Review | Asur 2 – The Devil In Every Amar, Akbar, Anthony

Asur 2 is a crime thriller series streaming on Jio Cinema. It features Arshad Warsi and Barun Sobti.

Review Overview

General Rating


The Devil In Every Amar, Akbar, Anthony

The Sanskrit-spouting villain who wants to annihilate humans and bring in a New World Order is back. And so are the CBI officers who are still stumbling and fumbling to bring him to book.

It is a strange world that showrunner Gaurav Shukla creates. Shubh (Abhishek Chauhan), the unfeeling monster-genius behind a mask, peppers his flatly-delivered dialogues with ‘maha ahuti’, ‘avashya’, ‘prarambh’, ‘prerna’, ‘swaiyam’ and ‘mrityu taiy hai’; he’s a tech wiz as well. The major part of his ‘nayi vishwa’ mission is to give ‘mukti’ to people close to him (grandfather, professor, father figure et al) and to strangers he knows only through data theft. For actual execution, there is an army of vulnerable converts ready to do his cruel bidding.

Tracking down the rakshaksh are the officers who have already lost plenty in their personal lives. The marriage between dishevelled Nikhil Nair (Barun Sobti) and tech-wizard Naina (Anupriya Goenka) has come apart after the torturous murder of their daughter who Nikhil failed to save. 

At the heart of it is Dhananjay Rajpoot alias DJ (Arshad Warsi), sometimes in jail (last season), sometimes out, sometimes on duty, sometimes suspended. But always on Shubh’s trail. The loss of his wife makes this personal for DJ too.

In between therapists who come and go, bosses who bring in an ATS team headed by Paul (Meiyang Chang) for the much-needed fresh pair of eyes on an exhausting case, and sundry killers who swear blind allegiance to Shubh, there are a couple of other characters like Nusrat (Riddhi Dogra) who’s perhaps around to fill the minority quota. Riddhi is pretty and a competent actress but Nusrat is more to showcase the tug of the conscience that follows a death-dealing Hobson’s choice and for unspoken gender chemistry with Nikhil.  

Rasul Shaikh (Amey Wagh) is the element that establishes Shubh’s brainwashing influence on an ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ mix of humans.

The introduction of Anant the ‘Miracle Boy’ (Atharva Vishwakarma) from a Buddhist monastery in Dharmshala brings in the ease with which people deify and turn into staunch believers. This is a refreshing track especially for the way it ultimately pans out. 

Every episode begins with a flashback to Shubh’s remorseless journey before moving to present day chaos with the good guys dissolving their differences and pooling their wits to nab him.

Gaurav and Abhijeet Khuman’s screenplay with Suraj Gianani helping them in the dialogues department, is elaborate with contrasts all over. Genius and madness, scientific temper and blind faith, also solutions in the nerdy tech room running parallel with conventional legwork. 

Like Warner Bros’ Joker or a Marvel super-villain film, the ambience of eeriness is heightened by the sound design (Siddharth Dubey) and background score (Dharmaraj Bhatt), the all-important production design (Sheetal Duggal) and cinematography (Ramanuj Dutta) which sync like an orchestra with director Oni Sen as the conductor.

Strewn with merciless kidnappings, killings and officers who stray from the rule book to crack the case, there are loose moments. Like a young Haryanvi officer who follows her instinct against a colleague tails him so indiscreetly that the consequences are obvious. Or, a lab burnt down years ago in a university is locked intact, no sign of any forensic or police activity that would’ve followed such an incident, with documents and paper evidence conveniently surviving the arson. 

The dialogues are an interesting mix of Sanskrit (for the Asur) and tech lingo like ‘AI’, ‘quantum computing’, ‘identity theft’, lab rats’, ‘digital footprint’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ with ‘disinformation’ and ‘polarisation’ thrown in.

Given Shubh’s network that ranges from Silicon Valley to Bangladesh, what emerges is a mirror. How morally weak most humans are, willing to give up even their mini-gods to save themselves, and how easy it is to manipulate minds. 

There is a nail-biting last episode where tense choices confront a vast sea of people. It makes up for the repetitive endlessness of some of the earlier episodes. 

Earnestness in the performances keeps it going. Lending gravitas, Arshad Warsi carries the show on his bulky shoulders. Barun Sobti and Anupriya provide reliable pillars as the estranged couple thrown together to solve a case. An asur can never really be finished. And so there’ll be another season, I guess.   

Watch the trailer of Asur 2:

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The Devil In Every Amar, Akbar, Anthony Review | Asur 2 - The Devil In Every Amar, Akbar, Anthony