What is the story about?
Continuing from the events of Season 1, middle-aged police officer Somnath Maitra tries to investigate the mysterious death of singing superstar Vaidehi, believing her death is linked to the disappearance of his own daughter Mitil five years earlier. Placed under suspension on suspicion of having caused Vaidehi's accident, Somnath is reinstated in the police force due to the Home Mininster's intervention. With ex-colleague Anuradha Mukherjee as a partner, Somnath goes searching for the truth, and uncovers a deadly matrix of lies and deceit surrounding Vaidehi.
When the first season of Shei Je Holud Pakhi released in 2018, Hoichoi was still trying to find its feet as a streaming platform, and it was mildly compelling to see a middle-aged alcoholic police officer try to solve the accident/murder of a young singing superstar, even as he kept searching for his own missing daughter. Call it the effects of the pandemic, or a platform's never-ending quest for fresh content, but Hoichoi perhaps realized that this particular story needed a definite ending. The problem, however, is that this instalment, which ends the story of Vaidehi's death, suffers from indifferent direction. Joydeep Mukherjee's direction often seems to pour cold water over Ayan Chakraborti's screenplay and dialogues, which is quite decent considering the simplistic and slow-paced narrative of the first season.
As a result, there are substantial stretches over the eight episodes where you find yourself constantly checking the runtime on the player to see how long it will take for the episode to end. The final denouement, which stretches over two episodes, is dragged out a lot, and brings forth so many revelations (even though some of them are given a proper buildup throughout the season), that it becomes difficult to keep a track of the various sins committed around the late Vaidehi. There's even a twist mirroring Park Chan-wook's 2003 Korean film Oldboy in the screenplay, but the shock value of this homage is ruined by excessive melodrama. If it had not been for the veterans, this final swansong would have been a complete disaster.
Among the youngsters, it is Tridha Choudhury's Vaidehi who stays with you. Her character may have appeared very artificial and vacious in the first season, but the screenplay in this season is beneficial to her character, since it fills up a lot of gaps and reveals a lot of truths about her. Prantik Banerjee is all right as Rik, the spoilt son of the Police Commissioner, who has a lot of secrets to hide. Soumendra Bhattacharya is okay as Bubun, a member of Rik's band.
However, this lacklustre season is rescued by the seniors. Saswata Chatterjee hardly puts a foot wrong as Somnath, though you sense that his character's sardonic demeanour sometimes overlaps with that of another iconic character he plays, Shabor Dasgupta. He is ably complemented by Rupanjana Mitra, who is solid as the no-nonsense Anuradha Mukherjee. Koushik Sen plays the devilish charmer Diganta Bose with glee, while Sudip Mukherjee is quietly menacing as the Commissioner. Bidipta Chakraborty is all right as Vaidehi's insane mother Karuna, while Chandreyee Ghosh has an efficient cameo as pub owner Jonaki.
Music & Other Departments
Tuban's cinematography and Moloy Laha's editing are okay. Upali Chattopadhyay and Raja Narayan Deb's music and background score gets too over-the-top every once in a while.
Believe it or not, but the best portions in this season are not about the central mystery, or about Somnath's daughter. The Somnath-Anuradha dynamic feels real and credible, and both Saswata and Rupanjana play these characters as if the past weighs heavily on them and informs their friendship.
Dragging out the conclusion over two episodes gives the viewer a sense of monotony, and even the revelation of Mitil's fate is done in a very haphazard manner.
Did I enjoy it?
I enjoyed the portions featuring Saswata and Rupanjana a lot. Otherwise, there's nothing worth writing about.
Do I recommend it?
You can give this a watch, but only if you want to have a definite conclusion to Vaidehi's story. Otherwise this season is just lacklustre.