Director – Matthew Leutwyler and Prashant Singh
Cast – Arjan Bajwa, Arjun Bijlani, Jyoti Gauba, Vivek Dahiya, Tara Alisha Berry, Mukul Dev, and more.
IMDb Rating – 8.1/10
Zee5 launched a brand new series ‘State of Siege: 26/11’ which is an ode to the unsung heroes of NSG. They are based on the 2008 Mumbai attack. There are many documentaries and shows based on the terror attack like Special Ops Season 1 and State of Siege: Temple Attack but what is unique about this particular show and what we absolutely love is that this show is narrated from the perspective of the NSG.
Just to make you familiar with the story, around 11 years ago Mumbai witnessed a terror attack that horrified the whole nation. For the very first time, our country witnessed such an attack where an enormous number of people were kept hostage, and around 300 people were injured. 26/11 has been inscribed as a black day in the memory of the whole nation and everyone wishes that such kind of day should not revisit.
A group of 10 boys who were barely out of their teens attacked some essential places in the city. These boys belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba and did this for the sake of ‘Jihad’. Areas of the attack were Café Leopold, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station, Cama and Albless Hospital, Trident Hotel, Nariman House and Taj Hotel. However, this plan was monitored from Pakistan.
Mumbai Police, Marine Commandoes and National Security Guards fought this 60-hour long operation and were successful. They killed eight terrorists while kept one alive, Mohammad Ajmal Kasab.
Arjun Bijlani’s latest Zee5 web series is a heart-stirring retelling of the brutal Mumbai attacks. This series has correctly documented every event of the attack of 2008 and celebrate the honour of the men in the uniform.
It is based on Sandeep Unnithani’s book Black Tornado: The Siege of Mumbai: 26/11 and give every brief account of every event that occurred during the operation and how our brave security forces fought against the terrorist and saved the lives of ordinary people besides having faulty equipment and lack of funds.
Sandeep Unnithan says that although the show takes creative liberals to add the pinch of entertainment to the series but didn’t deviate much from the book. The best thing that has been appreciated by everyone is that they haven’t overdramatized the terror attack to gain popularity. Instead, they highlight the patriotic quotient and focuses on the characters without making them heroes, but they are our real-life heroes.
The State of Siege: 26/11 show has eight episodes of around 35 minutes. The first three episodes are used to set the basic plot of the series and set a momentum for the actions that are going to befall in the following events. It begins with the politics of sanctioning the budget for NSG forces, who are already struggling with funds and are dealing with ammunition and rationing of weapons. Till the 6th episode, Mumbai Police is shown handling the attack, it is not until the 6th episode that NSG takes charge of the situation and how they make it under control.
As we have mentioned above, it has been narrated from the point of view of the NSG – that why did they take so long to bring the situation under their control and how they rescued the hostages. However, the show doesn’t touch on these points until it tells about the deep politics behind it. It highlights crucial points in our defence forces that need to be changed such as lack of communication between the task forces and protocols complicating the situation.
The fifth episode of the State of Siege 26/11 named ‘Jihad’ talks about the sensitive issue of religion and how young minds are moulded to believe in such ideologies. Actors have given satisfactory performance in the series as they have justified their roles. Col Kunal Sahota who was the commanding officer of the NSG unit which arrived in Mumbai has been portrayed by Arjan Bajwa. He is not seen playing any over the top action, which makes his acting more realistic. Mukul Dev is playing the role of leader of the terrorist and his grip on local Pakistani Punjabi is appreciated.
The state of Siege stands at par with other web series genera and is a perfect binge-watch for everyone who is a fan of the patriotic genre.