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Abhay 2 review: Performances save the day for this crime thriller

Release Date: 14 Aug 2020


Cinestaan Rating

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Keyur Seta

Ram Kapoor delivers an incredible performance as a mysterious kidnapper.

The first season of the web-series Abhay (2019) saw the titular character, played by Kunal Kemmu, solve difficult criminal cases with the power of his mind even as he dealt with issues in his personal life. In the second season, Abhay’s personal life gets hardly a glance as the focus is squarely on the cases he has to solve.

The story takes a jump of six months. Abhay is still superintendent of police in charge of the special task force (STF) in Lucknow. His son has moved to another city for his education. Abhay is in a live-in relationship with TV journalist Sonam Khanna (Asha Negi). When he resumes work after a break, he is faced with the case of a common man Harsh (Chunky Pandey) who murders young boys so that he can literally chew their brains.

The STF is then faced with the case of another murderer Saloni (Bidita Bag) who achieves sexual release watching men die agonizing deaths. But Abhay’s real test arrives when a man (Ram Kapoor) hijacks a school bus and abducts the children in it.

In an unusual step, the kidnapper gets himself arrested but refuses to divulge his name or share any information despite undergoing brutal treatment at the hands of the police. The man only wishes to speak with Abhay, whom he says he admires. He presents Abhay the challenge of finishing one criminal after another in exchange for a few of the kids each time. What is he up to?

Another difference in this season of the web-series is the character of Abhay itself. It might sound crazy to play with the nature of your central character in the very next season of a show, but the makers have taken that risk.

The outcome is not great. It does seem a strange idea to denude your principal character of all emotion and almost any reaction. This results in Kemmu having to go about his tasks in a robotic manner. It is only the actor’s body language that keeps you invested in Abhay.

Abhay (Season 2) also suffers from structural problems. The main plot is about the abductor and how he forces the STF to dance to his tune in return for the lives of the children. So the idea behind including the stories of Harsh and Saloni remains unclear. If they were meant to establish the working style of the STF, that was already done in the first season. If the makers still thought it important, one episode could have done the trick.

The show does have few things going for it though. The thrilling background score and the creative camerawork keep you glued to your screen. But the biggest plus is the performances.

Chunky Pandey

Ram Kapoor delivers an incredible performance as the unnamed villain. While he certainly looks menacing, he also makes you laugh from time to time with his biting sarcasm. And, of course, he keeps the mystery surrounding the character alive. Kapoor had never played such a villain before and we now wonder why no one thought to cast him.

Nidhi Singh, as the cop Khushboo, and Asha Negi chip in with fine performances. Chunky Pandey is there in just one episode but he is unforgettable as he brings alive the challenging character of a psychotic cannibal. Similarly, the other negative characters played by Indraneil Sengupta, Bidita Bag, Raghav Juyal and Asheema Vardaan are also memorable despite their limited screen time.

In short, it is the performances that save the day for Abhay (Season 2). We can only hope that the makers ensure that the third season, of which they drop a hint at the end, is high on content as well.

Abhay (Season 2) is now available on the Zee5 streaming platform.

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