Better than Season 1!
As Season 1 of the Family Man ended on a cliffhanger, Season 2 picks up the story with Srikant (Manoj Bajpayee) leaving TASC unhappy with how things ended with his last mission. The attack is termed as a “gas leak” due to a technical fault rather than what it really was. Milind (Sunny Hinduja) and Zoya (Shreya Dhanwanthary) make it out alive from the gas plant. Zoya has lost movement in her lower limbs, and Milind is battling trauma, while Zoya is stranded on a wheelchair for life.
With the conventional 9–5 job, Srikant shifts his priority from saving the country to spending time with his family, fixing his marriage (and not being a “minimum guy” at the same time). It doesn’t take a lot of time for the story to pick up its pace when Srikant, fed up with his corporate job, rejoins TASC, and this time his mission is to stop the assassination of the Prime Minister of India, Ms. Basu (Seema Biswas).
Before continuing any further, I would like to shed light on a trend that has consumed social media these days, Boycott.
There seems to be a desire among people to boycott products left and right on Twitter, while it maybe reasonable in some cases, boycotting a Web Series even before its release is not something that should be happening. I mean, how can you boycott a product even before understanding what it says?
The creators of the show Raj & DK have treated the debate around the civil war that consumed Sri Lanka and its people for 25 years with knowledge and sensitivity.
In Season 1, the creators portrayed the Pakistani’s in a bad light with no nuance or characterization that was necessary for it to have a more specific take on the story-line that was created. It’s no longer a case with Season 2, the Sri Lankan Rebels are not shown as terrorists in the show, they have been given a proper back story that informs the viewers about their loss, trauma, and their reasons for doing what they’re doing. It makes the characters human which in turn gives a better perspective to the viewers on how they feel about the characters.
The writing in Season 2 is elevated to the point that the characters are not treated as black and white but have a reason for everything that they’re doing.
With that out of the way, lets jump ahead with the review.
Screenplay & Writing
One thing that has not lost its candor in Season 2 of the Family Man is the writing and screenplay of the series. The writers of the show Krishna D.K., Raj Nidimoru and Suman Kumar have done a brilliant job balancing the thriller, emotional and comic aspect of the show.
The prequels in general are inferior in quality due to one simple fact: When someone creates an original piece of content, the idea is fresh, they take up a lot of time to flesh out the story, characterization and screenplay. But when it comes to creating sequels, there’s just not enough time, the idea is no longer “original” in the sense, they have to extend the idea that matches the duration of the original and they just don’t have enough time to match the quality of the original.
My biggest concern with the second season was if it’ll be able to retain the level of humor season 1 had and to my surprise, it delivered. The show retains its quality of sarcastic and nuanced humor which I liked the most about the show. It was not over the top in anyway like the shows we’ve grown up watching in India.
The show took its time to for the introduction of new characters in the series. By doing this, the audience is able to understand the mindset of the characters and also reason with the story as it progresses forward.
The attention to detail that has been put while writing the script is commendable. We’ve seen how South Indians are stereotyped in mainstream movies in India but this has set itself apart with the attention to detail that’s been put into characterization. The characters who’ve come from Srilanka have a different way of speaking while the ones from India speak in a different way and this difference was used in the show multiple times to support the storyline.
There are certain dialogues in the show that are used to call out the stereotype that people from North India associate the South Indians with.
The show takes up sometime to setup the story in the first few episodes, introducing to us the different characters in the show, their motivation, backstory and what they are here to do. With the setup in play, its an excellent thriller with some great performances, well choreographed action sequences and some stellar dialogues in play.
This show showcases some great performances from the likes of Manoj Bajyapee, Samantha Akkineni, Priyamani & Sharib Hashmi.
Manoj Bajpayee needed to be discovered by the young generation of India and this show provided the perfect setting for the same. People who’ve seen Manoj Bajpayee from before, remember his iconic role as Bhiku Mhatre from Satya and I feel this generation will associate Manoj Bajpayee to Srikant the most.
Manoj Bajpayee has fully grasped the character inside out, both as a family man and a TASC agent. He’s able to adapt in different situations the character is faced with and recreates the most organic response possible for the scene.
Sharib Hashmi as JK Talpade is believable and has created nuances deep rooted in the character. The way he acts differently around women, laziness at certain moments and earnest care and love for his best friend, Srikant.
Samantha Akkineni as Raji fit the part perfectly. Changing the way she speaks, her body moments depending upon what the character is faced with is something that’s really noticeable even to the eyes of a casual viewer of the series.
The show provided a platform for actors like Shreya Dhanwanthary & Sunny Hinduja to prove themselves as dependable actors and they’ve done a brilliant job as well.
The discovery of the second season were the kids Vedant Sinha (Atharv), Ashlesha Thakur (Dhriti) and Seema Biswas(Ms. Basu).
Vedant as a innocent child who is not caught up to the world of adults comes out as really sweet and innocent while Ashlesha who’s in her teens shows a rebellious character that all the teenagers go through as they enter adulthood. Both the actors have done the job perfectly.
Ashlesha had more substance in her hand to really show her range in the show and she delivered in every scene.
The action sequences in the show are really well choreographed. Ejaz Gulab, Yannick Ben & Aezaz Gulab have done a brilliant job. My personal favorite would be the one that was shot when the Police station was attacked by people where Raji was kept for interrogation.
Speaking of Raji, Samantha Akkeneni did all the action scenes all by herself and that really shows her dedication towards the character.
The action sequences in the series felt raw, closer to reality but unsettling at the same time. The frame is wide at a certain instance to help the viewers understand what the place is really going through and then pans to something that’s more of a point of view shots of different characters which gives the action sequences a more personal touch and bring out the panic that all the characters are facing.
The only thing that I disliked about the show is that it leaves some of the subplots unfinished and while it may not be the main objective of the show, I feel it would have been better if all the subplots were dealt with rather than leaving them the way they are.
The Family Man Season 2 is a really good follow up to the first Season of the show that proved to be a huge hit. I would highly recommend you watch it if you haven’t already.