Updated on: Sunday, October 17, 2021, 09:25 PM IST

Tabbar review : Despite flaws, this is a well-executed series with excellent performances by Pavan Malhotra, Supriya Pathak, and others

The plot gives the vibe of Malayalam blockbuster Drishyam

Tabbar (meaning family in Punjabi) is an eight-part crime thriller series that is dark and gritty with an unusual narrative, quite opposite of its title focusing on a middle-class family. Its tagline — ‘Only family matters’ — indicatively points towards the basic plot revolving around a former policeman, who decides to go to any extent to safeguard the life and interests of the members of his small Tabbar.

Featuring some renowned actors from the Hindi film industry, the series brings in good news as well as a disappointment for the viewers, particularly for those who are well familiar with the Indian regional language movies and world cinema.

Stating the positives, it makes a shocking impact in the opening episode itself and largely remains an engrossing crime-thriller with new twists and turns thrown in every episode. The director, Ajitpal Singh, neatly executes the sequences, maintaining the fear of uncertainty, and the cast enacts the assigned roles to the best of their abilities. Post the recent Grahan, it’s a Pavan Malhotra show yet again from the word go, accompanied by seasoned actors like Supriya Pathak and Ranvir Shorey. The three commendably convey it through their body language, mannerisms, and eyes instead of dialogues.

That’s what truly works in Tabbar, superbly supported by the young and talented Paramveer Singh Cheema, Gagan Arora, Sahil Mehta, Nupur Nagpal, and others. Plus, the mix of local Hindi-Punjabi language, the authentic locations, the cinematography, and an intelligent background score by Sneha Khanwalkar enhances the overall impact.


Coming to the downers, Tabbar can also be called a taut thriller in which the writers arrange too many convenient escape routes for the protagonist. Forgetting the logic, it often becomes unconvincing taking absurd creative liberties like in the sequence related to the editing of the crucial forensic report. The murders keep happening, without any major obstacles or investigations, and the writers keep moving on to the next, forgetting all about the earlier ones. Besides, the culmination puts a big question mark on the basic thought of its theme, when the family itself gets affected in an unexpectedly devastating manner at the end, for which everything was being done by the ex-policeman.

Moving over to the biggest disappointment, it’s about how the entire series takes inspiration from various other sources and isn’t original or novel. By the time the first episode gets over, you know that this is a Hindi-Punjabi version of the Malayalam blockbuster Drishyam, set in Punjab. The next reference of selling the drugs by the youngsters makes you recall the hugely famous American series, Breaking Bad. And then as it gets into the darker zone, it follows the format of the first season of Breathe, which featured R Madhavan and Amit Sadh.


However, despite the avoidable flaws, borrowed plots and convenient placing of the decisive events, it’s the consistent performances of the entire cast and execution that keep you glued to the screen. Hence, this deserves to be seen even when you know that it’s not a perfect thriller led by the terrific and ever-dependable Pavan Malhotra.

Title: Tabbar

Director: Ajitpal Singh

Cast: Pavan Malhotra, Supriya Pathak, Gagan Arora, Sahil Mehta, Paramvir Cheema, Kanwaljit Singh, Ranvir Shorey, Ali Mughal and Nupur Nagpal

Platform: Sony Liv

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Published on: Monday, October 18, 2021, 07:00 AM IST