Voot’s Crackdown Review: Quite the Disappointment

Crackdown is a 2020 crime TV series on Voot directed by Apoorva Lakhia, written by Chintan Gandhi and Suresh Nair, and starring Saqib Saleem, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Iqbal Khan, Waluscha De Souza, Rajesh Tailang and Ankur Bhatia.

Crackdown follows Riyaaz Pathan and his team who fight to save India from a gang of terrorists. Neither will stop at anything to see an end to their goal.

Indian TV series have come a long way. We see something new everyday and its usually entertaining. Crackdown is entertaining too, up to a certain degree, but the show is just another addition to the pool of shows that like to talk about our “big bad villains.”

If you haven’t guessed who these big bad villains are, then you probably haven’t been exposed to these shows much. We have the usual villains in Pakistani terrorists and sleeper cells and the other not-so-talked-about villains – the internal threats. The terrorists are your usual deal, they have no depth, no motive or anything that’d make you scared of these people. They just like to watch Indians burn.

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On the other hand, when it comes to the internals, we have Zorawar, a man so vile it makes me wonder how he got into, and kept his job, at RAW. He’s a cheating, abusive, rapist of a man whose vocabulary starts and mostly ends with slangs. He constantly bickers like a little child to take over as the head of RAW. It’s honestly annoying.

We also have Riyaaz, the “hero” of this tale. He’s the complete opposite of Zorawar, as they always are. He’s everything one aspires to be, but alas, his character lacks any sort of depth. We just know that he was tortured in Pakistan (ofcourse) trying to save his companion, although the story of it sounds pretty ludicrous.

So anyway, with 8 episodes, each around 30 minutes long, Crackdown also introduces Shriya Pilgaonkar’s Divya, whose character acts as the twin of another terrorist. But that’s about it. Also, Riyaaz “likes” her – so there’s that.

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Crackdown tries to hold on to its thrill and excitement throughout its runtime, and ends each episode on a slight cliff-hanger, which is fine. It is a watchable show because of it, however, all the build-up and hype end in the last episode because that, too, is left on a cliff-hanger – probably to usher in a second season. That takes away from the little enthusiasm the last action sequence has, which has its moments, and leaves you scratching your head wondering what was the point.

You’d also be quite appalled as to some of the decisions that these people make. There’s a sequence in the last where Zorawar fights with a terrorist and proceeds to have a lengthy conversation with them, and thus gets stabbed. You’re a RAW agent, shouldn’t you know better? Also, it’s horrendous how no one cares that Zorawar abuses, cheats and rapes a woman. That “tidbit” is conveniently forgotten, and he’s painted to be some sort of reformed hero, because he chose a particular side. It’s just lazy writing, and Crackdown, it an attempt to take itself too seriously, fails quite a bit.

Production, however, looks good and realistic, nothing great. Although, I can’t say the same about the fight sequences. Most of them are quite lazy and thus it’s not realistic enough. Costumes are good, and acting’s okayish, with dialogue delivery being the weakest link here. Also, kudos for not introducing a cringy and unnecessary love story between Riyaaz and Divya. Although it is hinted at, the story does not take it further.

Summing up: Crackdown

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Crackdown features everything that we have seen before, except worse. I have never seen secret agents make such silly decisions (or is this actually happening in reality?) I have, however, seen terrorists look exactly the same in every other show. Additionally, a civilian takes part in covert RAW operations – I don’t even know what to say.

Although there’s some amount of surprises and moments of intrigue, it’s not enough to warrant a viewing. There are better shows out there which feature the exact same thing. Probably give this one a skip.

Crackdown is streaming on Voot.

Like the Crackdown review? Read our other reviews here.




Voot's Crackdown is a very average-bordering-on-bad TV series about secret agents and terrorists which ticks all the boxes of the tried-and-tested formula.

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