Avrodh Season 2
Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi series Avrodh 2 streaming on SonyLiv. I am highly impressed with the kind of series backed by SonyLiv. They are quite meaty in terms of story with a good production value and they often strike a fine balance in catering to the masses and classes. One such series was the first season of Avrodh which was out in the middle of the first lockdown. It was based on the Uri attacks and hence I was skeptical then as a film was already made on the same topic earlier. But the series was exhilarating minus any chest thumping jingoistic nationalism with real and in depth strategies of the attack which had me glued from start to finish. While you can read my full review of it on Popcorn Reviewss, I was keenly awaiting its second season which seemed to have an even better scale to the drama. Now that I have finished Avrodh 2, here are my two cents on it.
Story & Screenplay
Avrodh 2 follows the footsteps of its predecessor and is a drama leading up to the demonitization which took place in 2016. The story is fascinating and much more cerebral than the first season. The screenplay standing at 9 episodes of almost 40 odd minutes means that it is an overwhelming watch to begin with. But once you start, the drama is thrilling and eventful from start to end without any dull moments.
The screenplay was extremely tricky to narrate considering that there were so many subplots unfolding simultaneously. And also the subplots were interconnected in many ways and so the smaller detailing was necessary. But the screenplay is mangificent with its storytelling. It opens with a piece of Intel which the authorities receive of a sinister plan with so many players involved. And all of them had a part to play along with the protagonist who was at the helm of it.
Without divulging too much into the series which could act as a spoiler, all the subplots are well written and thoroughly engaging. A lot of attention has been given to the detailing especially in the first half of the series where links are formed in the most unassuming manner. This makes the drama more cerebral and keeps you as an audience always on your toes! The twists and turns are interesting and the cerebral drama forms a narrative such that it allows the audience also to get a glimpse of the high pressure world.
On a minor downside, the personal life of the protagonist could have been explored better. That was the only subplot which I felt was undercooked and I can totally understand why that might have been omitted considering the length of the show which was already too long. But nevertheless, the drama also steers clear from the chest thumping nationalism which consistently keeps the drama real. And it ends in an enthralling final act which was quite well executing, summing up the screenplay which was a bit of a cracker!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational but extremely engaging without any bit of melodrama. Another positive here is that the Pakistani clan do not refer to each other as ‘Janaab’ which most makers are guilty of. The BGM is pulsating and keeps the audience on its toes throughout. The cinematography is excellent with some breathtaking visuals and aerial shots that really draw you into the drama. The production value is outstanding giving an impression of a big budget series. Director Raj Acharya who had helmed season 1 of Avrodh as well is in top form here. His biggest achievement here is that he makes a seemingly cerebral and unassuming drama highly engaging. The direction deserves distinction marks here!
The performances are outstanding here. Vineeta Joshi as Deepa has a charming presence onscreen. Aishwarya Shanker as Amrita is impressive despite a limited screentime. Dr. Mohan Agashe who essays the role of our Honourable PM captures his mannerisms so well and also effectively adding a couple of elements of his own. Ananth Mahadevan as Satish is wonderfully understated. Neeraj Kabi as Shailesh is just so brilliant and he pulls off his character with a lot of panache and dignity. Rajesh Khattar as General Aziz is aptly cast and he does a great job. Sanjay Suri as Waziri is excellent here. His calmness and calculative nature makes the drama more interesting as opposed to if his performance was in your face. Aahana Kumra as Parveena is fabulous to watch here and she is natural to the core. Her character had an interesting conflict towards the end and she does a magnificent job in bringing that out with subtlety. Vijay Krishna as Imtiaz for me is the find of the season. What an excellent performance and I loved his camaraderie with the protagonist. It began on the wrong note(their camaraderie) yet as the series progressed I enjoyed their bromance too. Which brings me to Abir Chatterjee who shines and shines brightly as Captain Pradeep. He never tries to go overboard, instead is well within his limits and that is what makes the character so real. I must admit this is one of his few works which I have seen and now I really wish to watch more of his work! This was a memorable outing!
Avrodh 2 is a killer of a season which is cerebral yet engaging and thrilling right from the word go! Available on SonyLiv and Highly Recommended.