Manoj Bajpai, Samantha Akkineni, Priya Mani, Sharib Hasmi.
Raj and DK
Let’s admit it, I am a cynic. I never really thought Family Man 2 will live up to its hype. The frenzy with which we had all hugged and indulged in the first season was very unlikely to be repeated in the second. Or so I thought. Seeing Manoj Bajpai in the familiar character of Srikant Tiwari, was like returning home. The actor is so in sync with his act that the moment you see the ex-NASC officer seated in the corporate office, you squirm in your seat. You know that’s not where he belongs. But while Tiwari ‘grims’ and sucks up to his corporate life, the world around him is moving on faster. This time around more eerily close to the current political scenario than one had expected. There is Prime Minister Basu (Seema Biswas) and political gamble with her Sri Lankan allies. There are talks about acquiring port access and more, which sounds very familiar to what we are reading in the news of late.
Politics usually comes with its own share of bloodshed. And who better than the special task force to clean up and cover-up. In comes Kulkarni (Dilip Tahil) and his team. But the NASC wonders if they are killing the bad guys or being the bad guys by taking down the rebels? Despite the horrific ways the Sri Lankan rebels smuggle, hunt and butcher, there are many for whom these rebels are the only hope. But when it comes to politics, there is no right or wrong. There are only winners and losers.
There is a moment when the NASC has lost some of its best that we hear JK tell Srikant, “I don’t mind dying for the country, I don’t want to die in the name of politics’. It makes you wonder how these guys manage to do their duty when what their mind and heart oppose.
But politics and stubborn politicians are not the only ones Srikant has to deal with. There is his sulking wife, lying daughter and a son who his teachers think suffers from ADHD. How does this family man do his duty towards his family and country makes the gist of the 9 episodes!
For season 2, Srikant has Raji (Samantha Akkineni) giving him a hard time. She delivers a perfect punch as a Srilankan Tamil rebel despite a very distracting brown foundation tinting her features. (Remember the whole Bhumi Pednekar act in Bala, well this one is just as bad) By the time the series concludes, giving us ample hints of what’s to come in season 3, you find yourself empathizing, sympathizing and terrified by Raji.
The series starts and ends with one-shot action sequences, the climax going to over 8minutes, which will make you appreciate Yannick Ben the action director for the series. The cinematography by Cameron Eric Bryson though on the darker side of the palette, makes you a part of the series subconsciously. Raj and DK continually push the envelope when it comes to their creative entertainment. Their signature humour laced in the bleakest moments of the series is something one can get used to.
But the loudest applause has to go to Manoj Bajpayee – the man is a chameleon who we cannot get enough of. The way he takes over the series is a joy to watch. So much so, that the anticipation for season 3, starts before the applause dies.