Crackdown streaming now on Voot, is based on one of the most done to death plots, RAW agents trying to fail a terrorist attack on the country. Directed by Apurva Lakhia (Shootout at Lokhandwala fame), Crackdown with Saqib Saleem in lead, is a cocktail of movies like Baby and Raazi, and series like Special Ops.
Crackdown starts with telling us that Directorate of Operations (DO) is the covert department of RAW, working off the books to carry out certain operations.
Officer Riyaaz Pathan aka RP (Saqib Saleem) who leads the team, is on the hunt to catch Zaheer and Hamid, well known terrorist brothers. With the motto “To eliminate the threat before it eliminates us” he is the best officer of DO.
Accidentally in a shootout he kills Mariam, who is an accomplice to the terrorists and wife of Zaheer. RP then comes across her lookalike Divya (Shriya Pilgaonkar), who agrees to help RP to get to Hamid.
RP gets to Hamid, and when he shoots him Hamid hints that something big is going to happen. The rest of the plot revolves around how Riyaaz gets to uncover what is the bigger plan and how he can avert any attack on the nation.
A parallel plot establishes the issues between RAW chief Ashwini (a brilliant Rajesh Tailang) who fully supports DO’s working style, and his deputy Zorawar (Iqbal Khan) who has issues with such operations and advocates shutting down DO.
Along with that Riyaaz Pathan’s backstory mentions that he was captured by the pakistani forces and was in captivity for months, tortured and how he escaped. Another subplot mentions Max, who is a hacker and works for RAW chief unofficially.
Crackdown takes a few twists and turns in between, throws in some action scenes, office politics and adultery as well to keep things moving. How or if Riyaaz and team get to stop the attack forms the rest of the story.
Crackdown is a show that moves at a good pace, and with 30 minute episodes it doesn’t drag. The show mentions (though in short) about the backstories and establishes motives quite briefly but effectively.
The screenplay is good and hold your attention despite the lazy writing and copy paste job. Lakhia’s direction has enough twists to keep viewers hooked (or atleast bit interested).
Performance wise Rajesh Telang as usual is the highlight of the show and his performance speaks why he is so much in demand in almost every web series nowadays
Crackdown has its share of cracks, a very common plot is the biggest of them. The production values are average and by the look of it it looks a bit low budgeted one.
Barring a couple of actors, performances are very average. So are the dialogues which don’t pack a punch, not to mention the unwanted abuses hurled, which is getting too common but a big turnoff for most of the audience.
Crackdown is more of a bit and pieces show, with every bit picked up from some other show which also goes against the show. Same goes for the casting where most of the actors don’t fit the roles they play.
Crackdown has Saqib as RP and he has looked good flaunting his abs, and has performed decently but not great. Shriya Pilgaonkar as Divya is good and has given an honest performance.
Rajesh Telang as Ashwini is too good as RAW chief, and also in scenes as father of the girl whose marriage preparations are going on. He is surely the best performer by a margin. His scene with his daughter, or with his Son in Law show his range as an actor.
Iqbal Khan as Zorawar is a complete misfit and never looks convincing. Ram Menon as Max is very good. Rest of the supporting cast is very average.
Crackdown is a one time watch for audiences who have not seen many web series recently, as the plot lacks the novelty factor. Crackdown is crisp (thanks to 30 min episodes) but stale plot, bad casting and very average performances never let the show take off.
Unless you are a fan of this genre or Saqib Saleem, you can surely give Crackdown a miss.