Saturday, May 25, 2024

Review: Delving into Neeraj Pandey’s latest thriller- The Freelancer

Robin Bhuyan

When it comes to spy thrillers with a blend of politics, Neeraj Pandey is a director who never disappoints. He is the director who gave us masterpieces like A Wednesday and Special 26 as well as the biopic on MS Dhoni, and he made an impact on OTT with the series Special Ops, starring Kay Kay Menon in the lead role.

A notable aspect of Neeraj Pandey’s work is his dedication to pure storytelling, steering clear of any inclination towards any particular political propaganda. In 2023, he gave us another impactful spy thriller web series, The Freelancer which stars Mohit Raina in the lead role, while others such as Anupam Kher, Kashmira Pardeshi, Manjari Phadnis, and Sushant Singh make impactful supporting appearances.

Based on the 2018 book titled The Ticket to Syria the basic plot of the story seems quite simple. However, the series still manages to keep you on the edge of your seat, with more twists and turns as the story unfolds. The most interesting thing about the series is its lead character, Avinash Kamath, and his journey from a regular police sub-inspector to an international-level mercenary known as “The Freelancer.”

Avinash Kamath, played by Mohit Raina, and Inayat Khan, played by Sushant Singh, portray the roles of two police officers who are terminated from their jobs after refusing the orders of a senior minister, leading Avinash to assault him instead. Although these events lead Kamath to become a drunkard and lose his son, he eventually overcomes all his adversaries, pulls his life back on track, and ends up becoming part of an international mercenary group. However, his friend Inayat struggles with his life to make a living. Years later, Inayat Khan’s life takes a distressing turn when he loses all contact with his daughter after her marriage, suspecting a terrorist group’s involvement. As expected, the local police are unable to help him, leading him to believe that the only person capable of helping him is his former friend and colleague Avinash. Desperate and isolated, Inayat feels that the only way he can reach out to his friend is by committing suicide near the Consulate General of the United States in Mumbai. Although this step might seem a bit illogical, whether his sacrifice brings fruit or not is something you have to watch the series to find out.

Creator Neeraj Pandey and director Bhav Dhulia manages to do an excellent job of keeping their audiences engaged from the start. Although the pacing in the first three episodes might seem a little slow, the screenplay remains engaging, and you will probably want to finish the entire series in a single sitting.

All the actors deliver convincing performances, and the cinematography is quite commendable. Despite its brilliant storytelling, the decision to release the series in two parts with a gap of around three months is confusing, as it only serves to disconnect viewers from the main plot. Regardless, if you are a fan of Neeraj Pandey’s work, then you will definitely enjoy this series!

Rating: 8 out of 10

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