What is the story about?
With two people dead in the Chowdhury household, and the killings happening according to the parts of a novel, Parboni a.k.a Rubina becomes the main suspect in the murders. Yet, even as she protests her innocence, and Inspector Monojit Halder keeps hunting around for clues, the body count keeps rising. But, little by little, a shocking story of abuse and neglect tumbles out into the open. Who is the real killer?
Yet another series at Hoichoi ends its run after two seasons. Unlike the others, however, Paap: Antim Pawrbo does not overstay its welcome. When Season 1 debuted in 2019, it was unanimously hailed for its slow-burn style and for the way director Anupam Hari had thrown various red herrings, even as he ended the season with a twist no one saw coming. This season, however, abandons the slow-burn style of Season 1, and with good reason. It was never known whether Parboni was actually amnesiac or she was pretending to have memory loss in Season 1, and Ayan Chakrabarti's gripping screenplay for Season 2 ensures that this unreliability of Parboni's memory remains a factor right till the culmination of the story. What impresses, however, is how director Joydeep Mukherjee takes the reins, quickens the pace and fashions some thrilling moments where you are as clueless as some of the characters about what exactly is going on. The character of Monojit, who was hardly there in Season 1, becomes a big factor in the story. However, the season also dares to go into dark territory when it documents how Parboni was a victim of sustained sexual harassment, abuse and even rape. Having said that, this dark tone does not overpower the screenplay unlike Mohomaya. What you get at the end is a decent season that delivers a strong finish to an intriguing story.
Puja Banerjee is the star of Paap, and she is definitely assured as Parboni. Her talents as an actress have never been fully utilized in Bengali cinema, but Paap serves as an excellent showreel for her. Rahul Banerjee is terrific as the unflappable Inspector Monojit Halder, who is as sharp with his observations as he is with its wisecracks. As the patriarch of the Chowdhury family with multiple secrets to hide, Rajat Ganguly is decent. Indrajit Chakravarty and Bhaswar Chatterjee are all right as the two sons, Dhiman and Srimonto, who have terrible secrets of their own, while Roopsha Dasgupta and Priyanka Mondol are good as their wives Bidisha and Sneha. Subhrajit Dutta leaves an impression as Nabarun, while Ananya Sengupta is suitably vampy as the eldest daughter Bulu. The rest of the cast is decent.
Music & Other Departments
Tuban's camerawork, especially during the night sequences, is decent. Arabinda Dasgupta's editing is good. Subho Pramanik pitches in with an okay background score.
The gripping screenplay, and the performances from the cast, are the major highlights.
The dark tone of the season, with multiple references to sexual abuse and rape, can potentially turn off certain audiences.
Did I enjoy it?
Yes. Unlike most of Hoichoi's recent outings, this series ends with a strong flourish.
Do I recommend it?
Yes. You can give this a watch if you are interested in twisty murder mysteries. However, keep in mind that the season features multiple instances of abuse and sexual harassment, which can act as a psychological trigger for certain audiences.