Cast: Abir Chatterjee, Neeraj Kabi, Sanjay Suri, Aahana Kumra, Vijay Krishna, Mohan Agashe & ensemble.
Creator: Applause & Team Juggernaut.
Director: Raj Acharya.
Streaming On: Sony LIV.
Runtime: 9 Episodes Around 45 Minutes Each.
Avrodh Season 2 Review: What’s It About:
Taking the journey of tackling unforeseen circumstances ahead, Avrodh tackles the big episode of demonetisation in India. With a lot that reflects from the real world and much more fictional, season 2 gets bigger in scale and partially better in storytelling.
Avrodh Season 2 Review: What Works:
The new season of Avrodh is a visual adaption of the book India’s Most Fearless 2 by Shiv Aroor & Rahul Singh. Now, I haven’t read the book, so my review is solely based on the show. The season 1 of the show that tackled the very famous URI surgical strike didn’t manage to impress me. The season 2 with some recurring characters takes off in 2016 and the iconic doom phase of demonetisation.
The fact that these incidents in our country in the past seven years have majorly being implemented in a more undercover and ‘iski khabar kisiko lagni nhi chahiye’ gives writers Bijesh Jayarajan and Sudeep Nigam (also a part of season 1) a lot of room to improvise. The moment fictional elements kick in, that is how watch the show. No facts told here are real, or even close to what happened in that phase. So coming at what’s a made up story written by two writers and then adapted for the screen by other two, I find the thrill part of it quite interesting.
Abir Chatterjee‘s debut in the Hindi space, works in the parts the team is on ground and managed to hook you to the quest to find some 70 Kgs of explosives that have entered India. The cat and mouse chase gets interesting in parts and it is where the show takes off. What the show also tries is expanding the horizon. In the experiment they try to bring in the Dravidian politics, the Sikh politics, and also North Easterns who have been marginalised for long.
Avrodh Season 2 Review: Star Performance:
Abir does a good job as he enters the Hindi arena. While his character sketch is pretty confusing, because I don’t know if an Income Tax Officer can be an army officer too simultaneously. But the actor is committed to his role and you can see he has worked hard to crack it.
Vijay Krishna as Imtiaz is also a good performer. In a limited part he does get to showcase his talent and would definitely love to see more of him. Of course, he is the representation that “look we aren’t saying all Muslims are bad, we made this character one”, but definitely not enough.
Aahana Kumra in kind of a special appearance does a good job too. You want her to have more to do, but the makers didn’t have enough for her it seems. Neeraj Kabi too deserved more than what he is given.
Avrodh Season 2 Review: What Doesn’t Work:
While the “fictional” part of it now gets a bit more interesting and edged out, my complaint remains the same, WHY NOT TAKE NAMES WHEN YOU ARE OUT THERE TO MAKE A COMMENTARY ON THE REAL WORLD? I will explain.
The show is clearly taking “inspiration” from the real world. There is a PM Narendra Modi look alike played by Mohan Agashe, he even hints at the ex PM Manmohan Singh, but non take names once. If it’s a commentary, you are literally creating caricatures, why not take that step and also give them their real names? There is also a way you do it anonymously, I know. But this isn’t that definitely.
The good point of bringing in the labelled ‘separatist groups’ in also has a flip side to it. Why is there no humane touch to any of them? Why are they paper thin? Why are they caricatures of bad men we have seen over years? If they are a threat aren’t they supposed to be clever and have more brains than just being busted when their part in the script is over? Maybe you should watch The Family Man to understand what I mean. The antagonist have a purpose there, a more inner battle they are fighting which fuels their outer battle from the wrong side.
Also, the show never sees through the greys. There is either black or white. To be blunt, Hindus are good, rest are either villains or oppressed. One can see through the political inclination clearly here. And ain’t nothing wrong about it, but make it in a way that people can digest it.
Avrodh Season 2 Review: Last Words:
Avrodh 2 is a mixed bag and one must watch it as fiction only. Our opinions might differ but that doesn’t change what’s shown and is triggering about the show. You can watch it on Sony LIV India.