The Family Man is the latest addition to the high quality Indian web series content in the OTT platform (Amazon Prime).
Created by Raj and DK who are famous writers in Bollywood (recent success with the movie Stree), The Family Man is the story of Srikant (Manoj Bajpai), who is an agent with a highly secretive Intelligence facility run by the Govt. code named TASC. Their job is to proactively control the terrorist attacks using intelligence and various analytics tools. Srikant’s actual job is a secret and he keeps a low profile overall. For others, he is just doing some desk job for the intelligence cell, where as he is actually part of the field agent team.
Srikant is married to Suchitra, a Tamilian (Priyamani) and they have two kids- an elder daughter and a younger son. Srikant is torn between the job and managing the family (and hence the name The Family Man). His job takes a toll on the relationship with his wife and also on his health. Suchitra, who is a college professor is fed up of Srikant’s attitude and is in the verge of moving out, looking for a different job and is close to one of her colleagues.
Meanwhile, the agency gets a threat related to some militants who are planning a major attack on Indian soil code named “Zulfiqar”. They begin their search based on various inputs and start gunning down for the militants. The story then shifts to Kashmir and Balochistan as well, where Srikant tries to find the missing links to identify the terror network and plan.
The good thing about The Family Man is that it tries to show both sides of terrorism and is not largely biased to one religion. The makers smartly add several incidents happening in the recent times related to politics, religion, terrorism, schooling, college politics, parenting, languages etc. The dialogues are good and there are funny one-liners at regular intervals which makes you smile. There are some real thrilling scenes as well like where Srikant is held among some Kashmiris, the scene where his son fiddles with the gun.
The beauty of the series is also in the casting. Apart from seasoned actors like Manoj Bajpai or Priyamani, it also has a stellar cast of promising actors from other languages too like Neeraj Madhav (Malayalam), Sundeep Kishan (Telugu) and Kishore Kumar (Tamil). This is a smart move by the makers, which can lead to increase in viewership from South. Manoj Bajpai is at his cool and best. He is funny as the family man trying to make a good name with his kids and also as the hapless husband. As an agent, he is sharp, instinctive and focussed, willing to go to any extent in executing his job. Priyamani add some uniqueness to the script. Sharib Hasmi (as Srikant’s colleague Talpade) does a natural role with some good one-liners to enlighten the mood. Neeraj Madhav has an interesting role with mixed emotions and he makes full use of it. Other actors also do their part well.
Technically, The Family Man is as good as any movies. The cinematography is apt and changes based on the moods. I liked the long continuous shots (like what you see in Maniratnam’s Roja) during the shootouts (catching Kareem is one) and the hospital scene, where Moosa is aided to escape. The sets and landscapes seems to be real. Background score is apt and elevates the scenes creating a good suspense.
On the negatives, there are constant family related issues which slow down the entire thrilling subject. While some of it is enjoyable, few others are very cliché and bores you. As we see in most of the recent web series, there is lot of F and M**F’s used including some making out scenes. So it’s better to have caution while watching with kids. Editing could have been better to make the proceedings faster, however nothing to blame as it’s anyway a web-series. Dubbing in other languages (tested Tamil and Malayalam) was good enough but could have been better.
The 10 episode long series (Season 1) ends with lot of questions hanging around confirming Season 2. Overall, The Family Man is another interesting addition to Amazon Originals which you should not miss.
Rating – 3.5/5