In a way Fauda (meaning chaos) is an antithesis to the recent Netflix Series Sacred Games. Whereas all destructive decisions in Fauda are attributed to the will of Allah (albeit wrongly), Sacred Games stays clear with the notion that ‘Bhagwan ko lu@d farak padta hai‘ (God doesn’t give a fu&k). Thanks to India’s centuries of secular spirit, in Sacred Games, despite the divides, Hindus and Muslims are seen collaborating as part of the same gang. In Fauda, a Muslim getting his daughter treated in a (more modern) Jew hospital is seen as a sign of a Palestine selling himself to the enemy. On the streets of the West Bank, people spit on him. Fauda is a tribute to the uproar in the human mind. It’s not about power, like the Games, nor about money, like Narcos, it’s about how the mind stops functioning amidst external tumult.
Total Chaos (Season 1)
Abu Ahmad, the Hamas terror leader’s brother had been shot on the latter’s wedding day by Boaz. The Israeli counter-terrorism operatives had gone in search of the, once killed and funeral-ed Abu, but who was actually alive. Abu Ahmed now, not only has Boaz in his grip, but plans to blow him to smithereens, having stitched a bomb inside Boaz’s stomach. But hold on. The Israeli forces have gone one up and captured Abu’s godfather and his daughter. The exchange deal is on. If Abu blows Boaz, he will get his godfather and daughter’s corpses too, in exchange. A bad deal. Not worth even coming to the negotiating table. But Abu Ahmad blurts the same lines of dying a ‘shaheed’ (martyr) and that in ‘jihad’ (holy war) its normal for people to die for Allah! He puts his skewed revenge objective over and above the lives of two of his family members. It’s a big statement on the mayhem the key characters of Fauda (meaning chaos) live in. Total chaos in the mind. Absolute Fauda.
Amal, widow of the slain groom, decides to volunteer as a bomber for the Hamas. The explosive tucked in her handbag, she uncomfortably walks into an upmarket bar, mostly visited by the Jews. The nervousness of the situation gets to her and tears roll down her eyes. The bartender offers her a glass of water, a comforting hand and words of solace. Without any eye contact, there is a bonding taking place. As a viewer you hope better sense has prevailed over Amal. The bartender has saved the day, maybe. Amal continues the sob. But despite the fear, nervousness and lamenting fate, the mind still stays in absolute Fauda. She had switched on the detonator minutes ago and decided ‘not’ to walk out. The bomber, became the suicide bomber. Total chaos between the ears.
Worth repeat viewing
It is no surprise that the Arabic media have gone to the extent of lambasting this Netflix series, as one which portrays the Arabs as fools. But that’s not true. Fauda, created by the brilliant Lior Raz – once an operative himself and before that, a personal security guard to Hollywood Star Arnold Schwarzenegger – and Avi Issacharoff, is all about the chaos … on the streets, in the political sphere, in civil life … and how it impacts every human mind. The matter of fact remains that humans tend to take bad decisions during the worst of times. When the thinking has become too narrow to see the bigger picture. A thief on verge of being caught often commits a murder. An argument often ends up with a physical hurt. Beyond a point, every point of conflict, become an ego issue. Fauda underlines that. Am covering only Season One in this blog, as I am still doing repeating viewing of the first instalment, soaking in every detail, before I move to season two. It’s Fauda in my mind too.
Gali, wife of Lior’s character Doron, is so much fed up of being in a family of operatives that she just can’t continue the marriage. This is after Doron takes sabbatical from work to stay within his vineyards. Yet Gali can’t put up with Doron’s ways or that her brother Boaz also belongs to the same team of Doron. Yet her extra-marital shoulder to lean on is who… but Naor – another counter-terror operative of the same team! So not just the Arabs, Fauda underlines chaos in the Jewish characters also. Absolute Fauda.
The hypocrisy behind it all
Back to Abu Ahmed. Shown as a man who is obsessed with revenge, shooting anyone who comes between his plans, doesn’t like suicide bombers who do it for the money and plotting to spread sarin nerve gas (narrated as 500 times more dangerous than cyanide) in an Israeli synagogue. And yet..and yet … connected to his family, pleads them not to move to Germany. Why should they not move away? What is the point in holding them back when you are struggling to even walk home to meet them? When you are planning mass deaths and civil war all over the city – to the point that you strategise in such a way that all Muslim nations will help in the war? What sort of love is this for the family that you still want them exposed in the city? Total chaos in the mind.
Abu Ahmad’s wife Nassrin…a mother of two cute kids..longs for her husband to be back home, longs for a simple stable life. But his hatred for Israeli Jews is over and above everything else. Captain Ayub helps get her daughter treated in an Israeli hospital – under care of the best eye doctor; arranges her German passports; books a hotel in Tel Aviv; arranges flights for her to fly away with kids; a house for her in Berlin, gifts a cute teddy bear to the little girl and proposes Nassrin to marry and end his loneliness. But Nassrin does selective trusting! She sees through her daughter’s successful operation, stays comfortably in the Israeli hotel, munches western chocolates and flies off to Germany. In between, she snubs Captain Ayub’s marriage proposal and throws away the cute teddy bear in the streets. Why? Absolute Fauda.
There is a scene where (the brilliant) Khaled (family and assistant to Abu Ahmad), proposes to his cousin Shirin – “Marry me .. that is the only way you can live”. The only lady who this ice cool assassin thought worthy of marriage is within the family; he trusts no one else. Yet, he came with a loaded gun all set to finish Shirin if she says no to the marriage. Shirin’s only mistake was helping Abu Ahmed escape from the hospital more as a favour to her relative Khaled. She gets sucked into the muck, after that, deeper and deeper. To the point that she gets killed or saves her live by marrying the cousin whom she describes as a ‘radical jackass’. Total chaos in the mind. Absolute Fauda.
Fauda is a must watch series on Netflix.
IMDB Viewers Rating: 8.1/10