Special Ops, the six-and-a-half hour, eight part web series, co-directed by Shivam Nair and Neeraj Pandey of A Wednesday, Baby, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story fame, has been the talk of the town off late. This espionage thriller which is airing on Hotstar Originals since March 17, is a slow burning thriller based on the 2001 Parliament Attack.
Nair who had earlier partnered with Pandey to direct Tapasee Pannu starrer thriller Naam Shabana, engaged for a short chat with eNewsroom, on the first Sunday of 21-Day lockdown in India to break the chain of Covid-19. Following are the excerpt from the conversation that transpired:
eNewsroom: What made you excited to direct a web series?
Nair: Neeraj (Pandey) is the creator of this web-series. He has even co-scripted this espionage thriller. When he discussed this story with me, then it was just a three-page-tale. But the story line was very interesting and engaging. The script narration, in a way, made me say yes to this thriller.
eNewsroom: What is the essence of Special Ops?
Nair: The story is the hero of our series. The twist that this series has makes it worthwhile to watch. We all knew that five terrorists were involved in the 2001 Parliament attack. But while narrating the script Neeraj informed me there were six involved in the dastardly attack. So this web-series is about the 19-year-long search for the sixth man by the RAW officer, played by Kay Kay Menon.
eNewsroom: How is Special Ops different from other web series?
Nair: The speciality of our series are the characters that we have created. The narration, character building and the thickening of the plot is similar to reading a novel. Just like when we finish reading a book the characters linger on our mind, similar will be the experience of the viewers who will watch our web-series.
eNewsroom: What is special about the cast of Special Ops? Was it done with an agenda?
Nair: Neeraj has done the casting and he has excelled in it. He has chosen the best cast. Actors like Kay Kay Menon, Divya Dutta, Vinay Pathak, Sharad Kelkar, or for that matter even the lesser characters of this web-series have been selected in such a way that they add on the natural progress of the plot. Every character has been minutely layered and all of them have earnestly played the part to perfection.
eNewsroom: Can you tell us about the bond you share with Neeraj owing to your long association with him?
Nair: I have known Neeraj for years now. I had read the script of A Wednesday even before it was made into a film. Talking about him, he is a very disciplined and creative person and is extremely passionate about his work. This discipline and passion reflects in his team too. Every time he surprises me with his creativity. This is the reason for me having said yes to his offer to co-direct Naam Shabana with him. And after that as they say, rest is history.