Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Family Man

 What do all the glamorous spies do if they settle down to a wife and family?  Most of them don't and even fewer do a good job.  But still some try.

 Srikant Tiwari promised his wife he would quit his dangerous job chasing after international terrorists, but he lied.  He was too good and got pumped up with challenging scary assignments.  He loves his wife and two children, but feels obligated to the cause. 

The two seasons deal with Kashmir, the ISIL, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  Lots of terrorists and political intrigues.  Srikant is very analytical, cool under fire and when it comes to it physical contact very effective.  Often on the same day as an "encounter" he picks up his children at school.  In the middle of  a "job" he got called to his daughter's school to deal with a misbehavior issue.  Later he had to placate the school principle by using his contacts to extricate her from a supposed legal problem.

His wife is constantly complaining about his absences and meantime we learn she is on the verge of an affair.  Eventually she tries to drag him to a marital counselor, but he walks out.  At one point he actually quits the dangerous job, but he is consulted by others.  He ends up going back partly because he is bored with his IT boss and partly as he misses the excitement.

He has been successful in keeping his job separate from his family, but accumulating enemies it is inevitable that one of them will see his family as his vulnerability.  This is a standard tool for raising tensions and they do it well.

It takes organization and talent to produce an enjoyable thought provoking series.

Raj & DK comprising of Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru were directors, writers and producers.  The two have a Telegu language background and met studying engineering.  They emigrated to United States to build a career in software engineering.   By 2003 they had collaborated on their first film, "Flavors".  They combined directing, writing and producing over films.  Their film credits include "Stree" (2018) and "Farzi" (2023) winning awards along the way. D.K. Krishna--played in 6 episodes.  check

Music was handled by Ketan Sodha, Sachin Sanghvi and Divya Limbasia.

Cinematography was handled by Nigam Bomza, Azim Moollan and Cameron Bryson.

Editing was done by Sumeet Kotian.  His film credits include "Drishyam (2015), "Madaari" (2016), "A Thursday" (2022).and "Farzi" (2023).   Check:

 Manoj Bajpayee plays Srikant Tiwari, anti terroris fighter and father.  Temperamental role. An award winner with 95 credits including:  "Satya" (1998), "Veer-Zaara" (2004), "Swami" (2007),  "Dus Tola" (2010),"Gangs of Wasseypur" (2012), "Aligarh" (2015) and "Rustom" (2016),

 Priyamani played the wife, Suchitra Tiwari.  She has 67 film credits in Telegu, Malayalam and Hindi including "Grandmaster" (2012) and "Virata Parvam (2022).

Sharib Hashmi  played DK, close colleague to Srikant.  47 film film credits including "Slum Dog Millionaire" (2008),  "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" (2012), "Filmistaan" (2012), "Ujda Chaman" (2019) and "The Great Indian Murder" (2022).

Shreya Dhanwanthary played Zoya, a female member of the  anti terrorist group.  Shreya was born in India, but was raised in both the Middle East and India.  She graduated with a degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering.  She has written a novel, "Fade to White" (2016).  She has performed in many commercials, Telegu, Tamil and Hindi films.  She has 19 film credits.

Ashlesha Thakur played Dhriti, teenage daughter to Srikant.  She has been in some commercials and a few films including "Badrinath Ki Dulhania" (2017) and "Pagglait" (2021). 

Seema Biswas played Prime Mnister Basu.  She has 98 film credits.  Her first was an award winner with a very strenuous role as "The Bandit Queen" (1994).  Other film credits include "Ek Hasina Thi" (2004) "Water" (2005 ), "Amal" (2007), "Cooking with Stella" (2009),  "Project Marathwada"  (2016), "Funny Boy" (2020) and "Atrangi Re" (2021) .  She did several movies with Canadian directors, Deepa Metha and Richie Mehta.

Gul Panang played Solini an anti-terrorist leader and old flame of Srikant.  Gul was Miss India in 1999.  Her 33 film credits include: "Dor" (2006), "Manorama:  Six Feet Under" (2007), and "Hello" (2008.)

 Samantha Ruth Prabhu plays Rajii, a super female terrorist fighter that is more than capable of upending almost any male.  First noticed Samantha in"Eega"(2012) most unusual story line involving a lover reincarnated as a housefly, but very popular).  Samantha is bilingual with Telegu and Tamil and has won awards acting in both languages.  She has made money as a brand endorser and model and since 2012 has channeled much of her money through a charitable trust to help pay hospital bills for young children, pay for patient flights to the Taj Mahal and to meet film celebrities and boost awareness of hemophilia.  She is a delight to watch.  Her film credits include "Ye Maaya Chesave" (2010), "24" (2016),  "Mersal" (2017), "Mahanti" (2018), "Super Deluxe" (2019),

Lots of action, but also lots of political intrigue and domestic conflicts in a unique combination.  If that is your cup of tea you will enjoy this series.  Available on Prime.

Titles I have seen are bolded at the first mention, giving perhaps an indication of my bias, but also an awareness of experience of the cast or crew.

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