Illegal (Season 2)
And finally the commitment stays! A weekend that saw as many as four new webseries to review has been breached. An effort that has left me mentally exhausted but all your love and support is seeing me through! Here is the review of last one from the weekend, and I have just finished watching the second season of Illegal on Voot Select. I must confess I had not watched season 1 when it was out last year. Instead I finished watching season 1 just days before the premiere of season 2. And honestly, I found season 1 to be just about average. Hence, I was the least excited for season 2 which is why I had left it for the end. Well finally season 2 is done and dusted, does it manage to up its game, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
The second season of Illegal starts off from the point where season 1 had ended and poses new challenges to the protagonist Niharica Singh as she now has to battle bigger parties in a quest for justice. The story here is much more cerebral than season 1 was. The narrative is more layered with a little more clarity of thought given to the drama which is great news! The screenplay is fast paced as opposed to season 1 which had its fair share of buildup. One of the reasons for it might be that you are already well aware of the characters and the dynamics between them and so the writers waste little time in getting to the point. Just as a prelude I may add that the plot point on which season 1 had ended doesn’t really translate in season 2(Niharica’s father plotting her downfall) which seemed like a last minute change in the script. But post that blip, things look bright. There are a couple of subplots that move simultaneously here and both of them are intriguing. Also the issue that is picked in atleast one of them is socially relevant and makes for an interesting watch. The proceedings are more cerebral here and equally thrilling that will keep you invested throughout. This is a drastic change from season 1 which moved at the same pace without any spikes in the drama. On the downside, maybe the conclusion provided to the subplots could have been a little more layered and at times the drama slackens in pace somewhere in the middle. But the final act ends on a cliffhanger and sets it up nicely for season 3. Overall, a fast paced and well written screenplay that will engage you throughout!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are sharp and have the right kind of bite to them. Also from the writing point of view, there ain’t much melodrama which is good news. The dialogues are straight and to the point and instantly make an impact. The BGM is quite nice and it does its bit to heighten the drama. The cinematography is simple here which means it was a lesson learnt from season 1 where the camera used to unnecessarily zoom in and out while a character was speaking. There has been a change of guard in season 2 as far as the direction is concerned. And Ashwini Chaudhary makes an instant impact. Firstly, he keeps things simple instead of resorting to gimmicks which automatically makes the drama more cerebral. Secondly, he has a great hold on the script which keeps the audience engaged throughout. Overall a great job done!
The performances are excellent here. Sonnalli Seygall as Simone has her moments to shine in a limited scope that she gets. Achint Kaur as Mrinalini is absolutely fabulous and on point throughout. Kriti Vij as Sue definitely makes her presence felt. Parul Gulati as Devika is wonderfully restrained and does a fabulous job. Vicky Arora as Randeep has come a long way from his Roadies days. Even though he has limited dialogues to play with, he is quite intimidating. Tanuj Virwani as Raghav has a towering presence and he is simply outstanding. Can’t help but think that his character will be a potential game changer in season 3. Satyadeep Misra as Puneet is such a natural onscreen that he commands your attention every single time. And he never goes overboard with his character, he is well within control of his craft. The veteran Piyush Mishra as Janardhan Jaitley is brilliant. His character demands being shrewd and conniving and he does that to the T. Akshay Oberoi as Akshay is just outstanding yet again. To give you a perspective, he has played two different roles of two drastically different characters in Dil Bekaraar and now here in Illegal. He is not once loud and he is able to meticulously modulate his voice and expressions so effortlessly. You are going to hear a lot more from him in the coming days – Remember The Name! Neha Sharma as Niharica is quite outstanding herself and finally she has started to get roles that do justice to her talent. She has many layers to her character and many emotions to play with and she does a fabulous job.
The second season of Illegal is cerebral, engaging and a couple of notches better than season 1. Available on Voot Select.