24 Oct 2020: 'Mirzapur 2' review: Less of thrill, more of deja vu
What turned Amazon Prime Video's Mirzapur into a phenomenon among the audience was its raw and brave storytelling coupled with tremendous entertainment value.
But the second season of the series, directed by Gurmmeet Singh and Mihir Desai, treads lightly, as if it is apologetic about its earlier recklessness. This, unfortunately, does not work in the show's favor.
Here is our review.
Plot: The aftermath of the Gorakhpur wedding massacre
The first season of Mirzapur saw the Pandit brothers --Guddu and Bablu-- rising through the ranks after they join the Tripathi clan, the infamous ganglords of the titular eastern Uttar Pradesh town.
Mirzapur 2 happens in the aftermath of the Gorakhpur wedding massacre, which closed the first season and resulted in the deaths of Bablu (Vikrant Massey) and Sweety (Shriya Pilgaonkar; Guddu's pregnant wife).
Plot: Guddu has one plain goal: Revenge
Days after the wedding, Munna Tripathi (Divyendu Sharmaa), who orchestrated the deadly clash, wakes up in a hospital. Gravely injured but alive, Munna declares he is "immortal."
Unbeknown to him, Guddu (Ali Fazal) and Golu (Shweta Tripathi; Sweety's sister) are alive and on the run. They have only one goal: Revenge.
Akhandanand (Pankaj Tripathi) isn't much bothered, and is eyeing political powers this time.
Details: 'Mirzapur 2' is way slower and at times, exhausting
Unlike the original season, this time the characters are not perpetually snorting coke or brandishing guns.
Mirzapur 2 starts at a radically slower pace. And that is pretty understandable, given that many of the characters are either injured, guilt-ridden or dead.
But watching the show becomes exhausting and even frustrating, when it sticks to that pace for a good part of the season.
Details: Too little, too late
Mirzapur was never appreciated for its depth or meaningfulness. It was raw fun.
Now, undeniably the second season has matured, but that inadvertently robs the product of a few things it boasted most of - thrill and adrenaline.
It is as if the makers already have you hooked, but barely manage to offer you your fix. The problem is, it's too little, too late.
Performances: Pankaj Tripathi outdoes himself once again
Pankaj Tripathi is the kind of actor who enhances a frame by simply being around.
As the iron-fisted "Kaleen Bhaiya" or Baahubali of Mirzapur, he is at once haunting and graceful.
The actor is so consistent with the character, he can trap one into believing that he had been in Mirzapur all along, speaking the same language and walking the same walk.
Performances: Ali Fazal pulls off a class act
From the ever-blabbering and egg-loving bodybuilder figure in season one to the scarred and morose underdog out on revenge in the new season, Guddu Pandit undergoes massive transformation.
A few actors can manage to pull off such onscreen transformation with conviction. Fortunately, Ali Fazal is one of them.
He owns this character and the season. His performance deserves all the praise.
Final word: To watch or not to watch?
The thing is that loyal fans are going to watch Mirzapur, without caring about my or your opinion.
The show, however, doesn't deliver even half of what it promises.
Sure the performances remain as top-notch as before, but there is nothing new on offer.
Mirzapur season 2 is merely a more cautious version of what we have already seen.
Final rating: 2/5 stars.