eyeballs  until the very end. And  in that endeavour Special Ops succeeds.

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