The Family Man 2
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Samantha Akkineni, Sharib Hashmi, Priyamani
Creators: Raj and DK
If The Family Man season one was an out and out Manoj Bajpayee show, this season Samantha Akkineni stands beside him as a fiercer, more poignant and ruthless soldier. She is remarkably reticent about her mind and you cannot judge what she’s capable of until you trigger her the wrong way and follow her to the dark alleys. More so, Samantha’s Raji is the yin to Manoj aka Srikant’s yang.
With controversies, drama and social media trends, Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni’s show released amidst much hype and fanfare. Months before the show released, it got people talking about the good and bad. Samantha Akkineni's addition just got this Amazon Prime Video’s hit a fair deal of eyes down south too.
However, The Family Man 2 is not about family anymore. There’s more to it. It covers significant ground this season stifling over delicate and debatable topics. Season 2 picks up right after the events of season one. Srikant still has an aching back with the guilt of aftermath at Orion Chemical Factory and he’s taken up a mundane job at an IT firm. He’s trying to make up for the lost time with his family but it has been 16 years this way and things won’t be smooth as ice in a snap. He tries hard but cannot dissociate himself from TASC. As he and Suchi (Priya Mani) ‘take a break' from marriage, he eventually joins back and heads straight for a mission in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai where all the action takes place.
The new season is aptly detailed, sharp, thrilling and much more witty and fun but after the first episode. The first one might be a dull and slow start for many but the makers are only setting up the pace for what’s there to come. You have to sit and sail through the first one because the show picks up from the second episode and it will be difficult to not binge watch it (unless you had a really long tiring day).
Multiple reasons make it binge-worthy. If by any chance you’ve stumbled upon Stree, Go Goa Gone or Shor In The City, you probably know how these films find humour in the oddest places and make you feel a bit guilty about that natural laughter. It is something, I would call a Raj and DK flavour, added just enough here to make things engaging. There are sharp jibes taken so subtly that you understand the underlying sarcasm but the smart humour leaves you in splits.
For instance, there’s a brief scene between JK (Sharib Hashmi) and Muthu (Ravindra Vijay), when the officer from Mumbai says “I love South Indian food.” Without wasting a second, a seemingly annoyed Chennai officer asks him, “Which state? There are five in ‘South India’.”
Likewise, when Samantha challenges Manoj Bajpayee to uncuff her and fight like a man, he retorts saying, “I have no interest in proving my masculinity (to you) in this moment". There are multiple recurring scenes like that which only pronounce the brilliance the director duo holds.
It’s a perfect balance between sensitivity and humour. To balance every punch line by Srikant, there’s an intense Raji scene and to counter JK’s delusional ‘South Indian' notions, there’s Muthu. In addition, Raj and DK’s cast make each scene worth a frame. From child artists to senior actors to popular faces on the screen, each one of them gets to shine in their respective scenes. Though, Priya Mani is still underutilised.
To sum up, The Family Man 2 is a contemporary concoction of comedy, action and drama in a homegrown spy franchise that effortlessly relays between Hindi, English and Tamil. Most of what the audience loved in the first season, will get them on the edge this time too. There’s an on-foot chase sequence, a bloody showdown between local police and rebel sympathisers, unanticipated deaths, and Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni, two gems of actors that sweep you off the floor with just one intense look of theirs. And yes, there’s a cliffhanger too in the season finale.
Can you ask more from a nine-episode web show?