Amazon Prime’s new web-series. Tandav, marks the entry of blockbuster filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar into OTT space, while also being star Saif Ali Khan’s second web-series after Netflix’s Sacred Games. And just like that cult show, Tandav is arriving amidst outrage over its political stances and connotations. Tandav is a political drama series made on the lines of House of Cards and sets a dangerous powerplay against the background of events inspired by real-life newspaper headlines. Tandav Review: A Diabolical Saif Ali Khan Leads a Brilliant Cast in Ali Abbas Zafar’s Gutsy, if Uneven, OTT Debut Series.
Tandav features an ensemble cast in Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Dino Morea Kumud Mishra, Gauahar Khan, Amyra Dastur, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Kritika Kamra, Sarah Jane Dias, Sandhya Mridul, Annup Sonii, Hiten Tejwani, Paresh Pahuja and Shonali Nagrani.
It is about Khan’s Samar Pratap Singh, a dynamic but diabolical young politician of India’s biggest political party who desperately wants to be the next PM, but finds roadblocks in his way from his own party members. He then sees an opportunity in Shiva (Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub) an idealistic university student and manipulates him to make his own grand return to the top, and he goes to any length to see that achieved. (SPOILERS AHEAD)
Tandav is not a mini-series, as it plans to continue to season 2, with Samar realising it is better to be a king-maker than being a king, and Shiva winning the university collections but as a huge cost in his personal life. Not all characters make it out alive to the next season, while some are defeated and some victorious. Here’s a list of main characters in the series and their final fates.
Samar Pratap Singh (Saif Ali Khan)
Saif Ali Khan in Tandav
Of course, he makes it out of the season alive, having regained control of his party from Anuradha Kishore and is touted to be the next PM. However, Samar drops a surprise when he doesn’t declare his intention to be the Prime Minister, and then later confiding to his Man Friday that he is happy being the evil king-maker.
Anuradha Kishore (Dimple Kapadia)
Dimple Kapadia in Tandav
The current PM is blackmailed into leaving her post after Samar finds out that she knew beforehand that Devakinandan would have been killed. The last we see her, she is with her son as they watch the press-conference on television where Samar drops the surprise.
Shiva Shekhar (Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub)
Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub in Tandav
At the end of the season, Shiva fails to realise that he is being prepped for the big game, and even his big university victory has been written beforehand. He does get suspicious that something is not right with his victories, over the cost of the deaths of his friends. Perhaps the death of a loved one would be hint enough that something is seriously cooking. Tandav Song Dhakka Laga Bukka: AR Rahman’s Song From The Film Yuva Now Becomes An Youth Anthem For Saif Ali Khan’s Web Series!
Sana Mir (Kritika Kamra)
Kritika Kamra in Tandav
One of the two major characters who doesn’t make it alive to the next season. Shiva discovers her body in her hostel room where she was found hanging. While it feels to him as if she has died by suicide, we know that is not the case. The point is who is the killer. Is it Jigar? Or is it Gurpal? Or Someone else?
Professor Jigar Sampath (Dino Morea)
Dino Morea in Tandav
Sana’s clandestine lover turns out to be a manipulative man, who definitely has a hand in her death. He is last seen at the library asking Shiva why he is not at the campus ground. With his ex-wife reeling in a scandal, Jigar’s proximity to Samar makes him a clear candidate to be the dean of VNU next year.
Gurpal (Sunil Grover)
Sunil Grover in Tandav
Samar’s Man Friday turns out to be his most MVP as he removes each hurdle from his master’s path, in a bloody manner or otherwise. While poker-faced throughout, save for a couple of theatrical laughs and violent bursts of anger, Gurpal gives out a genuine smile when Samar declared himself to be not the PM in the final episode. Is he Cassio or is he Iago? We can only find that out next season.
Devki Nandan (Tigmanshu Dhulia)
Tigmanshu Dhulia in Tandav
The first major character to die in the season, the Prime Minister of India couldn’t survive even the first episode, having been poisoned by his own son, and thus setting the chain of events in motion.
Ayesha Pratap Singh (Sarah Jane Dias)
Sarah Jane Dias in Tandav
Samar’s equally manipulative wife is by his side in his final glorious moment, though even she is stumped by Samar’s decision in not being the PM. We also doubt that she has some inkling that her husband is not exactly faithful with her.
Kailash Kumar (Anup Soni)
Anup Soni in Tandav
The JLD minister who is ostracised to be of lower-caste, is found to be an equally flawed man himself, as he tells his live-in partner that he hasn’t yet separated from his legal wife. This results in them breaking up, as he doesn’t want the scandal to affect his political image.
Sandhya Nigam (Sandhya Mridul)
Sandhya Mridul in Tandav
After her pregnancy made its way to the media (thanks to Jigar’s manipulation, presumably), Sandhya not only loses her lover but also the chance to be the next dean of VNU. Not to mention, the loss of her family’s support and the barrage of insults and trolling that she is being inflicted upon.
Raghu Kishore (Paresh Pahuja)
Paresh Pahuja in Tandav
Anuradha’s junkie son, and potentially, Samar’s half-brother, is still far away from even getting a Cabinet seat, forget being the Defense Minister.
Gopal Das Munshi (Kumud Mishra)
Kumud Mishra in Tandav
In a surprising twist, Samar declares Gopal Das Munshi as the interim PM, after Anuradha offers her resignation, much to his surprise. It remains to be seen in the next season, if Munshi would be a puppet in Samar’s hands, or would he want to break out. Also, where would Shiva fit in, if Gopal would be completely in his control?
Aditi Mishra (Shonali Nagrani)
Shonali Nagrani in Tandav
The former IAF pilot is also Samar’s lover, and hence why she enjoys his unconditional support. Even as Samar regains his power in the party, Aditi’s position of Defense Minister remains unchanged, but we have to see if Ayesha would allow a woman to gain power in her personal fiefdom.
Maithili Sharan (Gauahar Khan)
Gauahar Khan in Tandav
Out of fear of being blackmailed by Gurpal, Maithili had shared the recording of Anuradha confessing that she knew Devki would be killed. Now that Anuradha knows Maithili betrayed her, the latter would be fearing her life even more. I am also curious to know what had transpired between her and Gurpal in the past. Were they lovers, or were they involved in something more sinister?
Ada Mir (Amyra Dastur)
Amyra Dastur in Tandav
The last we saw her, Sana’s sister is waiting at the bus-stop and then seen crying. Does she have something to do with her sister’s ‘suicide’?
Ajay Ahluwalia (Hitten Ttejwani)
Hitten Ttejwani in Tandav
The representation of lapdog media, Ajay Ahluwalia, will definitely be more powerful for his support to Samar. But he will also be under scanner for the leak about Devaki Nandan’s poisoning. We also believe that he will pay heavily for ignoring his star reporter’s information on getting anonymous tip on the murder.
(The above story first appeared on News Brig on Jan 15, 2021 08:34 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website newsbrig.com).