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Hotstar’s Shoorveer has the best aerial dogfight scenes on Indian TV. Rest is half-baked

Samar Khan's Shoorveer could have been 'the' Air Force show. It lands the aerial dogfight scenes perfectly, but the rest is a parachute-less jump.

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Disney+ Hotstar’s Shoorveer has some of the best aerial dogfight scenes Indian productions have ever seen. But that is where the show’s USP ends.

Created by Samar Khan and directed by Kanishk Varma under Juggernaut Productions, the military Action-Drama is about elite task force ‘Hawks’. But what could have been a memorable show is at best a weekend binge-watch. It slips into detail, and there are way too many resemblances to the recently released blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick for it to feel like an original attempt.

Genre exhaustion, unimaginative script

From Amazon Prime’s The Family Man (2019) to Special Ops (2020) and now Shoorveer, there have been one too many shows around threats to national security, intelligence, first responders and elite task forces in the last few years. More often than not, Shoorveer falls into the same formulaic trap and doesn’t ever take off from its ‘elite task force’ premise. That’s the word thrown around almost every minute of the show. But there is no elite handling of the script, which falters just as often.

There are many loose threads, and the execution of scenes lacks depth. In a scene where Aadil Khan’s character, Salim, is talking to a bartender, and the latter somehow already knows that he is a widower with a child and that there is no wife in the picture. There are moments that are sprung on to the viewer without any rhyme or reason, which adds nothing to the story.

It could have been the Air Force show, many years after productions like Star Plus’ Saara Aakash (2003) and Star One’s Chhoona Hai Aasmaan (2007). But while exceeding expectations in the stunning visual moments of aerial dogfights, it is a parachute-less jump in every other aspect.


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Mannequins in uniforms

The ensemble cast of Shoorveer doesn’t actually get to do a lot except look good in uniform, strut around and appear serious while being briefed about their mission. They might as well have replaced the actors with mannequins. The three fighter pilots—Viraj, Avantika and X—played by Armaan Ralhan, Regina Cassandra and Aadil Khan respectively, get the most action and dialogue. Regina shines through, while Adil and Armaan don’t really get a lot of solo moments.

Manish Chaudhari as Captain (GC) Ranjan Malik gets the most screen space and is as sharp as ever. The villains mostly feel caricaturish—be it Arif Zakaria’s General Riaz or even Faisal Rashid’s Siddhesh or Agent 23. Kashmira Irani as Sarah feels more intense and badass instead.

Shoorveer‘s dialogues are patchy at best. Some land well, while others might boggle your mind simply because no one really talks like that in real life.

Episode 4 titled Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! stands out for its surprise element and was the high point in terms of the exercises conducted by the Hawks and the cat-and-mouse game they have to master. Everything else feels mostly been there, ‘seen that’.

The dry humour of Makarand Deshpande’s Milind Phanse has equal hits and misses as the NSA director.

Occasionally gripping, but mostly faltering—that’s how Shoorveer is paced. It felt like a half-baked attempt that could have been a game changer.

The extra .5 star is simply for a visually rich show with a lot of good air action.

(Edited by Srinjoy Dey)

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Disney+ Hotstar’s Shoorveer has some of the best aerial dogfight scenes Indian productions have ever seen. But that is where the show's USP ends. Created by Samar Khan and directed by Kanishk Varma under Juggernaut Productions, the military Action-Drama is about elite task force ‘Hawks’....Hotstar’s Shoorveer has the best aerial dogfight scenes on Indian TV. Rest is half-baked
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