The Family Man 2 Review: Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars (three and a half stars)
Discard: Manoj Bajpayee, Samantha Akkineni, Sharib Hashmi, Priyamani, Sharad Kelkar, Sunny Hinduja and ensemble.
Creator: Raj Nidimoru & Krishna DK
Director: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK & Suparn Varma
Broadcast enabled: Amazon Prime Video
The Family Man 2 Review: What It Is:
If you are here without watching the first season, I suggest you go back. Delhi was on the verge of a gas attack at the end. Milind (Sunny Hinduja) and Zoya (Shreya Dhanwanthray) were stuck in the chemical factory. And what happened in Lonavala’s room is the biggest mystery. Season 2 begins on the same note. Regret led Srikant Tiwari to quit his job at the NIA and now work in an IT company.
In the not-so-distant lands, the Tamil government-in-exile is considering revenge, and the NIA is at the forefront of this new war to save Prime Minister Basu (Seema Biswas). Srikant has to return because Raji (Samantha Akkineni), the face of the bad guys, is no average joe, as they say. Begin the quest for The Family Man!
The Family Man 2 Review: What Works:
Now, I am neither a political scholar nor a particular expert on the Tamil conflict here. So my opinion is on the fictional story that Raj and DK must tell in all honesty. To carry out a show as massive as The Family Man, you need a village. And in season 2, the village grows. We step into the lives of already existing characters in the universe as they deal with the aftermath of what happened in the Season 1 finale.
Appreciate that I’m writing this review without a single spoiler, but I might end up telling you what happened in Lonavala at the end. First, the fact that creators Raj & DK were ready with Season 2 content while filming Season 1 is a winner. Unlike many other shows that end up going against their tone in subsequent seasons, The Family Man stays afloat on the same surface with success. The universe extends more horizontally than vertically. This also led to a downside, but about it later.
The scale has of course increased and the pressure is too high. While Season 1 was more compact in its approach, Season 2 is more extensive. As writers, the team, including Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK, Suman Kumar, and Suparn Varma, had to deal with the biggest issues in connecting the antagonist to the NIA, and that’s a very weak point considering real times. The writing makes sure it reflects that the roads these people have taken are bad, but the struggles and suffering they have encountered is not something we should ignore. It is oppression and domination that create monsters that will one day come for the oppressors. We are reminded of this at equal intervals.
The writing becomes interesting each time the two tracks (Manoj and Samantha) cross. Now we know what mastery the two creators achieved in conceptualizing the history of cat and mouse hunting. It’s not that the mouse is only caught once at the end, and this exciting habit still prevails. My God, it’s so hard not to give spoils! A scene in which Raji and Srikant are chatting is a real treat and what follows is a punch in the stomach. Thanks to the amazing actors and the team behind them.
The writing is awakened and alert on the time at which it takes place. For example, Srikant’s daughter, Dhriti, being a pseudo-intellect, or the ignorance of the rest of the countries towards South India and a nod to WhatsApp which suggests you stay soaked phone in a container to rice. Each character is layered, and no one is left in a tone. Also, thank goodness Tamils speak Tamil without the audience understanding it or not. It’s time to embrace the captions. Cross pollination of crops is the need of the hour.
Speaking of actors, Manoj Bajpayee reprising his NIA agent who can lie on a hat trick, a gifted father and brutal officer continues to be dashing himself. The difference is that he doesn’t hide his identity as much as Season 1. Bajpayee has now completely transformed into Srikant and he even breathes like the character. Watch him juggle two lives when a closed one gets hurt. See if you can find Manoj in any song.
Someone has to tell Samantha Akkineni that she is a valuable actress and that we deserve her on screen. Samantha’s Raji has not only been the victim of brutality by Sri Lankan soldiers, but has also been the victim of abuse by men in everyday life. Men trying to sleep with her at her workplace, or a random stranger trying to inappropriately touch her on a local bus. So you see the angst is not just against the Indian / Sri Lankan governments, but also against the patriarchy, male oppression and society in general. The actor literally embodies all this suffering and wears it.
We are presented to her as a silent person without expressions. But slowly she unfolds and you see the darker side of her existence. There’s a reason she’s expressionless. Because she saw the more brutal side of life at a tender age. Nothing moves him anymore, not even the happiest news. To stir her emotions, Akkineni does the smallest of moves, and you are forced to capture them because she does it so effectively. And please give her the action star label already.
Sharib Hashmi only gets better as a Talpade and is more romantic with Sri than Suchi this time around. Speaking of Priyamani, she picks up where she left off and gently compliments the show. I’m a fan of his accent for some reason. Sunny Hinduja is about to break hearts again, and I won’t say anything more.
I won’t forgive myself if I don’t mention DOP Cameron Eric Bryson, and his skills he demonstrated in the filming of the climax. Mainly a take, it looks like the camera had a life of its own and was wildly following everything that was going on around it.
Also, I could read between the lines too much, but one observation. Sajjid is still alive and is captured in the same location where the team shot Kareem (Abrar Qazi). It seemed to me to be a closure of the conflict.
The Family Man 2 Review: What Doesn’t Work:
I know many will come to me for pointing out the evil on a show as good as The Family Man. But I can’t ignore the downsides even though I’m a huge fan. The first and most important is a dip that the show takes halfway through. Much of this is to blame on the parts the show takes in London. The weaker parts are always when we are taken to London and neighboring countries. The energy is cut almost in half and it spoils the experience a bit.
The Family Man 1 was in a slow boiling broth that took its time to get perfect. Season 2 also begins the same way. But somehow it picks up speed and doesn’t tend to slow down. For even more dismay, the rush also follows the climax. Remember when Zoya (in season 1) prayed for his life at the last minute, we were addicted. But Season 2 rushed to the end so fast that it came and went without creating a huge impact. It was indirectly an injustice to Samantha’s brilliant performance.
The Family Man 2 Review: Final words:
There are downsides, but not enough to keep you from watching The Family Man 2. Watch it for a team that put their heart, soul, blood and sweat into making it. But watch it as a fictional show because it is, and that’s how it should be consumed. Ah, what about Lonavala? You trust me more than you should. Watch the show for it! Also, I’m not in the mood to be in Srikant Tiwari’s bad books.
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