‘The Family Man’ Review: Manoj Bajpayee Shines In Amazon’s Bingeworthy Spy Thriller

‘The Family Man’ Review: Manoj Bajpayee Shines In Amazon’s Bingeworthy Spy Thriller

By Neel Gudka23 September, 2019 3 min read
‘The Family Man’ Review: Manoj Bajpayee Shines In Amazon’s Bingeworthy Spy Thriller
Bingeworthy!
80%Overall Score
THE UPSHOT

Creators Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s fine thriller is both lighthearted and intense. Expect slick action sequences, humour, commentary on topical issues and an intriguing plot at the centre of which is Manoj Bajpayee’s undercover intelligence operative.

Directors: Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK
Writers: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK, Sumit Arora, Suman Kumar
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Priyamani, Sharib Hashmi, Gul Panag
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

Indian content on streaming platforms has explored a species infrequently seen in Hindi cinema, the flawed hero. Netflix’s Sacred Games gave us Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan), an under-performing police officer desperately trying to do some good while battling internal demons. The Family Man‘s far from perfect lead is Srikant Tiwari (Manoj Bajpayee). An intelligence officer par excellence, he’s a poor husband and father.

Tiwari works for TASC, a top secret government agency that undertakes mass surveillance in order to prevent terror attacks. In what can be seen as an alarming invasion of privacy, TASC can access personal data and records of anyone in the country. As Srikant’s partner JK Talpade (Sharib Hashmi) eloquently puts it, “Privacy is a myth, just like democracy.”

Tiwari leads a double life. To his family, he’s an overworked and underpaid government employee who sits behind a desk of files and paperwork. His inability to spend time with the family and to contribute to household responsibilities is a source of great frustration to his wife and two kids. His wife Suchitra (Priyamani) has her hands full teaching psychology at a college and raising the kids. She aspires for more from her life but feels she’s been held back by familial duty. Their daughter Dhriti (Mehak Thakur), meanwhile, is a rebellious adolescent with problems of her own.

The plot is inspired by daily news stories, and we’re reminded of this at the end of every episode by way of a collage of newspaper headlines. A group of people have fled to Syria to join ISIS, a man gets beaten up in a cinema hall for refusing to stand for the national anthem, persons suspected of transporting beef are lynched. We also see a fictional equivalent of JNU in Mumbai, where students are deemed “anti-nationals”. In the process, the makers have explored homegrown terrorism. The primary antagonists aren’t foreign forces, but are in fact Indian (though foreign parties are involved). Nidimoru and Krishna DK attempt to understand the forces that drive these men to follow the path of terror. At the same time, they’re careful not to sympathise with terrorists.

The Family Man
Sharib Hashmi as JK Talpade and Gul Panag as Saloni Bhatt.

What works for The Family Man is that despite its serious theme, the show is enlivened with much humour. The intriguing yet uncomplicated story moves at a brisk clip and at no point does your head feel muddled with too much information. The show isn’t an out and out action fest. The focus is more on chasing trails and putting pieces together. We do, however, get to see some finely shot action sequences. The shootout scenes in particular, which are made to appear as if they’ve been shot in a single take, are a visual delight. We’re also treated to some beautiful aerial shots of different places, Mumbai, Delhi, Kashmir, Balochistan and even Syria.

As one would expect, Manoj Bajpayee hits a home run with his portrayal of Srikant Tiwari. His performance is minimalist, his humour straight-faced. The daily pressures of his job, along with the guilt of neglecting his family have taken a toll on Srikant’s health, as has the heavy smoking and drinking to cope with the stress. But he sails through it all and is beyond competent in his work. Our man isn’t a hardline patriot, he doesn’t thump his chest about how much he loves his country. Instead, he’s critical of extremism of any kind. In fact, Srikant is not your average trigger-happy action hero. He isn’t even a part of the major action scenes. He is essentially the brain that puts everything together, believing in tact rather than pumping lead.

The supporting cast chips in with noteworthy performances too. Priyamani is wonderful as Suchi, the overworked wife and mother desperately searching for meaning in her life. Sharib Hashmi is likeable as JK, Srikant’s partner as well as confidante. Their camaraderie is one of the highlights of the show. Gul Panag makes an impression in a short role as Saloni Bhatt, Srikant’s reporting officer in Srinagar. A special mention must be made of Mehak Thakur, who plays the snarky teenager Dhriti. The surprise performance is by the Malayalam film actor Neeraj Madhav, who is brilliant as Moosa Rahman, an engineer from Kerala who goes to Syria to join the Islamic State.

Tags: #Amazon prime #Manoj Bajpayee #The Family Man
Neel Gudka
Written by

Neel Gudka

I gave up a career in finance to do this. Clearly I shouldn't be making more decisions.

Trending articles

Huma Qureshi Wears The Crown In SonyLIV’s New Political Drama

Huma Qureshi Wears The Crown In SonyLIV’s New Political Drama

Politics in Bihar is more complicated in a game of chess, if the trailer of SonyLIV’s new original series ‘Maharani’ is to be believed. The series aims to explore the political landscape of a state that is rife with caste divide, and where the archaic satrap system is still prevalent.
By Neel Gudka < 1 min read
Our Favourite Baniya Has An Amazon Special

Our Favourite Baniya Has An Amazon Special

He’s from Delhi, he’s a baniya, he’s hilarious and he now has a stand-up special on a major streaming platform. Gaurav Gupta’s stand-up solo ‘Market Down Hai’ will stream on Amazon Prime Video from this Friday.
By Neel Gudka < 1 min read
Does Netflix’s Super Soap ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ Deliver Justice To The Genre?

Does Netflix’s Super Soap ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ Deliver Justice To The Genre?

Adding to the long list of superhero shows flooding streaming platforms, Netflix gives viewers ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’. The show is based on the 2013 comic book series of the same name written by Mark Millar. It tells the story of the world’s first superheroes who received their powers in the 1930s. The show doubles as a family drama as the children of Utopian (this story’s Superman archetype) struggle to live up to their father’s ideals in a changing world.
By Akhil Rajani 2 min read
See more articles
Privacy Note
By using www.bookmyshow.com(our website), you are fully accepting the Privacy Policy available at https://bookmyshow.com/privacy governing your access to Bookmyshow and provision of services by Bookmyshow to you. If you do not accept terms mentioned in the Privacy Policy, you must not share any of your personal information and immediately exit Bookmyshow.
List your Show
Got a show, event, activity or a great experience? Partner with us & get listed on BookMyShow
Contact today!
Copyright 2021 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
The content and images used on this site are copyright protected and copyrights vests with the respective owners. The usage of the content and images on this website is intended to promote the works and no endorsement of the artist shall be implied. Unauthorized use is prohibited and punishable by law.