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State of Siege: 26/11 review: Terrifically Powerful & Pulse Rising Ode to the NSG Brave Hearts

Critics review
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Review of Zee5 original series STATE OF SIEGE: 26/11 is here. Created by Abhimanyu Singh, the series Streaming on Zee5, and is based on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The eight- episode series is based on journalist Sandeep Unnithan’s book “Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11”. Helmed by the American director Matthew Leutwyler, the show features an ensemble cast comprising Arjan Bajwa, Mukul Dev, Arjun Bijlani, Vivek Dahiya, among others.

Immediate reaction when the end credits roll

Meticulously crafted STATE OF SIEGE: 26/11 dramatizes the 26/11 attacks from the NSG commando’s perspective and how they managed to neutralize the terrorists and their plans. Based on journalist Sandeep Unnithan’s book “Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11” the web series helmed by Matthew Leutwyler is done with an eye for detail and this ode to the NSG brave hearts is terrifically powerful.

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The Story of STATE OF SIEGE: 26/11

A reminder of the grossly inhuman and extremely cowardly 2008 Mumbai attacks that shocked the entire nation and the world which left 165 plus dead and more than 300 injured. It does rubs the old wound as it boils our blood but also provides a soothing healing balm to the soul as well.

Sandeep Unnithan book’s digital adaptation is supervised by Karan Mirchandani also the co writer with Retired Lt. Colonel Sudeep Sen coming as the consultant ant.

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The series begins with the terror attacks getting planned in Pakistan while the NSG (National Security Guard) in India is performing its routine. A normal buzzing Mumbai night on that fateful day becomes a horrifying graveyard by those terrorists and how NSG neutralize the terrorists and their plans forms the crux of this action packed drama series.

STATE OF SIEGE: 26/11 web series review

A brilliantly crafted, finely researched account that sees reality seeking in and striking the right chords. Nothing over the top in this gem of an OTT action packed drama that respects the valour of the brave hearts as it questions the attitude of the public, the system, the police and media in general.

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There have been attempts to cash on the horrific account of 26/11 on the celluloid which mostly turning out to sensationalize the drastically disturbing inhuman act in the name of art.

STATE OF SIEGE: 26/11 is undeniably the most real and human dramatization for screen. Director Matthew Leutwyler creates a brilliant example. In future when people will talk about establishing and maintaining tension in an action packed thriller based on reality on OTT platforms, there won’t be a better example than STATE OF SIEGE: 26/11 from India.

The eight episode series is so well placed and the care taken for realism and authenticity is so immaculate that the audience gets a chance to watch the actual IL-76 aircraft – the plane that brought NSG Commandos from Haryana to Mumbai during the actual 26/11 attacks. Yes Nokia and Blackberry handsets as well to add to the glory.

Extremely well captured by Richard Henkels and sharply edited by Will Gordon. The production design by Amit Waghchaure and the art direction by Dhiraj Bramhankar deserve special mentions as well.

The topnotch performance by the principal cast enhances this terrific pulse riser where Arjan Bajwa is in complete ‘command’, Arjun Bijlani is terrific and Mukul Dev just nails it to perfection. Special mention of Vivek Dahiya is a must.

Solid support comes from Shoaib Ahmed, Sabreen Baker, Suzanne Bernert, Tara-Alisha Berry, Karan Singh Chhabra and Sonu Randeep Choudhary.

Final words

At times when self-isolation and quarantine is observed in every household and we have to show our love for ourselves and our family plus love for our country by following all the norms so that we don’t get infected by COVID 19.  What better than STATE OF SIEGE: 26/11 on Zee5 which is not just a terrifically powerful & pulse rising ode to the NSG brave hearts, this extremely effective thriller is rightly propulsive in its purpose in giving a golden opportunity to the audience especially Indians where they can feel proud of the great NSG’s veer jawans (brave hearts) and offer their bit of patriotisms as well by staying indoors.

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