Aarya Sareen is back. With a bang. When season 2 opens, the mother of three is between a rock and many hard places: as she straddles a face-off with her family, the king-pins of the drugs ‘dhanda’ in Rajasthan while protecting her children at all costs, she has never been as vulnerable. Bullets fly, betrayal is afoot at every step, and lives are at stake again. Will she go under as her enemies mount a series of attacks, or will she rise, overcoming all obstacles?
I enjoyed the first season of ‘Aarya’, based on the Spanish original ‘Penoza’, and found it to be one of the best series on the web in 2020. It was well written, directed and produced (attributed to Ram Madhvani, Sandeep Modi, Sundeep Srivastava, Anu Singh Choudhary) and provided us with an interesting group of faces facing each other. Season 2, which picks up where the previous one had left off, is equally engaging, rising from a slightly lagging mid-curve that threatens to sink and wallow, and finds its sweet spot in the second half with well-crafted, action-packed action. thrills while keeping the emotional core of the series alive.
I don’t want to reveal anything, but it would be safe to say that some of the characters from season one are back: Jayant Kriplani as the aging and sick lion still clinging to power, Sohaila Kapur as the world’s tired old woman. who has seen it all, Ankur Bhatia as Sangram, Aarya’s deceptive brother, Sikander Kher as Daulat, the family loyalist with a chink in his armor, Vishwajeet Pradhan as a hood with a conscience, Vikas Kumar as the policeman fighting for doing the right thing professionally and personally, and Sugandha Garg and Maya Sarao as Hina and Maya, Aarya’s soul sisters and enemy friends, both as effective as before.
Some new characters appear. Akarsh Khurana as the grieving father determined to avenge his son’s death, Dilnaz Irani as the ultra-ambitious prosecutor who doesn’t mind bending the law to get his way, Geetanjali Kulkarni as a greedy cop, Charu Shankar as the vengeful sister – and-caring-mum, and a few others. Some leave a mark, others feel like padding. But the remnants of Rajasthani royalty and serfdom remain such a strong scene.
A last minute dramatic change in the courtroom leads to the reversal of the open and closed case against the bad guys. Aarya’s priorities are clear. Family is everything. But if there is something Aarya will not tolerate, it is a threat to her own children. So everything is off the table. We saw this trait in the previous season: here, the writers strengthen it. Aarya will happily serve ‘khichchdi’ as comfort food and be aware of every scratch on her son’s knee; It will also sharpen its claws with coldness and consummation when you need it.
Season 2 starts off a bit scattered, as the series tries to go back for a bigger picture: Sangram trying to get out of a hole, aware that he is going to be a father, a hysterical Hina who accuses Aarya of perfidy, and Khurana and her daughter plotting the downfall of the woman responsible for a tragedy in her family, before concentrating on killing.
Meanwhile, I was getting a little tired of the repetition: having a character say ‘isko post mortem ke liye bhej do’, twice, with the same inflection, tells me that someone was not aware of the loop or did not care (viewers remember these things). And from Aarya’s immaculate pastel: even when she’s doing an eyebrow-raising housebreaking job, she doesn’t forget to carry her designer bag like this.