Amazon Prime India's new original web-series The Family Man debuted last week on the streaming service. Starring Manoj Bajpayee in the lead, it is an espionage thriller dosed with black humour and social drama. The series was directed by Raj and DK of Go Goa Gone and A Gentleman fame (who had also written and produced Stree). Apart from Bajpayee, the series has an ensemble cast in Priyamani, Sharib Hashmi, Gul Panag, Dalip Tahil, Darshan Kumaar, Sundeep Kishan, Sharad Kelkar and Shreya Dhanwanthary. But if there is one actor whose performance and character surprised us all, it would be Malayalam actor Neeraj Madhav. (SPOILERS AHEAD) The Family Man Review: Manoj Bajpayee's Spy Series Rises Above Predictability With an Engaging Tale on Relevant Issues.
Neeraj Madhav plays Moosa Rahman, a native of Kasargode, Kerala who joins the ISIS in Syria but is caught by the TASC while returning on a boat in Mumbai. At first, we are given the impression that Moosa is a misguided naive engineer who fell for Islamic propaganda and just wants to return to his mother. His conversations with Srikant (Manoj Bajpayee), and later with the nurse Mary (Zarin Shihab), with whom he forms a romantic bond, at the hospital where he is admitted, indicate so.
But as the narrative proceeds further, we realise there is more to Moosa than what he is trying to make us see, leading to one of the biggest surprises of the series. And Neeraj Madhav has done an excellent job in selling the dual nature of his character, convincing the viewer (and the unfortunate Mary) to fall for a facade that he builds with his puppy eyes and a silver tongue.
Watch the Trailer of The Family Man here:
Of course, Malayalam movie buffs are not oblivious to Neeraj's acting abilities, though this is the kind of role that he has not done in Mollywood. Neither has he done the intimate kissing scenes which he did in The Family Man, that is bound to shock some of his ardent fans. The Family Man: 7 Things We Expect to See Happen in Season 2 of Manoj Bajpayee’s Amazon Prime Original Series (SPOILER ALERT).
In Malayalam cinema, Neeraj Madhav is more popular for playing the main protagonist's playful friend. He made his debut in Malayalam cinema with small roles in films like Buddy and Memories. Memories director Jeethu Joseph offered him the role of Mohanlal's cable assistant in the blockbuster, Drishyam, a character that gave Neeraj a lot of attention for able to play light-hearted roles.
Neeraj Madhav with Mohanlal in a Comedy Scene from Drishyam:
Neeraj also got noticed in movies like Oru Indian Pranayakadha, 1983, Sapthamashree Thaskaraha, Homely Meals, Oru Vadakkan Selfie, Madhura Naranga, Jamna Pyari, Kunjiramayanam and Adi Kapyare Kootamani. He was seen in comic roles, mostly playing the hero's mischievous sidekick.
Neeraj Madhav Spoofing Thalapathy Vijay's Kaththi in Adi Kapyare Kootamani:
With movies like Oozham and Oru Mexican Aparatha, Neeraj Madhav showed the audiences that he can also handle serious roles and layered characters with dexterity. His performance as the student leader on Oru Mexican Aparatha won him a lot of appreciation. He was promoted as the main lead in films like Lavakusha, Paipin Chuvattile Pranayam and Rosapoo. Neeraj is also a good dancer, trained in Bharata Natyam, and had choreographed the popular "Enne Thallendammava" song from Oru Vadakkan Selfie.
Watch The Song "Enne Thallendammava" song from Oru Vadakkan Selfie:
Last year, he had married his girlfriend and engineer, Deepthi, last year. Malayalam Actor Neeraj Madhav Gets Married To Deepthi in a Beautiful Ceremony; View Pics Inside.
With The Family Man, Neeraj has been getting highly positive feedback for his performance. Check out some of the tweets below:
Totally agreed...🙏🙏each and every person has put their best in the series...#neerajmadhav was also damn good to maintain his character ....I'm really looking forward for his work in future😍😊 #TheFamilyMan
— Vaddadi Saket (@saket_vaddadi) September 20, 2019
— Harisankar Menon (@jammyhari) September 24, 2019
#NeerajMadhav is a real surprise.Have seen him doing character and comic roles in Malayalam.But this is a complete surprise.Expected more from Kishore. Buggers killed that character so soon..#SundeepKishan is another surprise..
— ohooooooooooooooooo (@sai_tvmchennai) September 20, 2019
You should play some negative shade characters like #NeerajMadhav. How he broke the regular image he had in Malayalam movies
— 🐶 (@jeevak03) September 24, 2019
All the characters, damn good.!
Amazing plot and engaging storyline.!
— Harsh Thakkar (@hars42718442) September 20, 2019
Interestingly, there was a report going around that Neeraj Madhav was offered a role in Chhichore that he passed on to take a role in The Family Man. Considering the adulations he is getting for this role, we can say it is a wise decision. Seeing how his arc ended in season 1, there is little chance of the actor returning for the next season. But here's hoping that the actor manages to get more roles in Bollywood and other web-series thanks to the response he got from The Family Man.