State of Siege: 26/11: Arjun, Arjan, Vivek’s show is an unapologetic and real depiction of the Mumbai attack


As India registers over 315 cases of coronovirus, we live in a time when isolation is not a privilege but a necessity of the hour. This has left many uncomfortable and uneasy. But don’t forget, we’re all in this together! If you are bored and looking for something good to watch, State of Siege: 26/11 starring Arjun Bijlani, Vivek Dahiya, Mukul Dev, is probably a show you want to practice # JantaCurfew today.

Every Mumbaikar will remember the 26/11 brutal terrorist attack in the city that targeted 6 different locations (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station, Cama Hospital, Leopold Cafe, Chabad House, Taj Hotel and Tower and Oberoi-Trident Hotel) At least 160 people were killed and more than 300 were injured. The operation that began after that, for 60 hours, eliminated 10 terrorists who had infiltrated the city, a picture that none of us will forget. The Zee5 series takes us back to those 3 sleepless nights, which is true and focused on its plot.

The show opens the heart touching scenes of ordinary people, who do daily chores, travel, plan dinner, simply being unaware of what to do, being themselves in the worldly life. Is because terrorists enter the shores with devastation in mind. The narrative cools when we get hit, and gets harder, now rotating 180 degrees with quiet. Initially it was said to be a ‘gang war’, but it took some time for the policemen to realize the seriousness of the situation. What we absolutely liked is that the show does not try to build the heroes of our security forces. It questions informally and highlights several security lapses.

The camera is distributed between 8 episodes to the Ministry of Defense from the Police Control Room to the National Security Guard Base. This is the most realistic and raw depiction of the 2008 Mumbai attack so far. The makers have not portrayed the main leads as heroes or crooks who engage in top action scenes or as the Mumbai Police savior. As the NSG commander, Arjan Bajwa is happy to see the tension, determination and dilemma remain real. Arjun Bijlani played Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan to perfection. He is weak, at the same time, extremely brave. Mukul Dev plays his role well as the ring commander of Lashkar. Vivek Dahiya to completely add his spunk. But the thing that is fresh is that all the alphabet changes without placing any one person in the center.

The show is not trying to be politically correct and exposes all the possible things that went wrong with the way things were handled. From the NSG discussing the budget, the police do not have enough manpower, outdated weapons, not being well occupied to handle intel, preparedness to handle such critical situations, procedural flaws and so on Is lacking. This completely makes us question whether we are well equipped to engage in such situations today? Can we? Well, this is a good question to start with! Not only this, one of the episodes also focused on the dark minds and circumstances in which common people are brainwashed into taking up arms in the name of ‘Jihad’.

Not only this, the role of media in the entire operation was also highlighted. All of us needed to introspect, to pay more attention to sensitive issues and give important details for TRPs. The conflict in the media room was real and the tension was palpable.

The makers have done their research well and tried to shoot in real locations and give us a real time in natural light. The screenplay does not look imaginary, increasing its credibility. Keeping in mind the use of Nokia phones and Blackberry, they have kept it as real as possible but it certainly has its own flaws. The entire episode could be shortened on Ajmal Kasab (the only captive terrorist, who was later hanged in 2012). The pace in the middle seemed to slow down a bit but the terror and anguish feel that you are real. Each character dominates the frame, including the supporting cast.
You do not want to miss it!

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