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Srijit Mukherji Gets on to the Bandwagon of Terrorists and Cops Chasing Each Other

Edited By: Bohni Bandyopadhyay

Last Updated: January 26, 2023, 14:43 IST

Web series are often indulging in stories of terrorism with the usual suspects of RDX, bomb blasts, political leaders being assassinated and dozens of men and women being killed. This is getting a bit jaded and even boring. Cannot producers, writers and directors think of something more pleasant: a love story, for instance. Or a bank heist in which community bashing is not necessary. I am so fed up of sitting through episode after episode with cops or agencies such as the NIA trying to nab terrorists, who are planning huge blasts. And, what is more, we all know, how the series will wind up with the guilty being caught.

Srijit Mukherji’s Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke on ZEE5 is a classic example of trying to sell old wine in a new bottle, only that this concoction never ages well. And coming from Mukherji – who gave us some interesting and novel stuff such Autograph, Shahjahan Regency and Vinci Da – I feel utterly disappointed.

Well, what is Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke all about? It is about two women investigating officers: Regina Casandra’s Kavya Iyer (why would she play a Tamil girl, do not ask me), who has a young son Reyansh Gupta (Jihan Hodar) and a mother. The only Tamil words they speak is “amma” and “patti” (grandmother)!. The other officer is Mahira Rizwi with Mita Vashist essaying the head of the NIA at Guwahati. For some strange reason, she speaks with her teeth tightly clenched!

The two get together to crack a rogue, who has got a whole lot of RDX and has carried out two blasts with one in Assam killing the Chief Minister. He is planning a third, a much bigger one in Kerala, and Kavya is trying desperately to stop the third in Kochi. The series swings from the North-east and Rajasthan to Kerala.

Of course, it does not take much to guess how Jaanbaaz will end. However, Cassandra is interesting as a police officer who is posted on deputation to the NIA at Guwahati. She shows her steely side tackling an ace terrorist. The cat-and-mouse game she plays is gripping, and the series is well mounted and conceptualised.

The finale is played on the backwaters of Kochi with a thrilling boat chase, not to be missed.

But I only hope Mukherji will not get on to the same old bandwagon of terrorists and cops chasing each other the next time around. We need novel ideas and stories, please.

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