Raj & DK ‘s new Amazon special The Family Man is an old age spy drama idea altered with staggering twists, neatly directed action sequences and amazing characterization and it also acts as a mirror to the current condition of India time to time.
Srikant Tiwari( Manoj Bajpayee), is an undercover analyst in Threat Analysis and Surveillance Cell ( TASC) of the National Investigative Agency (NIA). The first scene starts with the capture of Malyali ISIS terrorists. Srikant was due on investigating them but they escaped their capture van. After a long encounter, two terrorists were caught in which one of them goes into coma. Meanwhile, something big is being planned in Baluchistan against India. Srikant suspects that those terrorists were onto something big. But as the theme of the show suggests, the life of a spy having a family interferes with his work life. Manoj Bajpayee ‘s dialect and dialogue delivery are on point, it makes his character much more interesting and relatable. What makes this show better is the night-action sequences. The hotheadedness of a terrorist escape, the ‘whoever remains alive carries the bomb’ counter-strike(game) like encounters, the different chase sequences on or off the vehicle, each one of them is neatly choreographed and assembled at proper time frames.
The life of Srikant’s family is also as jumbled as his life. His wife Suchi (Priyamani) is struggling to make a proper decision between taking a new job and keeping the job and when she does, she isn’t able to manage his family and work-life properly, similar conditions like Srikant. Suchi’s probable extra-marital affair sequence feels needless at some places but still can be afforded. There is one nail-biting sequence when Athrav is all alone in the house and somehow he finds Srikant’s gun and he is playing with the loaded gun, all alone in the house. At that moment you just pray that this doesn’t end like Breathe in which police officer Kabir loses her daughter because he left his gun in open and her little daughter accidentally kills herself. Srikant’s daughter somehow tries to show the trouble of teenagers these days. Midway through the show, Srikant gets transferred to Srinagar, then the show is about “Family” and “Man” separately. The life of Srikant’s family without him and his own life are now in their direction. They don’t get mixed but this change is temporary and rather necessary for the show’s plot. Interesting take by Raj & DK on Srikant’s dual life of a spy and a family man is that he needs to present himself a loser as a part of his undercover identity but cries and shouts “ That everyone thinks that I am a loser” when he is drunk.
Plenty of terrorists or people “considered terrorists which aren’t” stories are in the show and all of them, finally after a long time or rather first time in Bollywood is amazingly structured. I am not gonna spoil things about the antagonist(s) of the show. "They have to win once , we have to win everyday" this dialogue alone shows that the characters are real , they aren't superhumans who execute all missions successfully and they also regret their mistakes, government tries to hide it and saves them, but I guess the stronger evil for both antagonist and protagonist is the feeling of regret and all they do is to find a way out of this regret. The setting, the premises are precisely placed and chats of both antagonist and protagonist at times with their vehicle partners, or partners in the field are heartfelt and reflect the truth quite beautifully. The ambiance of Jammu and Kashmir is brilliantly captured. Background score is very well synchronized, tension beats and cultural songs like Banjara and Khudi also suits the sequences in the show. Stree ‘s dialogue writer Sumit Arora did an amazing job in the formation of the right script for all the characters.
Overall, Manoj Bajpayee’s debut in the world of web series takes a phenomenal start.
FINAL VERDICT - 3.5 / 5.
A MUST WATCH.