SKYFIRE REVIEW - A shabby end to a promising series

SKYFIRE REVIEW - A shabby end to a promising series

'It's not about the destination, it's about the journey' reads a popular quote and there couldn't have been better words to summarise the impact of Zee5's latest web series Skyfire, adapted from a book written by Aroon Raman. Impressive star cast, a solid beginning, nuanced characters, a relevant social issue, however riveting they sound, nothing about this can prepare you for the utterly disappointing finale of the series, which is a classic execution of how to shatter all the promise that a good premise holds. If you're someone who enjoys putting together a puzzle than looking at the whole picture, Skyfire may just hold your attention. The first part of Skyfire had dealt with a mysterious connection among politicians, concerns surrounding climate change, an upsurge of profits in the pharmaceutical industry and sudden disappearance of children from the slums. A cop, a journalist and a historian are leading towards the ultimate truth. All that the last few episodes had to do was to string together multiple ends neatly and offer a logical, if not a surprise, ending. The biggest strength of Skyfire in the initial portions was its realism and the mystery with which its world is built. But it is all headed for a cinematic finish with terrible CG, a sudden spate of deaths, one man fighting over 100 goons, bullets flying around in a room as if it were a video game and with nothing believable or interesting to root for. Precisely undoing everything that Skyfire had done well till then! The bite in the series gradually leads to boredom. The twist that the makers preserve for the climax barely has any surprise/shock value. The finale set amid a supposed Bhutan monastery leading to the Republic Day is a mess drowned in confusion. Everything moves at a breathtaking pace and nothing registers on face value. It's as if the makers suddenly realise this is the last episode and they need to wrap up the series at any cost.  While the performances were subdued, to begin with, the actors truly go over-the-top when it comes to crisis situations, especially Jisshu Sengupta. The treatment feels like an Abhay Deol film and a Salman Khan film rolled into one. How did they ever think that these universes can meet? Surprisingly, Sonal Chauhan delivers a measured performance in what's probably the meatiest role in her career. Prateik Babbar as a journalist is promising, but his one-note role is restricted to a few anxious expressions, tension, and ambiguity. Nyra Bannerjee looks gorgeous on the screen, but she has little else to do. Skyfire, despite its shortcomings, is still a story that's more relevant and contemporary than several Indian series to have hit digital platforms this year. The detailing was one of the novel's primary strengths and the makers should have thought twice before sacrificing it. Filmmaker Soumik Sen fails to fulfill the potential of his material. The execution, especially with the visuals, is rather tacky. The makers' aim is to grab an iPhone for the budget of an Android mobile and the result is for everyone to see. The page-turner novel in its series version is forced to adopt done-to-death stereotypes that it could have easily done away with. The intentions behind the series are impressive, but the result, not so much! Rating: 2.5/5


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