Picking up where season one left off, with an injured Guddu Pandit (Ali Fazal), a heartbroken Golu (Shweta Tripathi Sharma) and a shattered Dimpy (Harshita Gaur) hiding out from the Munna Tripathi (Divyenndu). Munna's brutal attack on a wedding killed Guddu's brother Bablu (Vikrant Massey) and Golu's sister Sweety (Shriya Pilgaonkar), who was pregnant with Guddu's child at the time.
Like the first season, the 10-episode second season is drenched in enmity and revenge, ambition and greed, lust and crime. In this lawless region, guns rules and the body count keeps piling up. The language is as colourful as Akhandanand Tripathi/Kaleen Bhai's (Pankaj Tripathi) carpet designs, a front for all his illegal businesses.
Surviving five bullet wounds, Munna believes he is invincible. But he has unfinished business and it takes all of Kaleen Bhai's smarts to keep his son in check. Munna wants Guddu dead and the throne of Mirzapur. Kaleen Bhai does not think his son is ready for the responsibility. Munna's grandfather (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) does not think his grandson is ready. Kaleen Bhaiya's wife, Beena (Rasika Dugal), has her own problems with the Tripathi men. Fuelled by her desire for vengeance, she uses all her guile to safeguard her future.
Guddu and Golu are emotionally distraught, but their end game is clear " an eye for an eye. But first, Guddu must heal mentally, emotionally and physically. Golu has to find the grit to fight the unfair fight and recalibrate to emotional core. Fortunately Dimpy gets normalcy restored to her life, though the introduction of a colourful and glib fixer called Robin is a distraction, not least because of the thick-framed spectacles and printed shirts. Priyanshu Painyuli plays the street-smart money manager (whose office quite reminded me of Saul Goodman's den in Breaking Bad).
Robin is one of a handful of new characters introduced in season two. Vijay Varma plays 'Chhote' Tyagi and Lilliput plays his father, Dadda Tyagi, a car-jacker and liquor smuggler who become potential new partners as the Tripathis and Guddu/Golu look to expand their guns and drugs business. The Chief Minister's daughter Madhuri (Isha Talwar) is another new player.
At first Anjum Sharma's Sharad Shukla, also thirsting for retribution after his father Rati Shankar was killed by Guddu, suggests that he would be the catalyst for some clever manoeuvrings. Though he largely pauses for thought before pulling the trigger, Sharad also turns into a flip-flopping associate. There are cops lurking around too, like Amit Sial's Maurya, appearing empowered but emerging incompetent.
As Guddu and Golu turn into Bonnie and Clyde, can there be any winner in this bloody pursuit for the throne of Mirzapur where machismo trumps strategy?
Writers Puneet Krishna and Vineet Krishna pack the season with plenty of drama and come out guns blazing. The season, directed by Gurmmeet Singh and Mihir Desai, peaks mid-way. The latter episodes are dilated with side plots such as the status of widows, power play in politics and expectations for loyalty from employees. Within all of this one sometimes loses sight of the main thread " enmity between Guddu and Munna.
The production design and scale has gone up and creates an immersive world populated with actors who are deeply entrenched in their parts.
Shweta Tripathi and Ali Fazal bring out the emotional angst and deep pain of their hopeless situation. In a leap from the first season, Fazal brings a reflective layer to Guddu. Pankaj Tripathi makes every scene count as he subtly portrays Kaleen Bhai's disappointments, victories and the ability to turn a blind eye to the mess in his own home. Rasika Dugal's Beena crackles and continues to be one of the more fascinating characters. As the explosive Munna, Divyenndu is all kinds of evil, and chaos and, completely entertaining.
Season 2 ends with what we have come to expect when a game of thrones is afoot " some will die, some will live, and the show will go on.
Mirzapur Season 2 is streaming on Amazon Prime Video India.