Shootout At Alair premiered on 25th December 2020 on Zee5. Directed by Anand Ranga and produced by Sushmita Konidela, the series stars Prakash Raj, Meka Srikanth, and Sampath Raj alongside other cast members.
Police And Terrorists!
Shootout At Alair is based on real-life police accounts. Set in the old town of Hyderabad, a radical Muslim youth named Akhtar blamed the police for the bombings of Mecca Masjid. He eventually develops Hindu-phobia and kills Hindu policemen one after the other on every anniversary of the bombing. Akhtar believes that the treatment he received was due to his religion and was also an attack on the same.
The show further traces IG Praveen Chand along with his team as he tries to break this murderous cycle but when a constable is shot in a market in 2019, it leads to wonder if it’s Akhtar! Is he still alive? What did the police do to him? These are the questions that plague the series.
Shootout at Alair undeniably depicts the police force with brilliance and truth. There is procrastination, determination, fear, and strength and depicts their efforts to distinguish their personal and professional lives. There is also a warm side to these accounts depicted by the raw and heartful connection between constables Selva and Rajesh. Then there’s Prakash Raj who is undeniably one of the best South Indian actors who is often seen having leisurely and lively conversations with his family.
But while the series has its scale tilted on the police side with some good weights, it fails to take us deeper into Akhtar’s mind, motive, and ideas. He is an extremist and it is nicely brought on-screen but often times you’ll miss the intensity and rage with some ineffective dialogues. Other than that, the execution is feeble, mundane, and boring at times. You can’t help but feel that the series is rushed and is all over the place.
The series takes time to pick up and there are a few high moments here too but when it’s on the flatline it’s difficult to sit through the entire series. But if you are patient enough to wait through those mundane and not-so-appealing moments the series does take a fight up high, somewhere in the mid-episodes and further. But it keeps on gathering momentum and losing it soon enough. The ending of Shootout At Alair is pleasant, and it sorts a lot of doubt about the plotline which one might have had from the beginning. However, it’s not as spectacular as the episodes that precede it.
Summing up, Shootout At Alair has a good storyline but it gets stretched and boring as the director tries to turn a movie material into a full-blown series. The series loses the interest of the viewers in the first episode itself and that has to be one of the biggest direction and storytelling flaws. Lastly, the background score here is compelling and adds to the few high points of the series but does not save the series from the lack of storytelling and character depth.
Stream It or Skip It?
I am a bit conflicted about whether I would recommend someone to watch this series or not but if you are interested in psychological-polices drama and can sit through initial 2/3 episodes of about 40 minutes each which lack substance and interest then Shootout At Alair is your thing.
Shootout At Alair is now streaming on Zee5.
Read our other reviews here.