Spy thrillers have always been one of the most popular genres globally with franchises such as 007, Bourne and Mission Impossible being relished by fans for decades. The OTT players have recently jumped on the spy thriller bandwagon with Netflix and Amazon Prime releasing a handful of movies and shows in this genre. The Family Man is one such offering that steers away from a typical gun-blazing spy story to a much more realistic account of a secret agent’s life.
The protagonist, Srikant Tiwari, played by Manoj Bajpayee is your regular middle-class husband and father who works undercover as an analyst for the fictional TASC (Threat Analysis and Surveillance Cell) branch of NIA (National Intelligence Agency). The show deals with more practical aspects of working as an undercover agent who has family with growing kids. It also tries to cover a much larger canvass of real incidents such as Gujarat riots, mob lynching, gau rakshaks, AFSPA, cross-border infiltration etc, which have shaped the headlines of Indian newspapers recently and have had political and social ramifications. However, the show never goes overboard with any of these and tries to maintain a central story of a possible terror attack, which Tiwari and his team are trying to stop.
Just like the title, the makers have put a lot of focus on the family and the complex relationships Tiwari has with his wife, kids, mother and sibling. Bajpayee has done most of the heavylifting and stands out in the show. The roles played by Priyamani as his wife and Vedant Sinha as Atharv (Srikant’s son) and Mehak Thakur as Dhriti (Srikant’s daughter) are equally effective. The remaining cast, which includes Neeraj Madhav, Gul Panag, Sharad Kelkar, Dalip Tahil and Sharib Hashmi are memorable but Bajpayee stands tall in all the scenes he shares with these actors. The show starts in the right direction and has a lot going in its favour, but certain scenes seem too stretched hurting the overall pace. The show ends in an inconclusive manner making it very predictable that a season two is in the works.
Despite the pace and the predictability of things, the show neither tries to be preachy about tolerance or peace nor portrays a black and white picture of patriots and terrorists. It depicts both sides of the story in a balanced manner underscoring the fact that nobody is born a terrorist and even the hero needs to deal with mundane issues of life.
|THE FAMILY MAN
Platform: Amazon Prime Video
Creators: Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Priyamani, Sharib Hashmi, Gul Panag, Pawan Chopra, Shreya Dhanwanthary
Genre: Action Drama