I’m not a television person and hardly watch any serials. The content doesn’t appeal to me and the monotonous storylines seem quite taxing. Recently I came across the trailer of ZEE5 Originals State of Siege 26/11 and was immediately interested with the subject of the 26/11 terrorist attack. I liked it so much that I binged watched the entire series.
Image source from ZEE5.com
The show is based on Sandeep Unnithan’s book Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11. It is a well-researched book and gives a clear and unbiased view of the attack. Hence the show too in turn is brilliant. It brings to life the 26/11 terrorist attack which even after more than a decade is still fresh in the minds of Indians.
26/11 was a horrifying incident that demonstrated the struggle of our police force against few young terrorists who were trained to cripple our defence. This series is directed by American director Matthew Leutwyler who has handled the subject in a matured and sensitive manner. He has also steered clear of any over-dramatisation.
State of Siege 26/11 has eight episodes which have stories including that of Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist caught alive. The pace of the show is crisp and keeps it gripping and interesting. The background score adds to the drama. There is no over-the-top patriotism or undue fictionalisation of events. The cast does a splendid job of taking the narrative forward with their body language and keeps it real.
Image source from ZEE5.com
Need more reasons to watch this series? Let me tell you a few.
1. The Cast
Police, NSG and Marine Commandos are the heroes of this series and the story is told through their perspective. Arjan Bajwa is impactful in the way he commands his NSG commandos team. Arjun Bijlani is good and looks convincing. Mukul Dev packs the necessary punch and plays the part of terrorists’ ring leader effectively. However, even lead actors haven’t been given prominence over the storyline. I liked that.
Replicating the incident would’ve been a difficult task considering that it happened over 60 hours. Also, the training portion of terrorists had to be believable. The cinematography deserves a special mention for the way only natural light has been used while filming. It lends credence to every frame and takes the viewer through the timeline perfectly.
3. Sensitive handling
Even as an audience you feel helpless with the way the struggle of trapped victims to keep alive is shown. The fear of being taken hostage, the uncertainty of when help will arrive and the blood all around are disturbing but well depicted. The role played by the police and NSG commandos becomes all the more important here and you cannot resist lauding them from your couches for nabbing the terrorists.
4. Asks questions
Poor communications and breach of protocol contributed in making the entry of terrorists in our country possible. The irresponsible handling of the story by the media helped them gain tactical information which worked in their favour. The series raises questions about what we’ve learned from that attack and how prepared we are now to face something similar, or worse.
State of Siege 26/11 is given an amazing 8.6/10 rating by IMDb. It makes us commend our NSG commandos who are brave and committed to their cause. They fought the battle of terrorism with bravery and came out victorious. Do watch State of Siege on ZEE5 to get a taste of nationalism, without the sprinkles.