If you have had a stressful day and want to get over it, then “The Family Man”, streaming on Amazon Prime, is the perfect medicine to unwind. Once you start watching, it becomes very difficult to take your attention off it. I tried my best not to binge-watch but couldn’t resist watching back to back episodes.
Shrikant Tiwari, played by Manoj Bajpayee, is a middle-class man, who works as a spy for a division of the National Investigative Agency. He keeps this high-pressure job as a secret from his family and tries to pass it off as an administrative Government job. He is supported in his job by JK Talpade, played by Sharif Hashmi. Shrikant is entrusted with the responsibility of finding the complete details of Mission Zulfiqar, a covert operation being planned by terrorists and secretly backed by the ISI, which if successful could force India into taking military action.
The series starts off with 3 ISIS terrorist being captured by the Indian Coast Guard. What follows is a fast-paced sequence of events and a cat and mouse game to get to the core of Mission Zulfiqar. The screenplay is tight and some of the funny one liners give a hilarious twist to an otherwise serious situation. Without getting jingoistic or preachy, the series gives subtle references to a host of issues ranging from the beef ban, teenage parenting issues, job switches to the Kashmir issue. The support cast fit into their roles perfectly and ensure they do justice to the characters.
Priyamani plays Shrikant’s wife Suchitra. The ISIS terrorist Moosa, played by Neeraj Madhav deserves a special mention as he effortlessly plays a cold-blooded terrorist without the usual frills. Gul Panag also has a cameo when the plot moves to Kashmir. The script writers do a great job of keeping the narrative fast-paced, suspense-filled and throwing in the requisite amount of humour. The characters and the situations are easily relatable , which makes it easy and light hearted. Manoj Bajpayee is a treat to watch. Such is his portrayal of Shrikant Tiwari that you will feel sorry for his plight when he tries to manage things at home despite having such a high-pressure job. Equally impressive is Sharif Hashmi’s portrayal of his assistant , Talpade. Some of the scenes like Bajpayee bribing his son with an ice-cream, pleading with his daughter’s teacher to let her off are hilarious. In between all his struggles as a spy, Bajpayee also suspects his wife having an affair with her colleague at work. Bajpayee is undoubtedly one of the finest actors of today and Shrikant Tiwari ranks right up alongside the likes of Bhiku Matre ( Satya) , Sardar Khan ( Gangs of Wasseypur) and Waseem Khan ( Special 26)
The only disappointment for me was the climax, The build-up to the last episode was great but somehow I couldn’t find the climax live up to the hype. I will rate this series a 9 on 10. If not for the climax this would have been a 10 on 10. In case you haven’t watched this, go for it. A good stress-buster and a thorough entertainer. I found it better than Sacred Games.
Bheja Shor Karta Hai toh Goli Maar Bheje Main.
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