In recent times, there has been a surge in stories about brave Indian women seeking to escape the clutches of extremist organizations like ISIS. However, it is crucial to avoid stereotyping individuals based on their appearance, such as associating bearded men and hijab-wearing women with terrorism. One such story is depicted in "The Freelancer," a gripping series based on Shirish Thorat's book "A Ticket To Syria." Directed by Bhav Dhulia and created by Neeraj Pandey, the show promises to take viewers on a thrilling journey filled with suspense and intrigue.
"The Freelancer" revolves around the life of Avinash Kamath (played by Mohit Raina), a former cop who has been forced to live off the grid and work as a mercenary-for-hire. Engaged in perilous missions across dangerous global hotspots, Avinash also takes care of his fragile wife. However, his life takes an unexpected turn when his dear friend and former colleague, Inayat Khan (portrayed by Sushant Singh), is brutally murdered. Avinash is drawn back to Mumbai, where he discovers that Inayat Khan's daughter, Aliya (played by Kashmira Pardeshi), has been abducted by her husband and his radicalized family.
Aliya's husband has manipulated her into adopting extreme beliefs, using her hijab as a tool to spew hatred towards Muslims who don't conform to his radical ideology. Trapped on the Iraq-Syria border, Aliya desperately sends secret messages to her mother (portrayed by Ayesha Raza Mishra), fearing for her life. Determined to rescue Aliya, Avinash seeks guidance from Dr. Arif Khan (played by Anupam Kher), a security expert who provides valuable insights and advice. With the help of a few CIA operatives, Avinash declares war on his enemies, both within and outside the law enforcement system.
The Thrills and Missed Opportunities
As a collaboration between Neeraj Pandey and Bhav Dhulia, known for their exceptional work in shows like "Special Ops" and movies like "Baby," "The Freelancer" holds great promise as a thrilling series. However, it falls short in terms of delivering consistent excitement and suspense. While there are occasional moments of intense action, such as Avinash outsmarting the Mossad, the overall sense of danger and cat-and-mouse chase is lacking.
Mohit Raina, who impressed audiences with his performance in "Mumbai Diaries," gives his best as Avinash Kamath. However, the predictability of the writing limits his ability to fully showcase his talent. Similarly, Anupam Kher's character could have been further explored and given more depth. Additionally, it is disappointing that only half of the series is made available for viewers. A show of this nature should ideally be consumed in one go to maintain the momentum and immersive experience.
The Cast and Crew
The Freelancer boasts a talented cast that brings the story to life with their performances. Mohit Raina's portrayal of Avinash Kamath is commendable, capturing the complexities of a former cop turned mercenary. Anupam Kher, known for his versatility, shines in his role as Dr. Arif Khan, providing the necessary guidance and expertise to Avinash. Kashmira Pardeshi impresses as Aliya, effectively conveying the fear and desperation of a young woman trapped in a dangerous situation. Sushant Singh, Ayesha Raza Mishra, and Manjari Fadnnis also deliver noteworthy performances, adding depth to the narrative.
The Importance of Avoiding Stereotypes
"The Freelancer" raises an essential point about the dangers of stereotyping individuals based on their appearance. The show highlights how assumptions about bearded men and hijab-wearing women as terrorists can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and fuel discrimination. It is crucial to remember that terrorism has no religion or specific appearance. By challenging these stereotypes, we can create a more inclusive and understanding society.
"The Freelancer" offers a thrilling storyline, filled with intrigue and suspense. While the series falls short of its potential in terms of consistent excitement, it still manages to captivate viewers with its talented cast and their performances. The show serves as a reminder to avoid stereotyping individuals based on their appearance and emphasizes the need for a more inclusive society. Despite its shortcomings, "The Freelancer" is worth watching for those seeking an action-packed and thought-provoking series.