Neeraj Pandey’s The Freelancer, the brand-new action thriller web series, takes us through a war-torn Syria, which has become one of the most hostile regions of the world. The premise for the thriller series has been adapted from Shirish Thorat’s popular book, A Ticket to Syria. The biggest giveaway here is the nature of the genre. On the surface, The Freelancer is a rescue mission, but at its core, it takes us through the lawlessness of a particular region of the country and the rampant radicalization happening in the name of religion. The tense visuals, coupled with hardcore action sequences, add to the grittiness of the narrative presented in the trailer.
Story and Plot
The trailer for The Freelancer gave us enough of a peek into the world that Neeraj Pandey has created. The abduction of a young girl named Aliya Khan, daughter of intelligence officer Inayat Khan, leads to Avinash Kamath’s involvement in saving the girl. It is obvious from the trailer that the story revolves around radicalized men forcing their wives to join the terrorist outfit and live under the horrifying rules of the leader of the terrorist group. We believe Inayat Khan got his daughter married to a man in the hope of giving her a better future in the Middle East, only to realize the son-in-law fooled all of them.
It is implied from the trailer that Inayat tries his level best to bring his daughter back through legal channels, but is unsuccessful. Inayat Khan’s imminent death will force Avinash to step forward and take on the mission to bring Aliya back safe and sound. We are guessing Inayat was double-crossed, which must have led to his death. The show comes across as a tense drama about the politics of the radicalized Islamic State. Avinash Kamath is The Freelancer, a mercenary for hire who takes this mission personally. He will have to take as many risks as necessary just to be able to save the young woman from the abuses of her inhuman husband.
We are expecting to see the connection between the Indian intelligence agency and the mercenary groups. Neeraj Pandey is known for telling such complex tales about various factions of Indian intelligence. In The Freelancer, we are hoping to watch many flashback sequences as well around Inayat Khan and his family. The elephant in the room is the subject of the show, Islam. The plot will also carry a narrative where the characters will preach about various interpretations of the Holy Book of Islam. In such action thrillers, plenty of cliché sequences are expected.
As shown in the trailer, CIA involvement is imminent because the story is set in the Middle East. Avinash Kamath will be the one-man army who will go out of his way and cut through a barrage of bullets and missiles just to be able to accomplish the mission assigned to him. The heroism angle is something that is to be expected from a show that is named after its titular character.
Cast And Characters
Mohit Raina, as the mercenary Avinash Kamath, will be heading to Syria, using his connections in Indian intelligence to save Aliya. We are excited to see him carry out action scenes. Hopefully, we will get to see a vulnerable side of Avinash Kamath as well. It will be interesting to watch a mercenary deal with family-related conflicts. It could be related to his wife, a glimpse of whom is shown in the trailer.
Anupam Kher is a veteran actor and a staple in every Neeraj Pandey film. It is exciting to watch him take on various characters in all of Neeraj Pandey’s works. We believe Neeraj Pandey brings out the best in Anupam Kher. As Dr. Khan, we are hoping to see a solid camaraderie between him and Mohita Raina as Avinash Kamath. Dr. Khan will be the middleman who will be facilitating all the work that needs to be done to get Avinash to Syria in the hope of helping their old friend, Inayat Khan.
We are hoping to watch Kashmira Pardeshi as Aliya Khan, who stands strong against her toxic, abusive husband. She will survive the ordeal till the end because she is optimistic, even in the face of these brutal living conditions.
Bhav Dhulia, the director, has previously worked with Neeraj Pandey on the show Khakee: The Bihar Chapter, and it will be interesting to see him make a full-blown action-packed show and keep the narrative tight amidst all the brutality.
The creator of The Freelancer, Neeraj Pandey, has several times collaborated with Disney+ Hotstar. The Freelancer is an addition to Neeraj Pandey’s cinematic universe that brings forward stories about the intelligence units and other wings of the armed forces that are involved in national security. Special OPS and its critically acclaimed sequel, Special Ops 1.5: The Himmat Story are examples of Neeraj Pandey’s prowess over the subject matter.
Where To Watch
The Freelancer is a seven-episode-long web series that will stream on Disney+ Hotstar starting September 1st, 2023. Disney+ Hotstar has lately released some interesting stories around spying and action thrillers. The Night Manager is one of the latest examples of good storytelling coupled with great performances.
The trailer for The Freelancer is well cut, and we hope the series stays rooted in the narrative and does not take the jingoistic tone that has become the norm in many movies and web series lately. Neeraj Pandey is an institution, and his name being attached to the project will garner attention.