Released on Amazon Prime 4th June 2021
The expectations from The Family Man Season 2 have been huge ever since its announcement. Fortunately the show turned out to be a worthy one. It not only matches up to the first part but it also goes a step ahead. Through the second season director duo Raj and DK continue to showcase their ability in dealing with conflicts both global and domestic through humanist lens. There are no simplistic heroes and villains here. Both sides come with their own shades of grey.
By the start of Season 2 Manoj Bajpai’s Srikant Tiwari had quit his task force job and joined an IT company. The reason for it is his guilt about certain events that happened at the end of the first season. He also wanted to make his family life work. But both were not working well for him. In fact things became worse.
The backdrop of Family Man Seaason 2 is Northern Sri Lanka. You have a Tamil government in exile who wants to take revenge on PM Basu ( Seema Biswas). Manoj Bajpai’s Srikant who is already vexed with his IT job decides to return back to where he belongs. This time around Srikant is dealing with a hardened LTTE militant Raji ( Samantha Akkineni).
In addition the old enemies have also made a comeback lead by Darshan Kumar. As part of the plan Darshan Kumar’s character along with another person Sajid uses a boy to trap Srikant’s daughter. This is only one side of the story but many other things are happening simultaneously.
The biggest take way from this season is how Raj and DK deal with the character of Samantha’s Raji and the entire LTTE thing in general. Samantha has said in various interviews that she doesn’t look at her character as a villain and you understand the reasons behind it when you see the show. Raji is someone who has faced brutality not only at the hands of the Sri Lankan soldiers but has also been abused by men in day to day life.
There are scenes where we see men trying to get into bed with her, you also have a random stranger trying to touch her inappropriately on a local bus. So her anger is not just about the governments but it is also about the patriarchy and the society at large.
Initially we see her as a very silent person with no expressions but as the story goes along we are introduced to the darker side of her life. Samantha embodies all these aspects of her character superbly and delivers a performance which pushes boundaries. Her performance in the action scenes is also top notch.
The scenes where the paths of Manoj Bajpai and Samantha cross keep you on your toes. One of my favourite scenes in the series is when Manoj Bajpai’s character question’s Samantha’s about their plans. Can’t give too much away as it will be spoilers but the scene works very well. In simple terms Raj and DK touch upon about how a freedom fighter is a terrorist for a person who is on the other side.
The treatment of Samantha’s character also extends to the other LTTE ones. Raj and DK along with co writer Supan Varma show that although the path they have chosen is wrong we shouldn’t ignore the struggles and the sufferings that they have undergone.
Another important thing about the show is how Tamil characters speak. It comes across as very natural without sounding caricaturist (for example Chennai Express).
The moral dilemmas of Srikant Tiwari has also been explored well. This particularly comes out in a scene where he and his boss played by Dalip Tahil talk about a mishap related to the first season. This is regarding a Muslim student who gets branded as a terrorist because of Srikant’s mistake.
The friendship between Srikant and Sharib Hashmi’s JK also grows stronger in this one. There is a strong thread of emotion that comes out.
The family portions don’t get the same weightage as the first one but they still work. The character which gets the most growth in the family is the daughter Dhriti played by Ashlesha Thakur. Her character goes through a major transformation in this one. She gets into a relationship with Kalyan AKA Salman. One thing leads to another and eventually it is shown that Salman is not what he appears to be. He kidnaps her on his bosses’ command. In the eighth episode she saves herself from Salman and also from Sajid. She shows that she has inherited her father’s genes and can make for a great agent herself. After that incident we see a more mature Dhriti. Ashlesha Thakur is particularly good in the scenes where she saves herself.
The comedy bits work perfectly and come across as a major relief when the drama gets dark. The scenes which will make you chuckle the most are the ones where Srikant is struggling to adjust with his IT life. There are also some humorous scenes when the action shifts to South India. Most of the humour in these scenes comes from the stereotypes that north and south people have about each other. These include food and other things.
Manoj Bajpai as Srikant continues his good form and shows why he is the perfect actor to play this character. This time around there are more scenes which portray Srikant’s vulnerability and Manoj faces it. Sharib Hashmi continues his impressive form, out of the old nemeses Darshan Kumar looks very dashing and fits the part of the stylish villain perfectly.
The Family Man Season 2 is well worth the wait and it will be interesting to watch how Raj and DK take the franchise forward. Can’t wait for the third season!