What is the story about?
While Pankaj Tripathi and Divyenndu are confident in their roles as usual, Ali Fazal, true to the motivations of his character in Season 2, is impressively low-key, while Shweta Tripathi Sharma's Golu becomes a lioness in this season. Rasika Dugal's Beena Tripathi reveals her ruthless side, and it is a treat to watch. Vijay Verma has a very interesting subplot with a lot of ramifications for the future. Anjum Sharma keeps the pot boiling as Sharad, while Shaji Chaudhary's Maqbool gets his own arc. Ultimately though, it's Isha Talwar's formidable Madhuri who really becomes someone to watch out for. Other cast members, such as Priyanshu Painyuli, Shernavaz Jijina, Lilliput, Anil George, Amit Sial and others are great in their respective roles too.
Music & Other Departments
Sanjay Kapoor's cinematography captures the grime and deceit of eastern UP as impressively as the power and opulence of Lucknow in detail. John Stewart Eduri's score keeps the proceedings impressively boiling. The casting by Abhishek Banerjee and Anmol Ahuja is spot-on. Anand Bhaskar also composes a number of songs which pepper the narrative, with Tittar Bittar standing out during an impressively-filmed action sequence.
Watch out for the climax, that ties up a lot of storylines, references a lot of moments in Season 1, and is an unintentional tribute to numerous action films such as Parinda and Dabangg 2.
Even though the intrigues of the subplots do provide with a couple of strong female characters, the lack of a female in the writers’ room for this show shows up in the narrative in more ways than one. The makers would do well to correct this anomaly going forward.
Did I enjoy it?
Yes. The excessive use of sex and violence (including that bloody finale) had put me off while watching Season 1, and it is impressive to see the writers tone down these elements and give us a gripping gangster drama instead.
Do I recommend it?
Yes. I wouldn’t have recommended the first season to anyone, but the second season is better plotted and finds a way to reference various iconic moments of Season 1 even while creating something original. The focus is on the drama, rather than the sex and violence that made it popular. Go for it.