The Family Man 2: Gripping for sure but not without few faults

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When the first season of The Family Man the web series ended there was a kind of excitement and eagerness to watch the second season among the watchers. The reason behind that was that the last episode of that season displayed that the national capital of India, New Delhi is under chemical attack threat. When the trailer of The Family Man 2 was out it had nothing to say about what followed to Delhi incident, not even a clue was given. With this disappointment and the thought that the new season will bring a whole lot of new thrills and excitement, we shouldn’t mind forgetting what left for us in the first season when it ended.

If you haven’t watched the second or the current season of The Family Man yet or in the middle of it then please refrain from reading beyond this point as this blog is full of spoilers. Before we review the second season, let us first know about some important details about it, and then we check the synopsis of it, and later we will review it.

Web Series: The Family Man 2 (2021)

Cast: Manoj Bajpayee (Shrikant Tiwari) , Priyamani (Suchitra/Suchi), Sharib Hashmi (JK Talpade), Darshan Kumar (Major Sameer), Ravindra Vijay (Muthu Pandian), Devadarshini (Umayal), Mime Gopi (Bhaskaran), Azhagam Perumal (Deepan), Anandsami (Selvarasan), Seema Biswas (PM Basu), Vipin Sharma (Sambit), Dalip Tahil (Kulkarni), Shahab Ali (Sajid Ghani), Sunny Hinduja (Milind), Sharad Kelkar (Arvind), Ashlesha Thakur (Dhriti), Vedant Sinha (Atharva), Abhay Verma (Kalyan/Salman), Uday Mahesh (Chellam) and Samantha Akkineni (Raji)

Directors: Raj & DK

Number of Episodes: 9 (Nine)

OTT Platform: Amazon Prime  

Synopsis of The Family Man 2

Shrikant Tiwari is now working in an IT company in Mumbai because he has left TASC due to differences with its top cadre because it has hidden the Delhi episode in disguise of an accident and not a terror attack. But as they say “once a soldier always a soldier”, Shrikant wasn’t happy with the IT job as it wasn’t his chosen interest ever. This frustration brings tension at the home front as well and his fights with Suchi keep on increasing every day and their marriage was almost on the brink.

Shrikant’s bestie and former colleague JK Talpade always tries to convince him to come back to TASC but Shrikant never accepts it as on the surface he wants to satisfy his family’s expectations. Then one day while talking with JK, Shrikant comes to know that he is in Chennai for a mission and he is behind some ex-Tamil Tiger whose outfit created terror a few decades back in Sri Lanka. Shrikant gets his interest back and helps JK by giving him an intelligence tip through his past contact in Chennai Chellam, who was once an asset of Indian intelligence agencies.

But something dangerous and that too on the home front was looming large as Shrikant’s daughter Dhriti, who is a teenager is seeing a boy Kalyan who actually is a Muslim named Salman and is part of a larger Love Jihad conspiracy. Unaware of this danger Shrikant keeps trying hard to salvage his marriage, but during the birthday dinner of Suchi, specially arranged by Shrikant at a Chinese restaurant, Shrikant had enough of Suchi as they both fought really hard.

The next morning Shrikant who was still under the aftereffect of that big fight last night loses his temper fights with his ever-demanding and ever irritating boss at the IT company and quits immediately. On the way back home Shrikant calls the TASC boss Kulkarni and informs him about this development. Kulkarni immediately asks Shrikant to join back TASC and assigns him for the ongoing mission at Chennai.

The rebel Tamils have planned to assassinate Indian Prime Minister Miss Basu and her Sri Lankan counterpart President Rupatunga when they both meet for signing a historical pact on a Sri Lankan port deal. Despite having confirmed Intel, Basu rejects TASC’s recommendation to change the venue. She sees positive politics in all these but then Tamil Tigers were also ready to give their mission a ‘positive end’.

Shrikant along with JK Talpade and Chennai Police officer Muthu Pandian start their task to foil this bid to assassinate the Indian Prime Minister and Sri Lankan President. As it is natural, this can’t be an easy task but things made even more difficult by Tamil Tigers’ sleeper cell’s (now activated) most dangerous member Raji. Raji is a trained pilot and she has only one mission and that is to kill Rupatunga at any cost.

Review of The Family Man 2

As the title of this blog itself describes that the entire series is gripping, just like the first season the second season too makes you feel to watch all the episodes in one sitting. Even I had to watch the last three episodes in tandem as I couldn’t wait for the next day to finish the series. After each episode, the excitement to watch the next one only increases and the last three episodes are just outstanding. One can easily feel that there is plenty of research has been done regarding the Tamil Tigers matter and that is why one can watch the series with authentic feeling.

Their training method, their leaders’ names, how it all happened a few decades back, why for them Sri Lankan natives and Indians are enemies at the same level and how their government in exile works, etc. I have been a witness of that era, although only through news but still I could relate it easily. The names of the Tamil Tigers’ chief also sound akin, over here this particular character is called Bhaskaran and the LTTE boss was Velupillai Prabhakaran.

If the sleek screenplay and direction have made this series gripping then one must give the same amount of credit to its actors and the stunts and thrills as well. The stunts in the last episode or the airplane chasing sequence look near real. Apart from these two, Raji’s sequences where she disposes body parts of his boss with a high level of comfort also can make you feel ‘terrible’.

Manoj Bajpayee is just incredibly outstanding. Time and again we have seen him doing some outstanding roles and Shrikant is no different. One can’t think about getting the same level of entertainment had someone else had played the role of Shrikant, he has adopted that character that perfectly. The shades of an intelligent soldier, a worried father, a devastated husband, and a frustrated employee all have been demonstrated with great impact by him with utmost ease.

Among supporting casts Priyamani and Sharad Kelkar have done the job expected from them. Sharib Hashmi as JK Talpade looks not only lovable but also gets respect from the audience for being the only true friend of Shrikant at all circumstances. Ravindra Vijay as Muthu of the Chennai Police is able to support to the cast and the story. Even the small and supporting Tamil actors have done the job wonderfully well. Despite the compulsion of reading the subtitles at the same time when they speak or act, they still leave an impression on the watchers’ minds.

The most impressive actor in this series which we can put at par with the standards of Manoj Bajpayee is Samantha Akkineni as Raji. What a wonderful and spell bounding portrayal of a woman who has been tortured both emotionally and physically time and again, has been presented by Samantha! Hats off! Almost throughout the series, Samantha has shown not many emotions, as they are not needed at all. Most of the time she acts with that mixed facial expression of anger and frustration only and yet looks convincing. One can hope that we the north Indian audience will be able to see more of her in the future.

Now let’s discuss some faults, I found in this second season of The Family Man. First of all forgetting or forcing the audience to forget what happened at the end of the first season still couldn’t convince me despite this season has delivered really well. That ending was so perfect that I was really looking forward to watching what happens to New Delhi or how the threat was resolved amicably by the Indian security and intelligence forces. But over here the entire subject was changed dramatically and just for the sake of it. There aren’t enough convincing reasons given here for moving forward from the Delhi episode and quickly switch to the Tamil Eelam problem, which is really hard to swallow.

But then to justify that this season is really the sequel of the first one, The Family Man 2 has ISI terror plot makers as well. Yes, the Love Jihad angle has been played really well and is so close to reality, but after ending watching the series I felt it was unnecessarily added. This angle could have been added in this very season just after what happened in Delhi and thus it would have looked more convincing as well because the Islamist terrorists were behind Shrikant in any case.

By mixing the Tamil Tiger issue with ISI support one would feel that this ISI part is dragged and it has not come naturally. Just think even if the ISI is supporting the Tamil rebels then what is the necessity for Sajid to go to Pedro Point with Raji to bring the huge ammunition back to India? The Tamil rebels were already having the knowledge where it has been kept? Plus these rebels even knew how to fix a small plane and how to fly it?

Just to bring the Love Jihad part to justify that this is really the sequel of The Family Man part one, one would think that this ISI angle has been forcefully added. Just like Sajid had no active role other than becoming the transporter to bring back the ammunition, Shrikant going back to Mumbai for a day or two just to save his daughter from the grips of Islamist terrorists look so much typically Bollywoodish. More than saving his daughter, to me it looked as if he came down to Mumbai just to settle the score with Sajid only. Hence the Love Jihad part is just to balance those anti-Hindu scenes shown in the first season.

There has been plenty of enthusiasm about the character of Chellam Sir on social media. Yes, that character always enters the scene when Shrikant is out of clue and helps him always in his special way. But I am literary surprised about the popularity this character has got on our social media and a large number of memes one can see about ‘Chellam Sir’. The reason behind my surprise is that this role hasn’t got enough length which could impact not only the story but also the minds of the audience greatly, as this character appears only four to five times and that too for a minute or two during the entire length of the web series. Yes, this character had plenty of potentials to play a more active part as a helping hand of TASC and had it been shown more often than The Family Man 2 would have been even more enjoyable to watch, what it is right now.

To sum up, it seems that the story writers and directors looked too eager to convince us that the story from the first season is developing in The Family Man 2 but that is not the case. They could have easily made the third season of this web series by finishing the task to destroy the ISI network in India with the Love Jihad angle and then coming back to address the Tamil problem in the third season.

Despite this flaw in the basic story idea, one thing is sure you won’t be disappointed with The Family Man 2 for sure. This is where a successful storyteller scores huge points that despite of glitches and faults he can still make his story enjoyable for his readers or watchers and make them stay where they are.

All in all, if you have paid the subscription of Amazon Prime and have still not watched The Family Man 2 just open the app and start watching it right now. If you have watched it already or still are in the process of watching it kindly give your views in the comments section given below.

12th June 2021, Saturady

Ahmedabad

SiddTalks    

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