City of Dreams S2 Review

Nagesh Kukunoor's political drama fares better in its second outing

Rony Patra -

City of Dreams S2 Review
Platform
Disney+ Hotstar
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Format
Original Series Review
Movie Rated
18+
Genre
DRAMA,POLITICAL,THRILLER
Language
Hindi

What is the story about?

After killing her volatile brother Ashish and rebelling against her strongman father Ameya, Poornima Gaikwad is now the interim Chief Minister of Maharashtra. With the help of ex-policeman Wasim Khan, loyal accountant Purushottam and wizened politician Jagdish Gurav, Poornima attempts to govern the state and gear up for the forthcoming elections, while trying to fix her failing marriage. However, a wounded Ameya decides to exact revenge from his daughter.

Analysis

One of the biggest drawbacks about Season 1 of City of Dreams was how creator and director Nagesh Kukunoor had stuffed the story with too many subplots that often took the focus away from the story of the Gaikwad family. This anomaly is corrected a lot in Season 2, with Kukunoor and co-writer Rohit Banawlikar letting the core conflicts between Poornima and Ameya bubble at all times, without sacrificing the slow-burn nature of the narrative. While the first four episodes progress sluggishly, the pace picks up dramatically in the next six episodes, with a climactic episode that is brilliantly staged. Apart from one particular track, which sticks out like a sore thumb, the subplots in focus here are all initimately tied to the central dogfight, and that is what makes City of Dreams engaging in its second avatar.

Performances

The entire cast puts up a great show. Priya Bapat is in terrific form as Poornima, portraying her with a mix of cockiness, arrogance, stubbornness and righteousness. The great Atul Kulkarni is great in a scenery-chewing turn as Ameya, showing how even a wheelchair cannot stop him from being manipulative and cruel. Eijaz Khan reins in his bombastic Wasim Khan this time around, but he is great in the last couple of episodes. Sachin Pilgaonkar is chameleon-like as Gurav. Sandeep Kulkarni is dependable as the hapless Purushottam, while Flora Saini becomes the femme fatale again as Asha. Shishir Sharma is menacing yet again as industrialist Ramnik Mehta. Addinath M. Kothare shines as Mahesh Aravle, Poornima's college crush.
 
I didn't care much for their track, which often takes away focus from the main story, but both Ankur Rathee and Shriyam Bhagnani are charming to watch as Arvind and Tanya.

Music & Other Departments

Tapas Relia's background score is bombastic as usual. Sabrina Singh's production design is decent.

Highlights

The climactic episode is filmed with impressive urgency.

Drawbacks

  • The Arvind-Tanya track sticks out like a sore thumb.
  • Certain scenes depicting torture might not be suitable for family audiences.

Did I enjoy it?

Yes, mostly.

Do I recommend it?

It's easily a gripping watch.


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