Hello Mini 2 Review: A damsel in distress, a mysterious stranger, friends who cannot be trusted, perceived enemies who could emerge as saviours, nightmares on a repeat mode, bodies dropping from the terrace or getting buried under the ground, and a good dose of erotica with anyone expected to sleep with anyone – All of this and more takes forward the core ethos of Hello Mini which had turned out to be a surprise success back in 2019 and is now streaming in its second season at MX Player.
I am a big fan of web series which play on as one continued story instead of acting as vanilla franchise where either just the spirit of the show is the same or at maximum the characters are repeated. However, when a story continues from where it left and further builds on the intrigue, there is certain investment that comes in which makes you look forward to what happens next. That’s the core strength of Hello Mini 2 which, despite a title that gives an impression of an erotic web series for young adults but is actually a lot more than that, is an adaptation of Novonveel Chakraborty’s ‘Stranger Trilogy’ novels.
One good thing that the dual teams of Team Applause and Rose Audio Visuals does with the second season is that the whole erotic quotient has been toned down considerably with more emphasis on thrills and drama. All of that was in the first season as well but somehow the whole skin show (nothing wrong with that from the target audience perspective) did get a little too much when it came to appealing to a larger junta. Of course, even in the second season there is at least one major sequence on these lines per episode (there are 10 this time, compared to 15 in the first season) but then they come, solve their purpose and go without overstaying their welcome. This way, the focus is more on the story.
Yet again, the central protagonist Anuja Joshi is battling her fears. You need to watch the first season definitely to step into the second to truly follow what’s happening in her life as her nightmares become all the more disturbing and frequent. Her understanding boyfriend Mrinal Dutt continues to be on her side right through but then his BFF come into the picture to disturb the equilibrium. While this ‘main, mera boyfriend and uski woh’ triangle is problematic enough for Anuja, there is a major plot point in her life that emerges in the form of a game Dare Defy that can be played only via dark web.
There is a Big Boss type task assignment that unfolds from here which basically revolves around doing everything in public and capturing it all on video, which is otherwise meant to be behind closed doors. You get the drift, right? While this leads to quite a few moments that may become uncomfortable for a segment of viewers, as the series proceeds you realise that there is a meaning and purpose behind the whole turn of events in Anuja’s life, which have a close connection with another character introduced in her life. As a young woman who is looked at as a freak and a nymph, it’s enacted by Summer Jacobs. As for her confidante, if it was an over-the-top Priya Bannerjee last time around then this time it is innocent-n-vulnerable Darshana Banik who becomes her roommate. Meanwhile, Gaurav Chopra, the rude and obnoxious businessman, makes a special appearance as well who is taken for a ride by a set of triplets no less!
For audiences though, this turns out to be a roller coaster ride too, though I believe the first season was a lot touter and more shocking, despite it running across 15 episode. Perhaps it was to do with exploring the uniqueness quotient of the stranger, something which becomes rather elementary in the second season. Also, whenever the focus is on Anuja and her escapades, Hello Mini is very interesting though when focus shifts towards the Dare Defy track, it becomes a tad distracting.
As is the adage though, the end needs to be good enough to make you look forward to what happens next and in that context, the last 10-15 minutes of Hello Mini are shocking again as it seems like life is coming back full circle for the young woman. With another mystery character re-emerging in the story, you now want to see how does the trilogy conclude once the third season is streamed next. That’s the way it was for Pretty Little Liars and I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise as well. If these series and the movie franchise held your attention then Hello Mini will manage that as well.
Rating: 3 stars