Uttar Pradesh, for long the pet battlefield of blood politics in cinema, once again opens its gates to the Tripathi mansion. Akhandanand alias Kaleen Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi) still sits on the ‘Throne of Mirzapur’, his father, the wheelchair-bound retired don (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) is still seeking a sleazy ‘massage’ from his daughter-in-law and maid, and hot-headed son Munna (Divyendu Sharma) still uses guns instead of grey cells while he eyes his father’s chair. Upright lawyer Ramakant Pandit (Rajesh Tailang) is still hot in his chase to build a case against Tripathi though his own sons Bablu (Vikrant Massey) and Guddu (Ali Fazal) have gone over to the world of grime and crime.
Season 1 ended with a bloody shootout at a wedding where Munna blew the brains out of genial Bablu and blasted Guddu’s pregnant wife Sweety (Shriya Pilgaonkar) in the stomach.
Revenge therefore stalks Season 2.
Before the season guns down a few more key characters, 10 blood-splattered episodes continue the shower of profanities and gun power, often at the cost of a punch in the dialogues.
Where Mirzapur 2 works is in its grip and plots, several sidetracks with new characters and new alliances, new places too like Jaunpur, and a new scale of operations. All of them ultimately leading to the Tripathi kothi where revenge is sweet whether served hot or cold.
This season, UP politics also steams in, making an interesting see-saw between the ‘Throne of Mirzapuir’ and the CM’s chair.
Directors Gurmeet Singh & Mihir Desai and creators Puneet & Vineet Krishna have lust ruling the screenplay – lust for revenge, lust for power or the pure lust that lies in the loins. But whatever the colour of the lust, it overpowers what lies between the ears. Which is where the cool, cold menace of Pankaj Tripathi is more chilling than the hot-headedness of Munna or Guddu.
In Episode 5, Divyendu playing Munna also does a Narcotics brand of nude scene.
Surprisingly, for a patently testosterone-splashed theme, the women also have their day. Whether maid, bahu, sister or politician’s squeeze, this is the season where all of them take revenge, the route being either political or through more blood spill.
And there is occasional humour provided by new character Robin (Priyanshu Painyuli) and his many mothers.
Carrying the season are the first-rate performances with Pankaj Tripathi’s presence owning the show. Rasika Duggal as wife Beena, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Divyanshu, Ali Fazal, Shweta Tripathi (as a much transformed Golu), Vijay Verma (playing twins), Liliput (another don in his own territory), Isha Tiwari (as the CM’s daughter), Rajesh Tailang, Amit Sial (Maurya the cop with integrity) and Anjum Sharma (as Sharad, a new player) bring the gangster culture of UP alive with their effortlessness.
However, although an over-all interesting binge-watch, Mirzapur 2 is not without its flaws. Apart from repetitive shots and the feeling that a storyline is being stretched, Guddu’s encounter sequence is shabby, quite at odds with how a dedicated policeman would carry it out. So also a ‘helpless’ scene where Guddu has his gun trained at a cop when there are clearly other cops behind the criminal who could’ve easily overpowered him. But for noir cinema lovers, Mirzapur 2 with its brooding cinematography (by Sanjay Kapoor) is fare made for you.