Neeraj Pandey is a well conscious creator and knows the formula to attract the audience.
Cast: KK Menon, Aftab Shivdasani, Vinay Pathak, Gautami Kapoor, Adil Khan & Ensemble.
Producer: Neeraj Pandey Directed by: Neeraj Pandey and Shivam Nairo Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar Language: Hindi Runtime: Each episode approximately 45 minutes. Special Ops 1.5 review: What’s it about
Last year we met Himmat Singh. A RAW officer who does not follow a rule book or a protocol but only knows how to do his job to keep the country safe. On the verge of retirement, he solves a case that hasn’t let him sleep for nearly two decades. Now as we go forward, we really go backward because 1.5 takes us back to a time when Himmat Singh was not Himmat Singh as we know him today and that made him the deadliest RAW agent. During this, Himmat has hidden a secret from us. Read I’ll tell you!
Special Ops 1.5 review: What works
Neeraj Pandey has carved a niche for himself with espionage thrillers and suspense dramas. With Special Ops, the filmmaker comes close to the territory that Raj and DK claimed to be with The Family Man, led by Manoj Bajpayee, but he successfully manages to add just the right amount of masala that makes it perfect. gives a different form.
In 1.5 we meet Himmat when it was not Himmat Singh that we saw in Season 1. He was just an intelligence officer with no authority until the day he decided to take things into his own hands. Written by Neeraj Pandey with Benazir Ali Fida and Deepak Kingrani, Special Ops 1.5 accepts the present day and is set in a post-pandemic world. The writing follows the same template where a new investigation about Dare is set but this time for good. Vinay Pathak sits down and tells his story.
The writers are well aware that it hasn’t been much time since season 1 was released, so they don’t waste time setting the pace for season 1.5 (rather a smart move since it’s not season 2, it’s yet to come) ). It’s only a small extension to the first, hence 1.5). We know how the 2001 Parliament attacks served for Himmat to follow up on a case that no one else believed. Season 1.5 talks about his inspiration. We dive into Dare’s personal life and the shape of things.
The spy thriller gets smarter and faster with time. It’s not just about a bad guy, maybe a terrorist who is being hunted down by a group of highly skilled officers, but it’s a data-robbing syndicate that needs to be busted. In a limited time of 4 episodes, the show not only travels to countries looking for wanted criminals, but also sheds light on the cultures. Take, for example, how an art school in Moscow disguised as an actor and ballerina theater actually trains spies and assassins. It can be built up, but is a sturdier way of setting the landscape.
Or the fact that Neeraj Pandey metaphorically broke the fourth wall when he realistically takes a dig at the current ruling party in India. He tells us that he is aware and that his show is set at the same time as you and I are watching. Special Ops cannot avoid touching the politics of the country and the makers accept this. Brownie Points!
Neeraj and Shivam Nair take the risk of focusing on only a few characters this time in their directorial venture, unlike the first season which had a huge ensemble cast. So the risk of the camera becoming dull is definitely higher. But to break that the writing adds the biggest twist with his direction is a life of guts and it serves the purpose of breaking the monotony.
I can’t talk about the story without spoilers now so I’m going to stop.
The acting performance in Special Ops is as unpredictable as the story. I don’t know if Neeraj Pandey has briefed his stars to show the most mysterious eyes in the entire show. Take Vinay Pathak for example, look at his face, you cannot detect whether this man is actually telling the truth, or is doing some other trick by shaking hands with courage.
Talking about Kay Kay Menon, he is Kay Kay Menon and knows his work to T. There is not a single flaw in his acting performance. He is vulnerable this time too, but then he is on duty for his country and breaking up is not an option. He collects himself and uses anger to seek revenge, but there is never a dramatic outburst. A well written character played by a seasoned actor.
Aftab Shivdasani gets a special appearance and does a good job. More of this please Aftab, this is the right path. Gautami Kapoor brings the same positive presence. Now in my Season 1 review I really didn’t like The Healers