Amazon Prime Video, back in 2017, gave us a glimpse of what all games go beyond the game of Cricket -- with the original series 'Inside Edge'. The season finale was as intriguing as it could get, and had only left the viewers asking for more.
Amazon Prime Video is now out with the second season -- 'Inside Edge 2', and the director and the cast cannot obviously keep calm.
India TV Digital got chatty with the creator of the series -- Karan Anshuman -- and the cast of the new season -- Vivek Oberoi (as Vikrant Dhawan), Tanuj Virwani (as Vayu Raghavan), Sayani Gupta (as Rohini Raghavan), Aamir Bashir (as Bhaisahab), and Sapna Pabbi (as Mantra, a new character), and discovered that this new season of the series is as rivetting as an inning played by firebrand cricketer Virender Sehwag. Or so does Vivek Oberoi claim.
"It is truly mind-boggling, as I don't say it because I am in it. You should watch it to believe it," Sayani Gupta said.
Vivek Oberoi pitched in with his two cents. "We can just say it is as rivetting as a Virender Sehwag inning," he said.
Rarely does one see Vivek speak so passionately about his craft or projects, but this interview brought an almost new side of Vivek's to the fore. Is it a rebirth of his as an actor?
"I think every other movie I have done, barring the ones I did purely for money, I was reborn as an actor. But yeah, Inside Edge gave me an opportunity to explore the web series space and my craft. I am glad this opportunity came my way. In fact, the first time I heard the script, I was like 'Boss, yeh toh karna chahiye. It's going to be a big hit,'" Vivek said.
He added, "I think the greatness of the show lay in the fact that everybody who came onboard for the show gelled so well. There was no territorialism, no competition, no negativity. We came together for a great script. And what Karan [Anshuman] and the makers achieved spoke for itself."
"And I guess that's what the web series does -- it gives every character, every actor a space to perform, which rarely happens in movies. There are two leads in the movies, and then there are supporting actors. I don't understand what actually 'the supporting cast' means. I mean they are characters," Sayani pitched in.
The web series has also given strong female characters to the audience, again a rarity in Indian cinema.
To this, Sayani, who has another strong character -- Damini Rizvi Roy from web series 'Four More Shots Please!' -- to her credit, quipped, "Absolutely. Article 15 was a rare movie anyway -- when it comes to the issues it presented. But yeah, the web series has a lot to offer."
Sapna Pabbi's Mantra is a stark contrast to Sayani's Rohini, in the former's words.
"She is a lost little lamb in this jungle. She also kinda brings a warmth to the show," Sapna said.
Adding to this warmth is the murkiness of Bhaisahab -- who was till date a mystery to the viewers. A spectre-like apostle of the murky Bigg Boss who controlled the entire "game", Bhaisahab was just a voice in the first season. The voice has a face in the second season -- Aamir Bashir.
"That's the tricky part. The audience already have a know of the character. And I just hope it doesn't turn out to be a damp squib when they see it on screen," Bashir said.
One actor who would definitely be looking forward tp reprise his character is Tanuj Virwani, whose breakthrough came as Vayu Raghavan in the series.
Son of thespian Rati Agnihotri, Tanuj, who portrayed the badass cricketer on the show, said the writers were the real heroes as far as his show was concerned.
"I'm really glad the first season became such a success and I can confidently assure that the audience will find the new season even better. The cast, the crew, the directors, our showrunner Karan Anshuman and everyone associated with the show have put their best foot forward. Special mention to the writers who are never given the recognition they deserve. They have given us some terrific material to play with," he said.
So how will his character evolve in the second season -- given the fact that the viewers have already seen a lot of and about him?
"Vayu will see more challenges, and more layers will be added to his character. It is going to be really interesting -- is all I can say," Tanuj said.
While the first season of Inside Edge dealt with match fixing and betting, the second edition focusses on intake, use, abuse and misuse of performance-enhancing drugs -- primarily, doping.
Inside Edge 2 will be available on Amazon Prime Video from December 6.