State of Seige 26/11 Review: This 8-Episode Series on Zee5 is Pacy and Well-Executed
TV/Streaming Reviews

State of Seige 26/11 Review: This 8-Episode Series on Zee5 is Pacy and Well-Executed

State Of Siege 26/11 Review: It's a well made series but brings back painful memories and is predictable

  • Movie Name State Of Siege 26/11(Zee5, 8 Episodes)
  • Director Matthew Leutwyler
  • Actor Arjun Bajwa, Arjun Bijlani, Mukul Dev, Tara Alisha Berry
  • Rating
  • Rating 3/5 Stars

Rating: ***(3 stars)

Films on global terror attacks walk that very slender line between exposition and exploitation. We never know how many films on  9/11, 26/11, Nirbhaya, the Nazi holocaust or the Bhiwandi riots we are in for. And frankly, we don’t really hold our breath for these recreations of historic catastrophes.

I’ve seen three previous films on  the  9/11/2008  terror  attack on Mumbai. Ram Gopal Varma’s The Attacks Of  26/11 in 2013 was authentic but showed the  director’s post-Urmila Matondkar  obsession with his new muse Nana Patekar. Hotel Mumbai last year was a fine albeit fictional replay of the actual attack. But the sight of Dev Patel in a Sikh turban took the shine away from the film’s sincerity. And then there was a smaller international film called  One Less God directed by Lliam Worthington which ended  up showing the 26/11 siege’s end with a celebration of Holi on  the streets of Mumbai. Holi in November??

The  new well-researched though a tad self-consciously designed web series on 26/11 for Zee5  keeps us watching through the episodes through a pacy  and well-executed  plot plan. The 8 episodes move at a brisk no-nonsense pace leaving us with a mildly compelling view of what felt like to be at one of  the  places attacked by intruders from across the  border on  that fateful night in November.

The  research based on Sandeep Unnithan's book Black Tornado The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11is impressively nerve-wracking in  telling us just how ruthless the attackers were in their  game-plan of  bloodied  mayhem. The counter-terrorism heroes are justifiably larger than  life. The series shows Colonel Kunal Sahota (Arjan Bajwa) and  Major Nikhil Manikrishnan (Arjun Bijlani) making  split-second decision unheedful of whether  protocol  is strictly being followed or not.

The  vulnerability of the  police force and the army fighting the sophisticated weapons  of  the  terrorist with obsolete artillery is also brought  out in the course of what turns out to be a  gripping, if somewhat conventional anti-terror thriller. The two Arjuns in the lead,  Bajwa and  Bijlani strike suitably heroic postures. Mukul Dev, with a beard as false as his accent, has done much better in negative roles in the past.

The performances especially of the actors playing terrorists is suitably over-the-top. To match the characters’ ambitions, I suppose.

Oh, and  the media, represented by a Arnab Goswami – styled rabble-rouser (played by Sid Makkar) is shown  to be  self-serving sensation-mongers  giving out confidential  information  on television that aided  the terror outfits in their  mayhem plan. 

Some would say making a series about a traumatic incident in history is also a fairly self-serving exercise

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