Tabbar: A Sinister Web Of Deceit, Greed

Dipankar Sarkar

Tabbar, an eight-episode web series currently streaming on SonyLiv, is set in Punjab and depicts the plight of a family of four compelled by circumstances to unleash the beastly immorality within them. The action of the primary characters allows the viewers to decide if taking a life is justifiable when the outcome is potentially saving the members of their family? The series moves at breakneck speed for a crime drama, which both have benefits and detracting aspects. The series excels an engaging tale of a family caught in the vortex of one nefarious act after the order. Their moral compass deviates from good to evil as the story spirals in directions that keep the viewer off-guard as to what is going to be the next step of these characters trapped in their wrongdoing.

Omkar Singh (Pawan Malhotra) runs a small grocery shop in the city and lives with his caring wife Sargun (Supriya Pathak Kapur) and younger son Tegi (Sahil Mehta). His eldest son Harpreet ‘Happy’ Singh (Gagan Arora) is aspiring to be an IAS and studying in a coaching institute in Delhi. One day while Happy visits his home he mistakenly brings a duffle bag with him that belongs to someone else. What appears to be a careless error soon turns out to be a dreadful mess that brings misery into the life of a middle-class family. As the narrative unfolds they only find that danger and misfortune can be found in unexpected places.

Tabbar does not incorporate heavily stylized action pieces, which are an absolute treat to watch. A large portion of admiration for the series stems from the director Ajitpal Singh approach to the craft. He deftly mirrors reality by minimizing or eliminating unnecessary emotional moments and treats each episode with virtuosoship abstaining from the formula ridden melodramatic tropes. But there are certain moments in the web series where the filmmaker has taken excess freedom with his creative liberties. Scenes such as manipulating the post-mortem report, Omkar Singh killing one individual after the other without much hesitation, Happy finding a job easily in Ajeet Sodhi (Ranveer Shorey) company amongst others.

Tabbar is stylistically straightforward and technically polished. The cinematography creates vivid imagery to bring out the tonality, texture, and nuances of the story that significantly contribute to the mood of the film. The editing of the film efficiently sustains the tempo of the film’s suspense. The background score by Sneha Khandelwal evokes the conflicts and personal anguish in the story. Performance-wise the actors get into the skin of their characters with conviction.

Tabbar is one of those web series that sparks with originality and amalgamates realism with captivating entertainment. It serves as a thrilling experience to the audience, irrespective of their expectations. The series successfully rises above the script with a panache. It is a dark, compelling, intelligent piece of work with few blemishes. Though the resolution is far from tidy or closed, yet it still manages to satisfy.