Avrodh: The Siege Within - Review: Gripping with impressive storytelling and performances

Rating: 3.5/5 | Cast: Amit Sadh, Neeraj Kabi, Darshan Kumar, Vikram Gokhale, Anant Mahadevan, Madhurima Tuli and others | Platform: SonyLIV

Avrodh: The Siege Within - Review: Gripping with impressive storytelling and performances

Cast: Amit Sadh, Darshan Kumaar, Madhurima Tuli, Anant Mahadevan, Neeraj Kabi, Vikram Gokhale and many others

Rating: 3.5/5

Platform: SonyLIV (July 31,2020)

Avrodh is based on the popular incident in Indian History, where the Indian army planned a surgical strike on Uri. The show on SonyLIV is, however, based on one of the chapters of a bestseller, India’s Most Fearless, written by Rahul Singh and Shiv Aroor. The show focuses on incidents which were held in the Indian government and offers a detailed account of the plans made during the 2016 attack. Avrodh is a fictional representation of the incident and so the makers have taken creative liberties to show the attack through storytelling.

Firstly, the most interesting aspect of Avrodh is the way it captures viewers' attention right from the first episode, and the makers have given every cast member, an equal weightage in the show. The show has been written by Harmanjeet Singha, Sudeep Nigam, Adhaar Khurana and Abhishek Chatterjee, and the names of people, locations and certain events have been changed for fictional storytelling. The first few episodes focus mostly on Major Raunaq Gautam (Darshan Kumaar), Major Rishabh Sood (Pavail Gulati), and the mastermind behind the Uri attack, Abu Hafiz (Anil George). However, there is a detailed approach given to the Uri attack, which happened in September 2016, at the base camp. 

The makers have also focused largely on three aspects in the show - army, government and the media. While the government and the army were planning an attack, Journalist Namrata Joshi (Madhurima Tuli) plans to reveal the details regarding the same. The nine-episode web series, instantly connects with the viewers and lets one experience the nuances of the incident, taking one right from the first phase of operations until the attack.

While one will not be able to stop comparing this with Vicky Kaushal starter film Uri, it would be unfair to draw parallels and references, as the thought behind conveying the message through the drama are different. Through Avrodh, the team, on one hand, has given insights regarding the political conversations and perspective. On the other, there is an equal focus given on the training and execution of the attack. At this stage, the focus shifts on Major Videep Singh (Amit Sadh)

Director Raj Acharya captures several important moments and kudos to his abilities for keeping the audience hooked. As mentioned earlier, Acharya also deserves appreciation for a balanced approach in screentime, where the cast members have been given equal importance throughout the show. While the story is well scripted, dialogues may seem mediocre, and this may lead to one enjoying the series, but not feeling the patriotism, until the last scene, where the army conquers and returns. Last three episodes of the show are the major highlight, as they capture the essence of the attack. Acharya along with the writers have also tried to focus on the familial aspects of the jawans, but that doesn't shine in the show, as not much effort has been given in this case. 

On one hand, where the direction deserves appreciation, the cast of the series has given impressive performances which helps engage with the audience. Darshan Kumaar as Major Raunaq Gautam comes across as both strong and vulnerable. There are aspects where his work shows a stark difference and emotions which one would be able to connect. Though the emotion is love, he successfully portrays it in a different way for his family, friend (Major Sood), and for the army. He shines throughout the series. Though Amit Sadh makes a later entry in the show as Major Videep Singh, he rightfully grabs the attention from the very minute. His preparation for the role comes across very well, as one can see the efforts he has put in prior to filming. He is one of the finest actors in Indian cinema and he proves he again. Other members of the cast have delivered their roles to the best and offer great value to the story.

To sum it up, Avordh is a well-scripted 'fictional' representation of the Uri attack. The factor of predictability would be high among the audience, but the makers succeed in taking the viewers through several details which one would have missed. These aspects build a new aspect to the narrative and make Avrodh an interesting show to watch.

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