Shoorveer Review: Hotstar Web Series Crashes Before Take-Off

For unjustifiable reasons, Shoorveer — now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar — brings together the (best of the best from) Army, Navy, and Air Force. It’s really an excuse for Shoorveer to give us jet planes and dogfights. But the cameras on the new Hotstar Specials series never actually took off. Everything shot against the sky is fully reliant on green screens or computer-generated imagery (CGI). The latter is plain awful. Video games from 10 years ago have better graphics than the quality of CGI on Shoorveer. Look, I wasn’t expecting Top Gun: Maverick — it doesn’t help Shoorveer that the Tom Cruise movie and its brilliant action sequences are fresh in the minds of audiences — but Star Wars did better with its miniatures in the 70s and 80s than Shoorveer does with its computer animation.

Thankfully, the aerial action doesn’t form the bulk of the show’s runtime. But it would be easier to ignore or look past the terrible CGI were the other parts of Shoorveer functional. As you can probably tell from the tone of my sentence, they are not. The eight-episode Shoorveer — created by Samar Khan (Shaurya), written by Sagar Pandya (The Test Case), and directed by Kanishk Varma (Sanak) — displays no narrative urgency, is filled with clunky dialogue, and suffers from even clunkier direction.

Shoorveer is happy to propel the cult of military, not dissect or deconstruct it in any way. It’s got aviators, “cool” personalities, and a rock soundtrack courtesy of Cargo composer Shezan Shaikh. That soundtrack drives the combat and spectacle, which is either unbelievable or unengaging. (Also, Shoorveer spends more time inside a bar-cum-café than it does on the battlefield.) Some of that is thanks to pedestrian action filmmaking — Pratik Deora (Sanak) is the cinematographer — that is never able to get your pulse racing.

The new Disney+ Hotstar series is ultimately so dysfunctional that your mind drifts and you start to question the foundation itself. Take Shoorveer’s laughable premise for instance. In the wake of a terrorist attack and amid warnings of something bigger on the horizon, a new elite unit called the Hawks is formed. Excuse me, is the enemy hanging around so we can train the force that will stop them? Shoorveer claims there’s too much red tape that leads to delays — and why we need a unit with a direct command. But in fact, such forces already exist. Case in point: the NSG. But the most laughable suggestion of Shoorveer is that Hawks will abandon all ranks. This feels absurd, because chain of command is central to how armed forces operate.

Shoorveer, Koffee with Karan Season 7, and More on Disney+ Hotstar in July