Crackdown review: Saqib Saleem, Shriya Pilgaonkar deliver edge-of-the-seat thriller
Cast: Saqib Saleem, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Iqbal Khan, Waluscha, Rajesh Tailang, Ankur Bhatia
Director: Apoorva Lakhia
It’s been a year since Manoj Bajpayee’s The Family Man had us enthralled. With the second season still quite some way off, Apoorva Lakhia steps in with a crackling thriller, Crackdown. Grab the popcorn.
The 8-episode web series is a full-blown answer to the Manoj-starrer, minus the comedy and the charm of the Satya actor, of course. This one is a no-nonsense drama that has its heart and focus at just the right place. The powerful script does everything else.
Watch Crackdown trailer here
Crackdown is the story of a Directorate of Operations (DO), a covert wing of the investigation agency RAW, which doesn’t believe in going by the book and is ready to accept collateral damage if that gets the job done. A group of handpicked individuals in bullet-proof jackets at all times, this elite squad carries out anti-terrorist operations in Delhi, Kathmandu and Mumbai.
Saqib Saleem, the man with ripping biceps and a painful story of torture in captivity, is the man in the middle of it who believes in eliminating the threat whatever the cost. The collateral damage is the vulnerable Shriya Pilgoankar, who has the shades of Alia Bhatt’s Sehmat from Raazi.
Crackdown, however, offers more than just terror attacks and high-speed chases. The strength of the show lies in its patient build-up up to a quick but impactful climax.
Director Apoorva Lakhia here takes the cake and eats it too by not just laying his hands on a solid script but also justifying it on screen with crisp direction. The success of a suspense thriller lies in its ability to offer the unexpected and Crackdown never loses its way down unnecessary twists. Unlike the emotional aspect of The Family Man, The Voot Select original doesn’t come with distractions of romance or comedy, keeping its eye firmly on thriller aspect.
The show earns the maximum brownie points for totally unpredictable plot twists besides appreciation for convincing performances. A minute detail deserves a mention for contributing in adding to its credibility. Saqib’s character is shot on the edge of his shoulder, which was left uncovered by his bullet proof jacket and takes a long pause to wriggle in pain and have his moment of suffering without being in a hurry to rejoin the fight and show off his superpowers. He still does what was expected of him but the pause gives you a sense of reality and establishes a connect with the viewer. The makers end the series on a high note with a glimpse of another attack in the offing, setting us up for a sequel.
It is the little quirks that keep you involved when it comes to suspense thrillers. The obsession of the director with windows is clearly visible as not once but twice a crucial, high-security act is carried through transparent window panes. Still I am glad that it breaks the obsession with severed fingers, which continued from Sacred Games to Paatal Lok.
The show is definitely a brilliant addition to Voot Select, which has earlier made decent outings with Asur, Illegal and The Raikar Case in the thriller category. Crackdown is just what you should binge watch, especially if too much blood and gore leaves you nauseated.
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