Mirzapur 2: All Show, No Go
SHAWAIZ ALI KHAN
The long-awaited second season of the Mirzapur series was finally released on 22nd October, a day prior to the scheduled release on Amazon Prime. The series can be summed up in a few words – guns, bloodshed, and rivalry. The second season added ‘revenge’ and ‘politics’ to this. So did the second season meet the expectations of the viewers? Honestly, it depends on how much one expected. The second season consists of a total of 10 episodes, having a running time of around 50 minutes each. One may get to experience the same plot which revolves around rivalries and loyalties. If one expected it to have an out of the box storyline, then they might get disappointed.
The second season showcased the same legacy from season one to the audience- Abundant violence, toxic muscularity, father-son feudal, and the quest to sit on the throne of Mirzapur- that compose the season. The question throughout the season was the same – Gaddi pe kaun baithega(who will get to sit on the throne)?
Everyone in the audience was well aware of the fact that after the last episode of season one that Guddu Pandit(Ali Fazal) and Golu Gupta(Shweta Gupta) would go after Munna Tripathi(Divyendu Sharma) to take revenge for killing Bablu Pandit(Vikrant Massey) and Sweety Gupta(Shriya Pilgaonkar). Season one ended with Akhandanand Tripathi aka Kaleen Bhaiya(Pankaj Tripathi) killing the whole police team of police officer RS Maurya(Amit Sial) which left the audience wondering if Maurya was killed or not. We get to know in the second season that indeed he was left alive.
The character of Beena Tripathi(Rasika Dugal) was indeed one of the most interesting and compelling in the season. She forms her survival as well as a revenge agenda and is part of the main storyline of the season. We get to see Maqbool Khan(Shaji Chaudhary) choosing his loyalty between his family and Kaleen Bhaiya.
The season showcases the political drama of the state of Uttar Pradesh. The second season’s budget was also far greater than the previous one which means new casting and locations. The second season primarily had three different setting locations – Mirzapur, Lucknow, and Ballia. Moreover, the new casting in the season also did a good job.
The season depicts the close connections between the political circle and the mafia dons of the state. One of the many flaws in the season is the takeover by this misrepresented political spectrum on the whole series. It presents certain events that seemed surreal even for a drama show. Two parallel versions of power quest are seen in the season for two different thrones- Chief Minister of the state and King of Mirzapur.
The character of Golu Gupta also has plenty of screen time to it. At some points, the character becomes annoying for many reasons. The story writers have tried hard to show Golu develop into a vengeful and determined woman but in that process, they have ruined the strong character that they created in the first season that was not easy to get to know. Instead, we feel certain negativity around the character all the time which became the reason for our exhaustion with the character.
We get to see the revengeful son from Jaunpur- Sharad Shukla(Anjum Sharma). The character seems intriguing at the beginning but as the season progresses, it becomes messy and tiring to watch him waiting for the right moment.
The character of Munna Tripathi develops a lot during the whole season. He finally sees through life and what he wants. His humor is one of the few elements that kept the audience engaged in the series. As the season goes on, we see him trying to prove himself worthy of the throne of Mirzapur. The season also includes the Tyagis- mafia family from Siwan, Bihar. The same stereotype for the mafias- guns, illegal trade, and dominance is portrayed here too.
The season surely has a great casting and the actors did a great job. But the production and storyline may disappoint a Mirzapur fan. The season is entertaining at some points but the 10 episode season could not depict and give the audience something that could not be foreseen. The season revolves around the same toxic storyline of revenge and quest for the throne. Moreover, disturbingly the use of extremely vulgar language for women to the point of the plausibility of raping them is also discussed between characters. It was supposed to be crisp and dark humour between vindictive men but sadly presenting abuses for sexual violence against women is just not okay.
The episodes, which started at a quick pace slows down mid-way through the season. Yet this admirable bunch of actors, who are undoubtedly some of the best in the industry today, try too hard to stay invested and keep the show going. Pankaj Tripathi has done a marvellous job but the crisp and spice that he brought to the show last season seems diminished. Though this may be by design, to show that his character has mellowed, it ends up making him look vague at some significant points. Everyone in the cast was expectedly great in their respective roles, but I enjoyed Divyendu and Rasika’s performance the most. From being the messed up prince of Mirzapur, Divyendu transforms Munna into a man who is now using both his gun and mind. Beena- the horny wife of the don of Mirzapur developed into a witty and mindful character.
If you are a huge fan of the first season or looking for something to watch over the weekend, I suggest watching the second season. Binge-watching it may be better. If you are not already a fan of the show, there lies nothing different in the sequel of the first season.