mirzapur 2

Ali Faizal stars in Mirzapur 2. (Publicity photo)

First things first: forewarned is forearmed, and “Mirzapur 2” was a follow-up of “Mirzapur” (2018, 9 episodes), which I was informed was an orgy of expletives, unimaginable violence of the level that might make a Ram Gopal Varma or even Anurag Kashyap shudder, and of course unmitigated sex and steam. I had decided to stay away from it when I ventured into the world of the web.

But the series generated a Season 2, and my curiosity was piqued. Really? I thought. Do Indian and global audiences really like and relish these most depraved aspects of entertainment? Are thoroughbred actors (and there is practically an army of superb performers here!) really taken in by the myth of great writing and histrionic scope or are they just, as overwhelmingly seems more likely after watching this one, tempted by mere Mammon, everything else be damned?

And to be fair, was there a chance that Season 2 would be a vast improvement on the first, because success begets greater responsibility? Maybe they would curtail the unpalatable aspects and focus on a better, more riveting story.

The technical finesse has obviously come in from the higher resources made possible by a successful first season (like the title sequence, whose music too is extraordinary).

But now, my question remains: why are we tempting the censors so much? The web is one medium wherein, as of now, censorship is not considered feasible. We would hate it of the OTT medium’s potential to tell stories of social import freely be curtailed if such glorified orgies of expletives and gratuitous violence invite the scissors and we begin to get censor certificates, cuts and ludicrous social messages just because impoverished thinkers like those behind this show have a free and unfettered reign and revel in their unabashed show of depravity.

At the risk of angering loyal fans (who will anyway watch this execrable feast of human fiendishness) of this series and such fare, let me categorically state that “Mirzapur 2,” perhaps even more so than season one, is an unabashed show of depravity. Empty vessels make the most noise, and the idea here is to clearly shock and impress rather than express something of significance.

It is almost incredible that the producers are those behind wholesome fare like “Dil Chahta Hai,” “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,” “Rock On!!,” “Fukrey,” “Gold,” “Dil Dhadakne Do” and the Oscar-nominated “Gully Boy.” Money is a strange thing. As they say, absolute success corrupts absolutely!

But my query is: Who really liked “Mirzapur?” Surely not those who want to watch with the elders in their family, or their kids? This by no means is family entertainment. But how much would even solo watchers savor it on their mobiles?

In the limited time I could tolerate this one (one 1-hour episode and the introduction to episode 2), I saw a woman stabbing a man some 12 times, another woman’s head banged against a tree, indiscriminate firing of guns, a father-in-law lusting after his young daughter-in-law and asking her to treat her fever quickly as he, the “lion has tasted blood” (in season 1, of course), a doctor who is trussed up and badly wants to pee, and of course an endless spray of expletives in every other sentence.

Yes, the actors are in fine fettle, especially Ali Fazal, Divyenndu and Pankaj Tripathi in this saga of rank lawlessness, revenge, betrayal, murder and “relationships.” In the episode I watched, nothing much happened. Oh yes, an injured man compares his organ with a rifle to his henchman who laughs hysterically in approval. Get the idea?

I never review a series that I do not watch in its entirety, as I stop watching it if it bores or nauseates me by the second or third episode. It is also possibly not fair to the show if that story or its interest picks up late in the series, to write something negative on just a couple of episodes.

But here was one show that begged me to break this rule, as I simply had to expose this sham in the holy name of entertainment. 65 minutes into this show, I have no wish to continue watching, but this expose had to be written. Ironically, the banner’s name is “Excel.” But this one is just an “Excess” of negativity as, come to think of it, the story did not move AT all from the end of Season 1, whose gist we are given in six gory minutes in the beginning.

Rating: *

Produced by: Ritesh Sidhwani & Farhan Akhtar (Executive Producers)

Directed by: Gurmmeet Singh & Mihir Desai

Created by: Puneet Krishna

Written by: Puneet Krishna & Vineet Krishna

Music: John Stewart Eduri

Starring: Ali Fazal, Divyenndu, Pankaj Tripathi, Rasika Dugal, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Vijay Verma, Amit Sial, Lilliput, Isha Talvar, Rajesh Tailang, Harshita Gaur, Sheeba Chadha, Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi, Meghna Malik & others

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