Neeraj Pandey’s espionage thriller “Special Ops” is REAL to the core. Inspired by true events and operations of RAW over decades, the gripping series keeps you glued as you binge watch all 8 episodes in a go. Kaykay Menon (Himmat Singh) in lead truly justifies his character of a senior RAW agent as his team of five agents based in Turkey, Azerbaijan & Jordan follow up to neutralize the mastermind of various terrorist attacks across India, the prime being the 2001 Parliament attack.
Kaykay’s immaculate acting may seem the best of his career as the drama in the series unfolds & raises the bar in every episode. Playing a RAW agent & acting as a simple being while juggling between his office and home draws parallel with every common man’s life.
Abbas Sheikh (Vinay Yadav) has excelled playing a Delhi Police officer and key confidante of Kaykay. He eliminates several threats posed to Himmat, one of which gets initiated by the minister. Showing his allegiance he even goes to the minister warns about any repetition of the act.
Other five agents viz. Dubai-based Farooq Ali (Karan Tacker), Tehran-based “housewife” Ruhani Syed Khan (Meher Vij), Istanbul-based chef Balakrishna Reddy (Vipul Gupta), Baku-based sniper Avinash (Muzzamil Ibrahim), and the always-travelling Juhi Kashyap (Saiyami Kher) have done pretty well. Farooq Ali occupies the maximum space among five and is a direct pick of Himmat Singh as he chases the mastermind terrorist Ikhlaq Khan in his den in Dubai.
The story at some points appears way too dramatic and unreal as to how Farooq manages to escape and elude the attention of Ikhlaq who has many pseudo-names every time despite being in his security zone.
Some stretches of the series don’t seem balanced but convince anyhow. The side of the terrorist has been portrayed weak as he fails to have any clue of him having been followed by Indian agents for years.
The storytelling and narration is good. The appearance of Divya Dutta, who also happens to be one of the wives of Ikhlaq, in the last episodes would have been managed with a better reasoning. There was no requirement of showing Ikhlaq using her for another terrorist attack while he could have used any other woman based in India.
The twist in the end revealing who the real Ikhlaq is emerges as the best scene of the series. The director’s approach is more towards the Indian agents as he wished to end in favour of RAW.
Few events aside, the series deserves 7 out of 10 stars.