Last season: Sadistic serial killer Bala Banne (Zakir Hussain) who got his adrenaline rush bytorturing women before murdering them and collecting their fingernails as a trophy, is dead. The sins of the father have tainted his children since their childhood and when son Abhishek Banne (Gulshan Devaiah) drops off the map, it strengthens the belief that he’s the brutal accomplice Bala left behind. Dr Manohar Patel (Rajesh Khattar) and socialite-wife Anupriya (Divya Seth) have given Abhishek the identity of their son Sammit Patel (Amit Sadh) who’s been in a long coma after a car accident. Abhishek, masquerading as Sammit, is the ideal husband to senior investigating officer Ira Jaykar Patel (Drashti Dhami) and little daughter Anya (Hera Mishra) who is drawn to and has quietly taken a box of bloodied nails from her grandparents, the Patels’ house. There are enough hints strewn around that Sammit is Bala’s twisted accomplice and he’s coming out of his coma.
Late Pradeep Sarkar had directed the 1st season along with Aijaz Khan.
The main actors stay on and much of the same equations continue with Rohan Sippy taking over the reins as director and show creator Goldie Behl developing the Korean crime drama The Flower Of Evil. To be fair to the new team at the helm, this is a tighter season that dispenses with unnecessary sub-plots like the nose-in-the-air snootiness of Anupriya. But there is a new one of Anya being bullied in school which is weak and doesn’t contribute heft to the drama.
Duranga 2 follows the writing pattern of most shows and begins each episode with a flashback to establish why the focal characters do what they do before jumping to the present. The story of Bala’s sadism and Sammit’s thirst for blood is told in the flashbacks that are spread over eight episodes.
Unfortunately, Ira remains the earnest and completely inept officer who not only can’t see what’s happening under her nose but even entertains psychopath Sammit (under a new identity) and allows him proximity to precocious Anya.
With Sammit regaining consciousness, getting cosy with Anya and Abhishek wanting to clear his name, there is room for muchintrigue in the plot. But the telling is not cat-n-mouse enough as Sammit’s manipulative killing skills don’t weave a web around Abhishek for some real tension. It’s more about Abhishek coming clean with Ira and the cops finally nailing Sammit as the accomplice. That too doesn’t happen due to any clever strategy or investigating skill which is a disappointment. In fact, Ira even shares departmental secrets about the accomplice with the Patels, completely clueless and inadvertently amateurish.It’s Nikhil Pradhan (Kiran Srinivas), her junior, who comes off with better policing skills as he closes in on Sammit.
So, although the power of evil is potent enough to be passed on so that it never really dies, the narration would’ve benefited from the criminal going beyond just playing with his parents’ emotions and the main cop displaying some amount of gut instinct and cerebral investigation.
For now, the 2nd season remains a show that relies more on sadistic blood spill and the tangible potency of evil than on nail-biting thrill.
Duranga 2 – Watch Or Not?: If you liked it the first time around, go ahead and watch the Banne progenyget a clean chit while Sammit the psychopath gets his just deserts.