Jamtara (Season 2)
Quickly onto the next release of the weekend and before I get to the theatrical releases, I finished watching the new Hindi series, the second season of Jamtara streaming on Netflix. Now I must admit that I was a late entrant to season 1, only watching it a few days before the second season premiered. And while it seemed like a low budget series which did have certain technical flaws(probably due to budget constraints) but its story telling technique was unique in a subject which was really fresh and novel(can’t quite remember any other content based on this theme specifically). So I was really looking forward to how the story unfolds in the second season while I also did hope that some of its flaws are ironed off. Now that I have finished the second season of Jamtara, here are my two cents on it.
Story & Screenplay
The second season of Jamtara follows the story of the rise of cyber crime amidst an election in Jamtara. The story here doesn’t seamlessly continue from where season 1 had ended but it is still a compelling followup to season 1. The screenplay standing 8 episodes of roughly 30 to 40 odd minutes each makes for a brisk watch.
The drama literally takes off like a rocket. It was probably the best start to a series that I have watched recently. The clever bit on the part of the writers was that they did trust the audience with the world building which was already done well in season 1. So instead the focus was on the theme which would easily suck the audiences in the drama. The flying start nicely sets the tone for the drama to follow.
By the third episode and after the introduction of a couple of fresh faces in the universe the drama settles down. The storytelling is layered and complex yet also cerebral. The mesh of the subplots nicely takes the story forward. The proceedings are interesting and engrossing wherein the drama almost unfolds like a political drama. The slight issue is that the drama does get a little repetitive in between. The extra flab contributes to some crucial minutes wherein the writing just goes around in circles for a brief period. The focus could have been a bit more on the political angle which I believe was crucial to the plot. Some “real life” references are nicely integrated more like a satire which acts as a mirror to the viewer especially in the current day scenario.
Season 1 of Jamtara had stumbled in the final act which was underwhelming. But that flaw is ironed out here very well. There are subtle twists and turns which will keep you invested in the events leading up to what is a prolific final act. The mythological reference to Mahabharat was a genius plan to integrate in the plot line which partially does unfold like a Shakesperean drama where two characters(like witches in Macbeth) predict the fate of the town and the people. A perfect reference there! Overall, the screenplay has minor flaws but there is much to like in this compelling drama.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are filled with expletives but they definitely transport you to the area where it is set in effectively. And the lines do hold weight as well. The music is really good and the BGM comprising of earthy tones effectively blend, and blend well with the drama. The cinematography and editing are so much better from season 1 which lifts the overall product quite well. Director Soumendra Padhi yet again impresses with his storytelling technique which was a shade better than season 1. The grip in the narrative was maintained, partially even when things were getting repetitive, resulting in a compelling narrative overall.
The performances are outstanding here by the ensemble cast which is a clearly case of casting done well. Gauri Konge and Neha Prajapati have their moments to shine as do Ujjwal Chopra, Rohit KP, Kartavya Kabra, Karthikey Raj and Harshit Gupta. Ruby Khan, Surabhi Verma, Puja Jha and Pooja Bansode are all quite effective in their respective roles. Aatm Prakash Mishra as Bachchu and Sarfaraz Ali Mirza as Ponto was both brilliant. Udit Arora as Saurav is endearing, Aksha Pardasany as Dolly is sincere and both do a swell job. But one small complaint from the writing perspective was that both of their roles are underwritten although supremely effective. Likewise for Seema Pahwa who is excellent as Gangadevi but her role could have been expanded better(probably in season 3)
Dibyendu Bhattacharya as Biswa is such an underrated actor who is quietly going about doing one quality work after another. He is an absolute delight to watch. Ravi Chahar as Rinku is excellent and has so many moments to shine. Anshumaan Pushkar as Rocky has such a terrific screen presence abd his stature as an actor has only grown since Kathmandu Connection when I had first watched him(I hadn’t watched Jamtara S1 then). Amit Sial is one of my favourite actors doing the rounds and he delivers an intimidating yet brilliant performance as Brajesh in his second “political” outing in a month after Maharani 2. I cannot wait to think what his character will be upto in season 3(after the surprise ending here in season 2). Monika Panwar as Gudiya is phenomenal and owns the stage yet again here in season 2. But it is Sparsh Srivastav as Sunny who is in many ways the find of the series for me. While he was good in Jamtara Season 1, his growth as an actor is brilliant to witness here. He was wonderful to watch and brilliant to the core.
The second season of Jamtara is a compelling followup to season 1 with stupendous performances. Available on Netflix.