Created by Abhimanyu Singh, directed by Matthew Leutwyler and starring Arjun Bajwa, Mukul Dev, Arjun Bijlani, among the other splendid actors. State of Siege: 26/11 is a nail biting recreation, and importantly reimagining of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in November 2008. It is an eight part web series that has set up around the main elements in the life changing and horrific event, when the terrorist group Lashkar- e- taiba attacks the sites in Mumbai. The story revolves around terrorist who were involved in the attack, the handlers from Lahore, the police in the ground and in the control rooms, the victims, National Security Guard commandos prepping up the required strategies for the final encounter of the terrorists, and the media who is trying to cover up the breaking news.
The story has a very different perspective and unlike the other episodes or movies that are made on terrorist attacks. More than focusing on the trauma, fear and loss of the victims the story focuses on the men with guns and power. Here there is beautiful contrast shown between the positive and negative personalities of the men who hold the guns and have power, the terrorist kill without thinking whereas the police of NSG saves life with the same gun. Rajesh Beri’s dialogues make a strong impact in all the five languages be it Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, English or Hebrew. Kartik Shah has provided incredible music and the beats that create the perfect atmosphere of suspense to the terrorist attack that finally ended on November 28.
The plot starts with Colonel Sahota (Arjun Bajwa) who is mobilizing his NSG squad to fly down to Mumbai which gets delayed due to the political whims and is depressing. Major Manikrishnan (Arjun Bijlani) is showcased as a person with anger management issues and has a keen interest in joining the mission. The story empsathises beautifully and in a heart wrenching way with the Mumbai who is underprepared but their foe are heavily armed terrorists. Mukul Dev has negative character to his name but works excellently to create a strong impact as Lashkar-e-Taiba handler working from Lahore and the contrast between him and Arjan Bajwa is beautifully pictured. The aspect of the web series that will attract all is that it is not judgmental or gives a message about the heroism of one main character, rather it stresses on how beautifully all the men with gun play their role without any fear.
The plot will leave you wondering regarding the system and its discrepancies, which could not deal with such a situation. The politics of TRP and presenting the news that sells all occurring in the news channel called INN. The role of news reporter played al throughout the plot showcases how ambitious and rating hungry anchors are so much so that adding spices to the news becomes a part of their work profile.
The plot is scary as it focuses largely on the cruelty and coldblooded killings. The action scenes are shot with immense grit and intensity. Overall it is a web series that will touch your mind, heart, and soul and will make you revisit the web series. As there are scenes of cold blooded killing and blood parental discretion is supposed to be applied. The end of the series is similar to the new beginning and strange in all aspects. The end shows Ajmal Kasab the only terrorist who was caught alive. The end where you expect the siege is lifted and there is a happy ending the entire focus shifts to Kasab’s family life, introduction, and indoctrination. So much that there is an entire episode focused completely and exhaustively on the life of Kasab and his family. Overall a very interesting web series that you need to watch for getting an insight in the function of police and NSG during terrorist attacks. The working and the methodology that is heart wrenching yet the protocol that is followed for the maximum benefit of all while saving lives of many.
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