Rajeev Khandelwal, Aamir Ali, Tina Dutta, Sreejita De, Shakti Anand, Satyadeep Mishra
Partho Mitra

Whose side are you on? A question that is often asked, and sometimes the most difficult one to answer. Special Task Force officer, Raghav Joshi (Rajeev Khandelwal) moves into his new position in the outskirts of Maharashtra. His father being the Police commissioner of police, Joshi has often had issues in his past that has been sleepless at nights. Very soon after his transfer, there the Naxals blast the ruling MLA’s vehicle. 16 people are killed and Joshi becomes more determined to catch the leader Binu Atram (Shakti Anand). Little do Joshi and his partner, Mohit Kale (Sameer Roy) know that Binu is acting upon some Baba’s orders. 

With Binu’s right hand – Pahaan (Satyadeep Mishra) and Prakruti (Sreejita Dey) – Joshi is as close to concluding his case as he is far. The frustration builds when he loses in partner to the Naxals and the case starts becoming more personal. With Ketki (Tina Dutta) being his emotional support, Joshi does everything in his power to beat the Naxals at their game. But is it really just the police against the bad guys? 

When the perpetrators form a syndicate with politicos and business scions – police often end up being puppets rather than keepers of justice. A lot of the syntax changes with the advent of Keswani (Aamir Ali)

Yet, the series does try its best to not take sides but inadvertently, the Naxals start looking manipulated and the bad guys turn out to be politicians and so on…Despite the predictability of the show, the experience of it remains unspoilt due to the actors. Applaud Shantanu Bhake for getting some forgotten ones like Rajeev Khandelwal back into the game. The actor has so much potential, that it is unfortunate for the audience to not get enough of him. He looks fantastic as the officer. Tina Dutta suits him too. 

The writers Pulkit Rishi and Prakhar Vihaan have done a decent job adapting from Naxalbari (a place in Kolkatta whose stories are very famous amidst the history of Naxals in India) 

Of course, the major chunk of praise is for the director. Partho Mitra is known to have given us series like Bade Achhe Lagte Hai, Kasamh Se and so on… his idea of story-telling is rather simplistic but always touching his audience. Naxalbari sticks to the premise and manages to hit the human quotient in every episode.  Let’s see how he manages to maintain the grip across the second season, something that Partho has regularly faltered in.

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