In the first few minutes of “Shoorveer,” the protagonist, Viraj, says that he is neither interested in Salim Kavali nor in Salim Javed. This is a reply to his senior telling him something about the former. And concerning the latter, for the uninitiated, they are a screenwriting duo. In which universe is this considered a good joke at the beginning of a supposedly hard-hitting show about a group of individuals who are to be India’s most lethal force? What were the writers thinking when they made everything so unlikeable and incoherent right off the bat? They must have believed that they saved it, with a scene of the pilot preventing a plane crash while risking his life. But it falls flat because we neither understand the danger, nor how it got fixed. This is just a glimpse of what is to come going forward. Let’s see how the story unfolds.
What is Project Hawks? How does Viraj find the fault in JT-18?
In the beginning few minutes of “Shoorveer” Season 1, Milind Phanse comes up with the idea of forming “Project Hawks”—a group of the most skilled fighters from the Army, Navy, and Air Force. This decision is due to a terrorist attack on Daman and the realization that India always seems to be one step behind the terrorists. ‘Project Hawks,’ under the guidance of Ranjan Malik, is supposed to be India’s ultimate line of defense. The training involves the cadets learning each other’s terrain to become all-rounded soldiers capable of dealing with every single threat that seeks to harm the country. After the training, 11 of the best soldiers would be chosen as the first batch of Hawks, with the topper being declared the “Golden Hawk.” As their training starts, Ranjan Malik opts for some very unusual methods to develop the mental strength of the cadets. For example, at one point, one of their comrades, Salim, gets kidnapped, and the Hawks have to execute a rescue mission. But once they find him, it turns out that the whole thing was a set-up to test how the cadets would behave when the life of one of their own is at stake. We really don’t know if such a thing is acceptable, even if it’s the armed forces. Doesn’t this amount to mental cruelty? We would like to know ourselves.
Moving forward, there are a lot of pieces that continue to fall into place. Viraj, the protagonist, previously mentioned, is one of the people selected to be a part of Project Hawks. But he did not wish to go because, as he said, he and Ranjan Malik did not get along during his days at TACDE. But it is suggested that his decision is more because his estranged father lives in the same city. Viraj has carried a reputation for always preferring to work alone. But as he trains with the other Hawks, fighting alongside them and taking a stand for them, Ranjan says that his dream is being realized— “the lone wolf is learning to run with the pack.” In other events, the terrorists have started making headway in their plans. Siddhesh, one of the scientists working for Code K Technologies, is an undercover terrorist. Code K is the company that is involved with the technology used by the Indian defense forces. Siddhesh’s cover is eventually blown, but he opts for a “Plan B” instead of scrapping the mission.
Back to the Hawks, during a few tests amongst the cadets, Viraj suspects that there is a fault in the JT-18 aircraft. But his claims are dismissed by everyone around him. Viraj has to prove his point, and for that, he takes the help of Avantika. She is a fellow Hawk, and her husband died while maneuvering the said aircraft. However, everybody, along with her, believes it was his own fault, due to taking an unrecoverable turn. Before the last phase of their training starts, Avantika gives Viraj her late husband’s logbook, where he had written down every single detail of his flights. This further confirms his suspicions that there is something wrong with the aircraft. On an impulse, he goes out to test the plane again, even though his name is not on the duty sheet. An accident follows that puts him in the hospital and unable to take the final test. But Viraj is not one to sit back quietly, which is when things come to a head.
‘Shoorveer’ Season 1: Ending Explained – Do The Hawks Rescue Salim? Do They Kill Faiz Khan?
It is absurd and chilling at the same time when reality mimics fiction. In the last episode of “Shoorveer” Season 1, Salim crashes into Pakistani territory and is held captive by the terrorist Faiz Khan and his forces. He is ready to attack India, which means that it is the ultimate test for the Hawks, with the reason for their inception being brought into question. But when the going gets tough, the tough gets going, and the Hawks are India’s best and most elite line of defense against the enemy. They are up for the challenge. They plan to rescue Salim and then drop a missile at the base of operations, destroying it all. Avantika and Viraj take the JT-18 aircraft. Despite its lags, it’s the only one that can hold the missile, so they decide to make it work. Manju, Soham, and others are tasked with extracting Salim out of his captivity. Facing the challenges and hiccups in their way, they are successful in doing so.
It is time for the next phase of action: destroying Faiz Khan. Avantika and Viraj need to enter the airspace undetected. Decoy planes are launched to lure away the Pakistani air boogies. This enables the Hawks to enter the space undetected. Viraj drops the missile and destroys the entire terrorist base. Avantika leaves with the others due to low fuel. As Viraj is making his way back, he is spotted by a Pakistani fighter plane. Both of them engage in a no-holds-barred fight in the middle of the sky, which, truth be told, is a treat for the eyes. At a crucial point, the JT-18 lags again, but Viraj manages to save the day as he emerges the winner of the fight.
Three months after the success of the mission, the Hawks have moved on with their lives. Salim and Preethi are together, and Avantika and Viraj connect as good friends. The malware in VAYU has been fixed, and Project Hawks has been a success. But interestingly, Sarah makes a comeback in the final few minutes. She has killed Siddhesh and has returned to execute Faiz Khan’s plan. This could mean a new challenge for the Hawks in “Shoorveer” Season 2. On the personal front, we will probably see the development of Viraj and Avantika’s relationship. It would also be interesting to see the actual interplay of the different skills put to use by the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Final Thoughts: What Works And What Doesn’t For ‘Shoorveer’?
When it comes to deciding the length of a piece of content, we end up facepalming due to the overindulgent nature of most of them. They neither entertain nor add any value to the story. “Shoorveer” does not do that. But that doesn’t mean it is engaging. Watching it reminded us distinctly of “Top Gun” and another show closer to home, “Left Right Left.” Visually, it was great. The storyline was basic, but that can be forgiven as they kept the narrative short. What we cannot forgive is the poor acting. Some of them, like Regina Cassandra, Manish Chaudhari, and Makarand Deshpande, convinced us of their characters, but the rest of them just could not live up to the mark. And when you want to bring humor as an element to the story, it must be adapted to the language. All of the jokes in the series were in English, although they were spoken in Hindi. That took away the fun. When Avantika says, “Do you charge for your advice or will you be sending an invoice?”, it is an example of the very poor writing the show suffers from. Did they really not think that the viewers would be able to recognize this iconic line from ‘Jab we met’ because they changed a word or two?
“Shoorveer” could have been a much better show with better writing and better actors, but for reasons we cannot fathom, it has decided to be less than mediocre. “Shoorveer” is a classic case of the falling quality of content due to a focus on quantity rather than quality. We are disappointed that the makers got so consumed by the visual aspect of it that they failed to focus on the story itself. If this continues, the day is not far when we will end up completely giving up on the silver screen.
“Shoorveer” is a 2022 Indian Action Drama series created by Samar Khan.