Arshad Warsi, Brun Sobti, Ridhi Dogra, Anupriya Goenka, Ame Wagh, Vishesh Bansal, Atharva Vishwakarma, Abhishek Vishwakarma and Mayang Chang etc.
Gaurav Shukla, Abhijit Khuman and Suraj Giani
Sejal Shah, Bhavesh Mandalay and Gaurav Shukla
01 June 2023
Viacom18’s OTT Voot has now merged with Jio Cinema. Using premium entertainment content on Voot, the second season of the web series ‘Asoor’ is going to be available for free on Jio Cinema. Three years ago when the first season of the series came out on OTT, I compared it to the path breaking film ‘Tumbaad’. Niren Bhatt and Vinay Chhawal weaved such a web of mystery, thrill, fear and horror in the first season of the series that once the viewer started watching, he could not stop till the end. Now the second season of the series has been released. This time too there are eight episodes, the first and last one of one hour each and the rest averaging 45 minutes i.e. about six and a half hours of time investment! From the confluence of mythology and modernity in the first season, the plot, created by series creator Gaurav Shukla, moves to the misuse of social media and artificial intelligence. Times are changing fast. Audience interest is hard to predict. And, over-confidence is fatal in every age, be it Treta, Dwapara or Kali Yuga.
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The web series ‘Asoor 2′ is a story based series that forms the basis of the war between Kali and Kalki. The secret of cutting off the finger after the murder is lost in the exchange of writers. The boy who killed his father has become a teenager. He is spreading his narcissism on everyone from common people to great scientists. He manages to become an assistant to a professor of AI. And, by hacking the servers of the world’s largest social media company, it steals a lot of its users’ data. Now whatever mobile or laptop is around. He has access to all. By linking the story of this demon of social media with the Puranas, the author of the web series ‘Asoor 2’ raises national problems again and again and then when the real problem comes, it does not reach the audience like the story of ‘Bherya Aya’. Still thrilled after trying.
Apart from Gaurav Shukla, this time Abhijeet and Sooraj have shown their skills in writing the web series ‘Asoor 2’. The dialogues of the screenplay are so long and that too to carry the story forward. All these together don’t show the story happening but try to move forward through the dialogues of the characters and the series fails miserably here. Due to this, the series which picked up pace from the third episode dies in the sixth episode itself. These middle three episodes are the best episodes of the series. Meanwhile, Adit KS’s character Ishani Chaudhary is also interested in the story but as soon as he leaves, the story turns into a simple crime story again. The confluence of legends and modernity, which was attractive in the first season of the series, is not attractive this time.
In terms of the cast, Brun Sobati once again became the reason to watch the series till the end. A forensic expert CBI officer, who has lost his daughter, has to repeatedly seek the help of the same wife, from whom he is on the verge of divorce, in this story. He will have to work again with his senior whom he idolized and whom he arrested last season. He has affection for a fellow female officer. Despite having so many shades of the same character, the web series ‘Asoor 2’ lacks the juice of all these interwoven stories. In the beginning, the authors of the story are interested in the personal lives of the characters, but then everyone wanders into the stock market that can be controlled by social media and bots that all these conspiracy theories leave on the margins.
Among the rest of the cast, special Bansal and Atharva Vishwakarma’s work is excellent. Harshu from ‘Yeh Meri Family’ shows immense potential to be a great actor. Special dialogues in the character of Shubh when he speaks with a pause on his face, the audience is also attracted to him. And, something similar happens in Atharva Vishwakarma’s acting. In his journey from Leh to Delhi, Atharva, who became Anant, has done a very impressive job. Sharib Hashmi’s character has already died in the first season, so this time the responsibility of pushing the series back has fallen on Amy Wagh. Amey has also put her soul into this character which changes colors every moment, especially her scenes after ‘Apna Raj Khul Jaan’ are worth watching. Ridhi Dogra, Anupriya Goenka have maintained the same look in all the eight episodes except for one or two places. Pawan Chopra, who became the CBI chief, has done a better job than him. Meiyang Chang’s casting is wrong and Abhishek Chauhan is ineffective as Badi Shubh.
Technically average series
I have rated the first season of the web series ‘Asoor’ four stars out of five in my review. This time the audience has a lot of expectations from its second season as well. Arshad Warsi’s monotonous acting seems to be causing a lot of damage to the series this time. Director Oni Sen has also dropped her as per her wishes. This time too, the effort to keep the series close to reality is not visible. If we talk about the third season of the series, which has been hinted at in the previous episode, then it is very important to pay more attention to the script as well as Arshad Warsi’s character. The cinematography of the series is very simple and the editing leaves a lot of room for finesse. Background music helps a lot in creating the effect of such stories, but it doesn’t seem to have any special function.