Sony Liv’s new series, Tabbar, poses a simple but daunting question: what happens to a family when their essence is controversial? Not much different from the recent Netflix documentary – House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths – how should a family survive trauma? Due to the bent lid mechanism, according to the actual case.
If his actions were collective psychosis, then who paid the price?
Both House of Secrets and Tabbar, which were released on different Fridays, have some striking similarities. They are driven by a traumatic event that causes a type of PTSD in the survivors. They focus on a family obsessed with keeping secrets. And that’s for people who are so used to stifling silos that the outside world doesn’t matter.
But these similarities, mainly on a conceptual level, aren’t that far off. Because if Netflix documentaries are inconsistent and mediocre. And deal with domestic politics and the madness of unity. Then Tabbar, which is far more polished on an artisanal level and not limited to storytelling, strives for more. It’s not about good or bad people, but about good and evil.
The eight-part series, created by Harman Vadala and directed by Ajitpal Singh, revolves around a family in Jalandhar. Omkar’s father (Pavan Malhotra) is a retired police officer, Sargun’s mother (Supria Patak) is a housewife.
The youngest son Tigi (Sahil Mehta), goes to school while the eldest Happy (Gagan Arora).
Who is preparing for his social studies exam in Delhi, has just returned home. He also took someone’s bag from the carriage. A young man, Mahip (Rahit Bahal), comes to pick him up; the bag contains the expensive drug “Peela [Yellow]” and belongs to his older brother, a dangerous drug lord, Bhai Ji (Ranvir Shorey), who is on his way to the polls.
A shot is fired at Omkar’s house amid a maelstrom of confusion, terror and threats – and Mahip is dead. It doesn’t matter who pulls the trigger (Happy) because after this incident. The family is destined to be together forever: to look back and stab the other person in the eye. Behind but the series is also sharp enough to look inside. The question its premise, and ask an interesting question: can cannibals keep a happy family?
This series first impresses you by explaining the basics:
Creating believable characters makes us care about them. Leak important information at the right time, and (likely) turn it into small details. The early storytelling is engaging and sincere, sometimes even stunning. This depth is also seen in other departments.
In particular, the film design and production connect the series well. And create a feeling that the show is always “alive”. Omkar, for example, gets a lot of profile photos, especially on the night series. Which only highlight one side of him: very reasonable. There’s also an underrated sense of humour. Sargun and Bhai Ji only met once in the series. Where? Places of worship in the best equalizer.
The delicate balance between mainstream and arthouse sensitivity is also remarkable. The series deals with complex subjects, depicting harsh realities, but having fun is never primary. In the first episode, we get the following: a threatening dog; the character represented by his shoes; the villain Bhai Ji first appeared on the election poster.
Then in a long frame, as if the maker winked and said, “You can’t really touch it”. Or when the police find Mahip’s body in the third episode, the scene naturally turns into a quasi. Such pitch variations cancel the series, twisting the shock, keeping the tension going.
Follow an impressive long-form of fictional tradition.
Tabbar creates seething subplots that spread throughout the episode. Including the sweet relationship between Happy’s girlfriend (Nupur Nagpal) and cousin Lucky (Paramvir Singh Cheema). A cop is investigating the case. The real culprit for Mahip’s death (short answer: everyone in the family). And the rapidly deteriorating relationship between Omkar and his curious friend Sunil (Babla Kochar).
The two-sided script (by Wadala, Sandeep Jain and “Mr. Roy”) adds thematic depth and narrative nuance: As the show progresses, Omkar’s family outwit cops, middlemen, and criminals – he also grows inward: cracks in the past, dangerous addictions out of control and above all the eternal feelings of those hanging between two bright worlds – conscious and false, sincere and dizzy – that threaten to devour him, but only the short hanging world stops the final shot at redemption: guilt.