The Family Man: Season 2
Genre: Drama, Action
Director: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K., Suparn Varma
Writer: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K., Suparn Varma, Suman Kumar, Sumit Arora, Manoj Kumar Kalaivanan
Producers: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K.
Cinematography: Cameron Eric Bryson
Editing: Sumeet Kotian
Release Date: 04 June 2021 (India)
Streaming On: Amazon Prime
Star Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Samantha Akkineni, Sharib Hashmi, Priyamani, Sharad Kelkar, Sunny Hinduja
Plot: After trying to save Delhi from a gas attack in the first season, Srikant (Manoj Bajpayee) hung up his boots at TASC and shifted to an IT company, in a bid to give more time to his family, and try to make things work with his wife Suchi (Priya Mani).
Though his TASC updates keep coming in, Srikant pretends to be happy with what he is doing. Eventually, he gives in to his natural instincts and joins the force again. Well, how else will the story proceed?
Rest is a high-octane chase to stop a rebel plan, which is a big threat to India’s national security.
Review: The first season of ‘The Family Man’ was a huge hit, thanks to the fun element it brought into the otherwise thrilling and patriotic spy genre. The second season lives up to the expectations too. The fact that creators Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K were ready with the content of season 2, while filming season 1 is a winner. Therefore, unlike many other shows that end up going against their tonality in follow-up seasons, ‘The Family Man Season 2’ stays afloat on the same surface successfully and has managed to create a gripping sequel.
The first couple of episodes go into laying the foundation, and just like the first season, the story picks up pace gradually unwinding sub-plots and new characters. But, staying true to its name, ‘The Family Man' also tries to balance the show with the personal side of Srikant’s life. But merely skimming the surface of the family equation didn’t really help in the long run. Season 2 loses some of the fine explorative balance that Season 1 had, struck between Srikant's tremendous work pressures and his family commitments. For instance, in the early episodes, we find that he and his wife Suchi (Priya Mani) are in need of counseling. In another scene, the school principal alerts Srikant to the fact that his son Atharv (Vedant Sinha) might be suffering from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). His teenage daughter Dhriti (Ashlesha Thakur), too, is desperate to break free from parental control. But these burgeoning domestic hot buttons take a bit of a backseat when the male protagonist is inevitably called upon to protect national interest at all costs.
However, the screenplay is woke and alert about the times it is set in. For example, Srikant’s daughter Dhriti being a pseudo-intellectual, or the rest of the country’s ignorance towards the South of India, and a nod to WhatsApp forwards that suggest you keep your drenched phone in a rice container. Also, as the bulk of the new season’s conflict happens in Chennai, where a group of Sri Lankan Tamil liberation ideologies works covertly, the series takes confident strides towards realistically letting a bulk of its characters speak in Tamil, without masking it with Hindi, as would be the norm in a mainstream film. It is time we embrace subtitles. Cross-pollination of cultures is the need of the hour!
Speaking about performances, the credit of keeping the viewers hooked to the screen majorly goes to Manoj Bajpayee. He is perfect as Srikant, as when he is on the screen, which is very often, you can’t take your eyes off him. Equally good is Sharib Hashmi, the trusted friend, and colleague. In fact, one of the high points of the season is JK (Sharib Hashmi) and Srikant’s (Manoj Bajpayee) bromance, which very well deserves a spin-off.
Priya Mani stands out in the limited time that she has onscreen, as does Seema Biswas. Samantha Akkineni as Raji is sincere in the role of an unwavering Sri Lankan Tamil liberation fighter on a suicide mission, doing total justice to her role. She has not just faced brutality at the hands of Sri Lankan soldiers but has also faced abuse by the men in day-to-day life. So you see, the angst is not only against the Indian/Sri Lankan Governments, but also the patriarchy, male oppression, and society at large. The actor literally embodies all of that suffering and wears it. She is introduced like a dumb person with no expressions. But slowly, she unfolds, and you see the darkest side of her existence.
The cinematography by Eric Bryson is commendable. The skills that he has showcased in shooting the climax, majorly in one take, seem like the camera had got a life of its own and was wildly following everything that was happening around.
Overall, with nine episodes, and the actual adrenaline rush portions only beginning from episode 4, this is an unhurried, slow-burn series coming from a good writing and sound technical team. Stick with it as ‘The Family Man 2’ ticks the right boxes. Though there are drawbacks, but not enough to stop you from watching the web series!