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Aarya Season 2 Review: Godfather With A Gender Change

Aarya Season 2 stars Sushmita Sen, Sikandar Kher, Virti Vaghani, Vikas Kumar and Chandrachur Singh. Directed by Ram Madhvani, Vinod Rawat, Kapil Sharma, the series is streaming on Disney+Hotstar.

Review Overview

General Rating

Summary

Godfather With A Gender Change

With three directors helming different episodes and more than half a dozen in the writing department, Ram Madhvani’s Aarya is back. Literally. 

After flying out of India under a witness protection programme with her kids, Aarya (Sushmita Sen) is forced to return.  

Rajasthan’s drug cartel, Aarya’s father Zorawar Rathore (Jayant Kripalani), brother Sangram (Ankur Bhatia) and rival gangster Shekhawat (Akash Khurana) are all on trial. 

Family feuds, skeletons tumbling out of the khandaani cupboard, gangsters and guns make Aarya’s fight to keep her kids safe even tougher this season. Top it with ACP Khan (Vikas Kumar) putting the screws on Aarya, his own boyfriend problems, an evil Public Prosecutor and edgy daughter Aru (Virti Vaghani) with her teenage angst, and there’s not a dull moment in Season 2.

The 8-episode show is also narrated smoothly without confusion despite the chaos all around. 

Wearing a range of smart casuals in beige and light brown colours until she breaks out in a white and red saree for a colour-splashed Holi climax, Sushmita Sen carries the show once again as the protective mother of three.    

A few more deaths, loyalties on test and a spirited fightback in the same language as the twisted gangsters and authorities, bring Aarya full circle. At the end of which she shrugs, “I’m just a working mother.”   

The one note of disappointment is that Aarya started off for its refreshingly different premise. This time around, although it keeps moving, it slips into a familiar crime drama of gangsters. The kind seen in the Godfather series with Michael Corleone doing a gender switch.     

All the ruthless links among the gangsters and in the system (Shekhawat with his cigar, henchman Sampath with his sneer, Sangram eyeing a family heirloom, the Russian mob, the Public Prosecutor) look and behave like Hindi cinema villains. Like the Public Prosecutor uttering the old line, ‘Ghee agar seedhi ungli se nahi toh tedhi ungli se…’ while digging her finger quite literally into a bottle. 

It’s Geetanjali Kulkarni’s well-played Susheela Madam that turns out to be the interesting one with many shades to her cop act. 

There are filmi scenes like a father dying on the day his son is born. ACP Khan has the same line, ‘Kis cheez ki maafi?’ thrown at him by Aarya and by his boyfriend. There’s torture by gangsters with a plastic bag over the victim and torture by the police with the Public Prosecutor presiding over the cop station. 

The Russians spew ‘dasvidaniya’. Shekhawat throws German words around, repeating ‘schadenfreude’ like the show’s writers have just discovered the word. Shekhawat’s henchman (Vishwajeet Pradhan) has ‘Achtung’ on his jacket. Ah, authenticity.

Aarya and her kid’s friend’s father bond and break over khichdi. While ‘Bade ache lagte hain’ was sweet the first time over, there’s a tad overuse of film songs. Breaking into ‘Yahoo chahe mujhe koyi junglee kahe,’ ‘Nakhrewali’ in the background during a kidnap, and unbelievably, ‘Meri duniya hai ma’ playing when Aru has her ‘I hate mom’ rehab moment. 

But the edginess remains. New friendships are forged and new enmities made within and without the family. Hina (Sugandha Garg), a new sister-in-law has her knife into Aarya, there are chilling moments around an infant where you gasp with relief when he’s safe. 

Drugs plus Rs 300 crore and more that must be paid with the mafia at the door add to the unsettling ambience.

Making their presence felt a little more this time around are Sikander Kher as Daulat, the Rathore family loyalist and general Mr Fix It, and Sohaila Kapur as Aarya’s mother with her own secrets.But the plot has just thickened. With Aarya’s parting line, ‘Kahani ab shuru hogi’, the door is left wide open for another season of family and gangster wars.

Also Read: Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui Review: Ayushmann Khurrana’s Film Is A Calculated Gamble

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