Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke review: Predictable but engaging drama featuring Regina Cassandra as a fearless female cop
Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke review: Regina Cassandra plays a heroic police officer who will risk it all in service of the country. The drama thriller is predictable but engaging when it remains focused on the main character.
The Zee5 series Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke seeks to give viewers a look at the sacrifices and challenges faced by the IPS officers stationed across the nation. Regina Cassandra plays Kavya Iyer, who is also a mother and daughter, when not saving the country from terror threats and other nefarious forces. Nicknamed 'Shillong Ki Sherni', Kavya has acquired quite a reputation when stationed in Meghalaya. However, Kavya's impulsive nature causes her to drive fearlessly into dangerous situations, without much thought to the safety of her team. Tough and fair, she is also not above resorting to police brutality to get the job done. (Also read: Srijit Mukherji says he has rejected 10-12 remakes in 2 years: ‘It is someone else’s intellectual property')
One such incident that causes many fatalities, gets her demoted to the police academy to oversee the trainees. Kavya has a hunch about a recent terror attack in Meghalaya which targets a politician. But the suspects evade capture, and the police officer is left smarting afterwards. The action then kicks into high gear once Mahira Rizvi (Mita Vashisht) and her team at the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are introduced. They are working on a similar case investigating a terror threat, and recruit Kavya to their team.
The lone wolf Kavya has to adjust her way of working to fit into Mahira's team and slowly, the team makes inroads into uncovering the terrorists who lead them from Guwahati to Jaipur and finally to Poovar in Kerala. The 'masterminds' behind the terror attacks are actually two people Tariq (Sumeet Vyas) and Thasleena (Gayathrie Shankar), who recruit radicalised Muslim youths to operate a drone bomb and make sure they are eliminated afterwards.
Writers Neeraj Udhwani and Ashish P Verma frustratingly keep the police consistently one step behind the terrorist duo, until the final episode, when it is convenient for the story to be wrapped. Furthermore, director Srijit Mukerji keeps the tension of the police chase as quite ordinary, when it should have been nail-bitingly tense. At times, the police seem ill-prepared to take on a pair of terrorists.
The eight-episode series improves after the underwhelming first episode which set up Kavya and the rest of the tale. We find out about her broken home life. She is separated from her husband Sameer (Barun Sobti) and resides with her mother (Deepika Amin) and young son Reyansh (Jihan Hodar). He's a precocious child who annoyingly refers to himself in the third person throughout the series. Eventually, Kavya and Sameer fight over Reyansh's custody after prioritising her job for a few instances.
This part of the series is a bit heightened drama that falls a bit flat, once again arguing that a woman can't have it all, family and career. The scenes involving Kavya and Mahira, however, are much more measured. Like Kavya, she too is a wife, mother, and entirely devoted to her job. But the writers have written Kavya as a bit immature for someone of her position and stature. The dialogues by Akhilesh Jaiswal also continue to state the obvious, diluting the urgency of the situation.
Among the cast, Regina and Mita impress, even as the former stumbles in her dialogue delivery in certain scenes. But in the action sequences, Regina channels Kavya's ability to never back down. Sumeet and Gayathrie aren't as convincing as the main authors of the terror operation. Chandan Roy, Deepika and Barun are also good as Kavya's support team.
However, while the series remains engaging, thanks to the two strong female characters, it becomes highly predictable as the story progresses. Technically as well, the series tries to be flashy in certain instances. In the first episode, when Kavya and Sameer are arguing about Reyansh's safety at home, unnecessary camera movements distract from the main point. As is the norm these days, Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke hints at unfinished action. If it comes back, it needs to amp up the seriousness and tension of the matter to hold viewers attention for a second round.