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Avrodh 2: Gripping & Revealing   Defence Drama



Avrodh: The Siege Within,  Season 2(SonyLIV, 8 episodes)

Rating: ****

There was  a  time when Bengali actors’ stardom was restricted  to their home state.No more. Abir Chatterjee,  one of  the most interesting contemporary  star-actors of  Bangla cinema,  makes  his Hindi debut  in the second season  of Avrodh, Applause Entertainment’s taut political drama  which lays the blame   of terror activities in India squarely on our neighbors.

There is  no beating around the proverbial bush here.Like Season 1,Season 2  plunges us into the vortex  of Pakistan’s proxy war with India. We are introduced to the old characters, like the Prime Minister’s two trusted  political  allies  played by Neeraj Kabia and Ananth Mahadevan. The rest  of the cabinet remains pretty much fastened to the fringes.

Oh yes,  the Prime  Minister is  in  safe  hands. He  was played by the brilliant Vikram  Gokhale in Season 1, and is replaced  by an equally  accomplished veteran Mohan Agashe in the second season.Post Modi-fication  Agashe looks credible explaining  softly  to the cabinet why demonetization is compulsory.

Adapted  from  Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh’s book, India’s Most Fearless 2, Avrodh Season 2  takes us  back to the politics of  2016 when demonetization  was  introduced overnight  and  Pakistan  was  hellbent on vitiating the  Indian economy with fake currency. The surgical strike strikes this season of Avrodh, off-camera.

Playing an income tax officer with an army background named Pradeep Bhattacharya, Abir Chatterjee makes an impressive Hindi debut . He is understated and clued-in and carries the show effortlessly to its ambiguous ending.And yes he speaks  fluent Hindi.

From the rest of the cast Aahana  Kumra as Praveena Shehnaz , Pakistan’s  agent  in India is strong but underwritten.The cat-and-mouse game between  Abir and  Aahana  could have been  given more space  in the sprawling yet tightly edited  series.

Some incidental  characters  needed to more fleshing out. Sanjay Suri and Rajesh Khattar  plotting and  planning India’s downfall from Pakistan are suitably sinister. In Episode  3 Suri,  straightfaced  , speaks  about reviving the Mughal era  in  India.

 No, he is  not joking. Cannily  constructed and intelligently  plotted, Avrodh’s Season 2 makes for a compelling watch. The  action scenes are maturely staged, the  military activities  ring true . The  performances specially Abir Chatterjee and Aahana  Kumra ,  hold the plot together, sealing some  of  the gaping wounds.

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