She (Season 2)
Onto the next new release of another elaborate weekend and I finished watching the second season of the Hindi series She which is streaming on Netflix. Now I must admit that I had not liked the season 1 of She at all(and you can read my review on Popcorn Reviewss as well). After a pulsating and promising start, the writers had squandered an opportunity of making something promising. The series had begun to nose dive after episode too and the slide was so steep that I had almost given up on the series except for the fact that the end was pretty decent and thrilling. In other words it lacked that knockout punch. So with low hopes, I began watching the second season of She. Now that I have finished watching it, here are my two cents on the second season of She.
Story & Screenplay
The second season of She begins from the same point where season one had ended. And so you have your protagonist who is still undercover further exploring her new found s*xuality while trying to nail down the drug mafia. What instantly struck me about the story is that it is more cerebral(than season one) and meaty. The screenplay comprising of 7 episodes of roughly 45 odd minutes seemed slightly long to begin with but convoluted cat and mouse game had some amount of texture this time around which had me invested.
The screenplay unfolds through the gaze of the protagonist and so there is a certain amount of empathy for the character. But it is her who always keeps you guessing on whose team is she on. The twists and turns are interesting and enough to keep you invested right throughout. The writers this time around have been able to dive a little more deeper into the dark underbelly of Mumbai. And with that an interesting bunch of characters form the part of the narrative. The angle of s*xtuality of the protagonist which makes her emotionally vulnerable is also well defined here. Some of the subplots are interesting and add a good amount of texture to the drama.
Some of the drawbacks include certain scenes and sequences which feel repetitive. This did not work in the series favour as the series itself was a slow burn and so having repetitive scenes meant that some parts of the series wriggled at a snail’s pace. Also, the final act was a tad underwhelming although all the loose ends were tied up effectively. Probably it did feel a tad predictable to me as well but overall the screenplsy is dark, cerebral and quite deceptive. In other words, it is notches better than season one.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well written and they leave an instant impact. The BGM is good although again a memorable theme could have been used throughout to create an element of mystery. The cinematography with the lighting is top notch and it creates an ambience of intrigue. Director Arif Ali scores this time around. He is much more in control here and he is able to hold the attention of the audience throughout.
The performances are excellent here. Rohit Dashrath Rao as Tipu shines in a limited screentime as does Suvrat Joshi who plays the cop. Ruchira Singh has her moments to shine as does Anamika Tiwari. Shivani Rangole as Rupa is brilliant and I really wished that her character was explored a little better especially given that they had the opportunity(with the setup). Mohammed Ali Baig as Alam and Sam Mohan as Nambiar are first rate. Vishwas Kini as Fernandez is such a natural onscreen, it was an impressive outing for him where I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. Kishore Kumar Huli as Nayak is excellent and has a towering presence onscreen. But it is Aaditi Pohankar as Bhumi who is the pulse of the series. She was brilliant in season one as well and here she is unabashed, uninhibited and unapologetic in what is perhaps the best performance of her budding career so far. There are so many shades to her character and there is a sense of calmness to her and the confidence of pulling off this complex character with utmost ease.
The second season of She is Dark, Cerebral, Deceptive and many notches better than season 1. Perhaps the most improved second season for me! Available on Netflix.