Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers from The Family Man. 

Manoj Bajpayee starrer The Family Man opened to rave reviews, with people appreciating the story for its relatable humor and well-crafted action sequences. 

The Family Man poster
Source: Indian Express

And while watching Manoj Bajpayee in action is always a treat, it was the character of Moosa who you just couldn't take your eyes away from - thanks to the powerful performance that actor Neeraj Madhav delivered. 

Moos Rahman The Family Man
Source: The Hindu

Moosa is a terrorist, who at the start of the series, is captured by the Indian intelligence agency. When the show begins, you believe that he is a side character - inserted into the show to display Srikant's (Manoj Bajpayee) skills as an intelligence officer. 

Manoj Bajpayee in The Family Man
Source: Rediff

It's much later that you realize that the man whose sob story fooled Srikant, and the audience, is actually the mastermind behind the terror attack planned on Delhi. Because despite all the spy thrillers that have taught us better in the past, Neeraj's stellar performance and the well-developed story arc convince you otherwise. 

As you reel from the shock at Moosa's original identity, Neeraj sheds the image of an innocent boy caught in terrorism and reveals just how sinister his character really is. And that's when you truly appreciate the genius of his performance.

Neeraj Madhav Family Man Screenshot
Source: Prime Video

Initially, he manages to evoke sympathy for his character. And later, just as convincingly, invokes terror and hatred. Simply put, he is the perfect antagonist. 

Neeraj Madhav The Family Man
Source: Prime Video

His nuanced performance is even more impressive when you consider that he is sharing screen space with one of the finest actors of the Hindi film industry, Manoj Bajpayee. 

Acting with Manoj sir was incredible...with each take, he throws in a surprise and I enjoyed rising up to the challenge. There are different kinds of co-actors – some don’t enhance your performance and there are others who get a better result out of you. He is one of the latter, who make you want to do more and better.
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*Please read till the end * 🙏🏽 To have one of your movies gearing up for release is a very special feeling. There’ll be a lot of excitement, anxiety and many other mixed emotions. But there’s always this big concern... will anyone show up to theatre for the FDFS! But this time it’s different for me. Just this once, I don’t have to worry about the number of people coming to theatres, instead this time the cinema is coming to you! Well technically it’s a 10 episode ‘series’, but to me it’s just a big cinema! My first Bollywood venture. And this time you don’t have the excuse to miss it in theatres cos it’s already coming to your phones, tablets or whatever streaming device you have. So just subscribe to Amazon prime if you haven’t already, your not just paying to watch my series alone you have 100 other options as well. So tell me you’re going to binge watch this one with me. The Famiy Man streaming on Amazon Prime video from Tonight, do not miss it ! @primevideoin @familymanamazon 🤞😊

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But then again, Neeraj is no debutant either - even though The Family Man is his first Hindi language work. Neeraj, who is also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, debuted in movies with the Malayalam film Buddy in 2013. 

Neeraj Madhav Buddy
Source: Indian Talents

That led him to his next two Malayalam movies, Memories and Drishyam, both of which were blockbuster hits. 

He continued to give stellar performances and even turned choreographer with the 2015 film Oru Vadakkan Selfie. Two years later, he turned scriptwriter--which was the reason why he first entered the film industry--with the film Lava Kusha. 

Neeraj Madhav Malayalam Actor
Source: wikimedia

With stories that have managed to combine intelligent cinema with commercial success, Neeraj has slowly but steadily solidified his presence in the Malayalam film industry. 

I am very careful with characters and try not to repeat myself, though I do, occasionally, jump at opportunities when directors like Jeethu and Anil come calling. I look for something that will make me stand out, small things such as Narayanankutty breaking into tears at his own stupidity or the overly sensitive and emotional Arun in Homely Meals. Thankfully, each film and each role has proven to be the right choice and got me noticed. 
Neeraj Madhav Photo
Source: webstagramsite

With The Family Man, Neeraj has another first to his name - the first Malayalam mainstream actor to star in a digital series. And he did it with a character as complex and layered as Moosa Rahman. 

I am an instinctive actor. Usually I observe people I know or come across, for inputs for a character. But in this case, not many people know terrorists so that was difficult – this is not a relatable character, so I chose to go with the emotions of the character. The series has Moosa’s perspective too, this is a layered character. It speaks about his inner life and turmoil.

His role may have ended with season 1, but we'll definitely be looking out for more of his work. 

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