In the ensuing two years, “Mirzapur” the series which first streamed on Amazon Prime Video in 2018 has found its own cult following. Directors Gurmeet Singh and Mihir Desai know what reeled them in and are serving more of it in season 2 as well.
‘Mirzapur’ 2’ has that ‘killer’ combination of power and politics that largely works. There are umpteenth characters, each having their own issues but not necessarily a deeper subtext. While we have seen such revenge dramas in the same UP hinterland many times before (on big and small screen), ‘Mirzapur’ 2’ is a welcome addition. It fires in the right direction and hits the target in delivering a gritty and gruesome tale of intense rivalries.
Gundas, Gaalis & Golis – welcome to ‘Mirzapur’, once again. Nothing has changed here. Except the rising body count that has intensified the battle lines in this bloody badland. And as always, Munna (Divyendu Sharma) is at the center of all the killings that have become an all familiar calling card for ‘Mirzapur’. But what’s a UP hinterland if not high on political vendettas and pistols firing up a storm at every given opportunity or the lack of it.
Season 2 of ‘Mirzapur’ picks up from where the first one ended. It kickstarts with even more violence that instantly grabs your attention. Creator Puneet Krishna and his Directors Gurmmeet Singh & Mihir Desai continue to take bold decisions, adding more shock value to this already grim revenge saga. And if you have seen season one and enjoyed its dark narrative then the new season certainly ups the ante. It does so with a more seasoned handling. Since there is a certain relatability with the characters, it’s easier to empathise with their pain, this time around. The plot has simmered to a point where the revenge is inevitable and this time it’s a battle of equals.
The bustling bylanes of UP’s politically charged towns once again add their rustic flavour and realism that make for voyeuristic pleasures. They are effectively brought to life DOP by Sanjay Kapoor. The dialogues as usual laced with expletives are mouthed mostly by men, who seem to know no other way to communicate.
Pankaj Tripathi continues to lead the show with his stoic expressions, but the actor so subtly lets out witty one-liners in spurts that it squarely underlines the conflict within. A lesser actor would look repetitive, but Pankaj has an innate quality of owning his character with a natural charm, like no other. Ali Fazal in his beefed-up avatar is suitably cast as Guddu, but doesn’t do a lot more than what we haven’t seen him do before. Divyendu Sharma clearly seems to have the most fun playing the trigger-happy Munna – a spoilt brat and a loose cannon responsible for most of the ruckus in ‘Mirzapur’. At times, the excesses of his character seem quite unreal. The show’s stellar cast is well-lit with strong performers like Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Anjum Sharma, Rajesh Tailang and veteran Kulbhushan Kharbanda, who plays the creepy Bauji with subtlety. Kharbanda is excellent as the family’s patriarch, who talks less but speaks more with his mere presence. This season gives its women more scope. Some are seething with anger while others are toeing the line. Rasika Dugal stands out with her restrained act as a woman, who is forever in the crosshairs of her household’s toxic male fiefdom. Sheeba Chaddha, Harshita Gaur and Shweta Tripathi successfully manage to bring out the inner strength and vulnerability of their characters. The show’s overall casting by ‘Casting Bay’ is appropriate.