Vicky Kaushal’s shoutout to the Indian Army’s effort through Uri: The Surgical Strike was an honest portrayal of the strategic task forces that work tirelessly to safeguard the nation. Aditya Dhar’s deft hand at direction produced a compelling narrative that divorced itself from hyper-nationalism as much as it could, while clinically showcasing the military coup. Raj Acharya’s take on the Indian retaliation of the 2016 attacks weaves a similar story of grit, patriotism, and keen precision that ensured India’s global standing as a military force to reckon with.

Based on Rahul Singh and Shiv Aroor’s book, India’s Most Fearless, Avrodh: The Siege Within carefully charts the militant activities in the contentious region of Jammu and Kashmir. The story highlights the series of events that sparked off with the death of notorious militant leader Burhan Wani (whose name is changed in the series).

That political and military wings work hand in hand to curtail long-standing feuds within national borders is a given, but Avrodh takes its time to establish the intricate workings between the two worlds. The Sony Liv series carefully dissects each political aspect — India’s relationship with Pakistan on paper vis-à-vis the actual rivalry behind media spotlights, her equation with the US, the controversial position of PM Narendra Modi’s decision to not attend that year’s SAARC summit — all are shown to exist within a delicate balance, threatening to crumble at any moment.

The acting in Avrodh is (for the most part) quite riveting. Each character comes to life in an appropriate manner. Neeraj Kabi’s depiction of the National Security Advisor (Ajit Doval at the time), Vikram Gokhale’s precise portrayal of Modi, Amit Sadh’s able handling of Major Videep Singh’s character are especially praiseworthy.
The nine-episode run, despite its languid start, never feels hackneyed or heavy with jingoistic tropes. Shanu Singh Rajput’s cinematography holds the viewer’s attention with ample close-ups and drone shots. Even though the backstory may already be known to many, Avrodh succeeds in providing new insights into the chain of events.