The penultimate episode of Tandav finally saw the big turning points – most of which were expected. Unfortunately, the twists and turns were accompanied by a poor script and a dull staging that again relied on overuse of the score to compensate for the lack of effect in the scenes. And some of the moments were completely childish to the point that it’s incredible the characters didn’t see it coming.
From the beginning, the record was set: Gurpal is now sure that nothing is wrong with Anuradha. Gurpal and Maitley share a story, which they evoke, but which is beyond the scope of their conversation. Gurpal remains the MVP for Samar’s selection of trusted lieutenants. By threatening Maitley and forcing her to give evidence, he once again proves his worth to Samar.
The whole sequence towards the end, however, where Maitley actually shares the evidence by taking Anuradha’s confirmation on everything, seems absolutely fundamental in comparison. It’s a lazy decision by the author, as if the author couldn’t think of anything better and let Maitley question all the Anuradha stuff. For an ambitious and power-hungry woman who wanted to become the country’s prime minister, Anuradha was an easy target for her partner. It was as if the showrunners just wanted to redo this point of the plot and move on. Except that it was the highlight of the episode.
Other discoveries like the Samar and Aditi cases were also made quite by chance. The camera continues to move off-center to maintain the tension and shock of what we see, but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen these two intimate places in Episode 2. Saif’s next diatribe was again of the wrong caliber and failed to convincingly sell his hatred of his father. And we barely saw the thread that connected Samar and Aditi in the second episode, but this thread was used again in episode 8 for shock value.
Shiva’s rise in politics by founding his own political party was again too convenient and cinematic. He suddenly became a politician, memorized the rules of the game and left the election with his incredible knowledge. And yet it’s relatively easy to get all the votes with his unconvincing speech – at least we think so. Again, it seems that all hope of redemption has been completely lost.
What sucks, and I’ve mentioned it several times, is that director Ali Abbas Zafar uses music to create a sense of momentum out of situations that would be better handled with silence or without a score. Think of what Shiva Sanaa has to offer you. The play’s theme of love would have been appropriate in this case; instead, the escalation of the score from the previous scene continues and on this occasion seems terribly disjointed. The score doesn’t end until the replay begins.
Another opening that is played out is Jigar revealing the knowledge of Sandhya’s pregnancy to the press. Again, the ease of the plot comes from the fact that Sandhya conveniently informs her colleagues about her pregnancy, but not about her lover. This leads to an ugly but unfounded argument that leaves Sandew with the realization that Kailash has not yet divorced his wife. I think it’s the breadth of his characterization that makes you wonder – why have a subplot if it didn’t serve a more important purpose? Of course, not everything has to revolve around the central story, but otherwise the ending is rather tepid.
Overall, Tandav made some ill-timed decisions that led to the episode. If you’re restless and in a hurry, you can quickly flip through this episode. The reduced length certainly makes it easier. But I doubt you’ll ever see that episode again, or the show. And what’s more creative when the episode bears the name of the series itself. At least the fictional political party’s logo was more inspiring and creative than the series’ title logo.
Tandav Season 1 Episode 8 Rating: 5.5 out of 10
I will be doing reviews of individual episodes of season one of Tandav. These reviews will contain spoilers until the episode is reviewed. Read on and let me know what you think of these different reviews in the comments below.
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