Web Series: Asur 2
Cast: Arshad Warsi, Barun Sobti, Ridhi Dogra, Anupriya Goenka, Amey Wagh, Meiyang Chang, Gaurav Arora, Abhishek Chauhan, Atharva Vishwakarma, Adithi KS
Director: Oni Sen
OTT: Jio Cinema
Rating: 3.5 Moons
Mythology, science and crime were perfectly blended in the first season of Asur in 2020. Indeed, it was a pathbreaking thriller that kept the audience on the edge. Now, 3 years later, Dhananjay Rajpoot and Nikhil Nair's path crosses after the life-altering events of the first season.
Dhananjay (Arshad Warsi), suspended from his services, has taken shelter at a Buddhist monastery in the hills. Reeling under the emotional baggage of losing his confidant Lolark and his inability to find Shubh, he struggles to bring his life back to normalcy. On the other hand, Nikhil (Barun Sobti) cannot come out of the trauma of losing his daughter Riya. His wife, Naina (Anupriya Goenka) blames him and holds him responsible for killing their child. Dhananjay and Nikhil have to reunite despite their differences to stop the world from destruction caused at the hands of Shubh, a masked demon, who is on the run.
Asur 2 is a much-anticipated show. It was novel in 2020 due to the treatment director Oni Sen gave by blending myth and facts. The second season doesn't disappoint. The screenplay is busy and bustling with several subplots. Wrapped in a cover of mythology, Asur 2 is a crime thriller that shocks, satisfies and seamlessly brings the world of forensics to your doorstep. Spread over 8 episodes of almost 60 minutes, the series is grippy enough to hold attention despite the long and elaborate story.
Director Oni Sen does a fantastic job once again with Asur 2. Living up to the franchise's legacy, he creates a different world filled with elements that challenge mythology and technology. He does justice to the intriguing story written by Gaurav Shukla and Abhijeet Khuman. Every character gets a good background material to support which adds several layers to a story that demands your attention. From marital issues, the unforgetting and unapologetic feeling of losing a dear one, and past demons haunting the characters to making a strong statement on the socio-political scenario in the country with a touch of mythology, Asur 2 has hairpin bends that will confuse you (in a good way) and keep the curiosity fueled up.
There are cliffhanger endings to episodes. Some of the twists and turns are nail-biting and wonderfully executed. While the initial few episodes lack pace and tension as the characters are more soaked in melancholy than finding a solution to their problems. It picks up speed as the gears up for an unforgettable ride in the second half. Asur 2 is timely majorly because of the events that are created in the series. Religious brainwashing, financial fraud and the overall political tension that the country has experienced in the last few years are incorporated smartly.
When Asur 2 delves into the 'mythology meets crime' zone, there's nothing that can match the intensity, urgency and excitement. All of the decisions taken by the characters are driven by their personal emotional motive. As layers of the story are peeled off, a new set of twists is ready to unfold. There's no space for a loo break especially in the final three episodes. Several theories could be developed throughout the series.
For watchers of OTT shows since the beginning, Asur is an emotion. Oni along with Gaurav and Abhijeet create yet another riveting and out-of-the-box series that's binge-worthy. However, Asur 2 has some misses too. As compared to the first season, there are numerous new characters that make their debut in this world. Some of them work wonders and take the story to its conclusion, some just seem to be another addition.
Meiyang Chang, who plays a CBI officer named Paul, does a good job but the character has nothing unique to add to the narrative. However, he could return with a stronger and meatier role in the next season, if greenlit. Adithi KS who plays Ishani is underutilised as the character seems undercooked. Barkha Bisht is a great and valuable addition despite having a brief role. The first few episodes come across as a regular crime thriller with no novelty. The uniqueness of the first season appears to be missing before it catches up in the latter half. They are stretched for no reason and do no good to the narrative.
Asur 2 is carried forward by its able star cast. Arshad Warsi fits the role of DJ as if it is his second skin. Being the soul of the Asur franchise, Arshad flaunts DJ's vulnerability, aggression, stubbornness and dedication towards his work. He will make the audience feel the character's emotions and sentiments. There's a certain degree of impulsion and urgency he brings to the series which is worth applauding.
Barun Sobti carries the tired, unkempt look once again with aplomb. There's a lot more emotional struggle that Nikhil Nair goes through in the second season. The actor's screen presence does half the work and he makes the character believable. Barun's Nikhil witnesses moments of tension, weakness, a sense of failure and a strong desire to seek revenge. There's when he magic is cast.
Ridhi Dogra's Nusrat returns with a stronger core and has willingly decided to help Nikhil come out of his trauma. Amid this, she has to go through adversities that change her life. The stillness in her body language and blank eye gaze has the potential to send shivers. Anupriya Goenka is a fantastic actress with a strong screen presence but this time, her character is more one-toned.
Amey Wagh is cold, dark and mean as Rasool. It is yet another remarkable performance by the actor. Gaurav Arora as Kesar is mysterious, evil and absolutely fun to watch. Atharva Vishwakarma as the child monk is fantastic.
Asur 2's cinematography by Ramanuj Dutta elevates the beauty of the show. Charu Takkar's editing is sharp and keeps the thrill intact. The mystic music is a winner. Asur 2 is a worthy sequel even with some misses. The long wait is worth it!
PeepingMoon gives Asur 2 3.5 Moons