Tandav ran out of steam in the final episode, delivering a season finale that lacks the tension that background music so often screams. In a way, that was to be expected. Only 30 minutes of work, and barely enough room to tackle all the plots. And of course, while the plan was to keep things open for a possible Season 2, I doubt that would happen, which would mean a lot of secrets in bed.
The main point was at least somewhat resolved when Samar managed to get Anuradha to accuse him upside down and pointed out his lack of evidence. At her suggestion, she is mistakenly hospitalized while the nation calls for a new prime minister. However, it was with surprise that Samar Gopal appointed das Munshi as interim prime minister after he had longed for this seat for so long. Maybe he’s playing some long game or Khel, but that remains an open question for now. The series blatantly ends with Samar’s ring spinning, cutting the scene before it can fall, much like Cobb’s spinning top in Inception minus the context.
Meanwhile, Shiva managed to win the student elections. But he soon realizes that the victory is worth it when Chetan is killed in prison and Sana commits suicide. Which again is confusing since Sana called Shiva to tell him something new. It’s strictly a result of Jigar dragging Sana into an arm wrestling match and cornering him, leaving him no choice but to make a drastic move. But again, we won’t know for sure what happened until Tandav’s second season is out. If this comes out. For now, she is adding shock to the process in a desperate attempt to make it clear that politics is a dirty game.
Most of the other plot lines fall through. We will never know the identity of the anonymous caller again, although I strongly suspect that the evidence that Samar had to incriminate was the recording of Devki’s call to Anuradha. This is the only time on that fateful night that Samar openly admits what he has done. Aditi and Samar’s novel is also nothing special; the scene would literally add nothing to the story if it were filmed. Just like the whole Sandhya subgroup that existed for no reason. It did not fit well into the overall plot and was not sufficiently developed for a compelling viewing experience.
If there are two aspects of the show that have suffered a lot, it’s the writing and directing. While, as with most series, it starts off well because there is always a hint of excitement to learn more about the characters, the writing slowly evolves into painfully implausible and childish scenarios. Director Ali Abbas Zafar did his best to punctuate the weak story with a constantly shifting score so that no scene settled into a lack of momentum, perhaps fearing that the void would soon be discovered. In the end, all that is nothing, and for the promise of a cliffhanger, I hope they even had plans for a second season.
Dimple Kapadia was another missed opportunity. In the last episode, there were rumors about his character’s relationship with Devki that were more important than you think. But the decision to abandon these things for a potential season means that Anuradha finds itself without much depth, other than a pseudo-ambiance. An attempt was made to explore her troubled relationship with her son, which came to nothing except the above scene. By working on some of these things in season 1, we could have made these people more decent.
And this is my general complaint about Tandav. He introduced too many characters that he couldn’t handle at runtime. They have been played by some of the biggest names in television. And yet they were merely glorified appearances, with abuses added to the freshness factor. People like Hiten Tejwani, Anup Soni, Sandhya Mridul could have contributed much more. Instead, they just filled in the blanks and added star power to the series, creating insurmountable expectations. Instead of abusing the cast, Tandav abused his score – the genius and novelty of recording Dhaka Lak Buca Yuva was lost when the title was included in almost every episode since then.
This series, which aimed to link youth policy to national policy, again missed the mark. Till the end, the stories of Shiva and Samar had no significant connection with the trial. They existed in their own vaccine and overlapped for some time in intermediate episodes. Yes, Samar provoked Shiva to unknowingly form his party, leading to his victory, but it was more of a small attempt to tie things up. Shiva has not yet ventured into national politics; that may be too ridiculous, even by the writer’s standards.
Overall, Tandav promised political intrigue, but some poor choices of script and direction, combined with the short airtime, didn’t leave enough room to do Saturday justice. As a result, the finale focused on Samar’s game and at least put him back at the helm where he rightfully belongs in the universe of the series. Numerous clashes and intrigues have gone unresolved with the hope of unraveling them in the new season, but for now. Let’s hope Tandav’s season 2, if not to offer us a great show, at least to complete the journey of their characters.
Tandav Season 1 Episode 9 Rating: 5.0 out of 10
Read my review of episode 1 of Tandava here.
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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