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Apharan (Season 2) review: This Arunoday Singh-starrer is an enjoyable masala entertainer

Release Date: 18 Mar 2022

Cinestaan Rating

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Keyur Seta

Directed by Santosh Singh and also starring Nidhi Singh, the second season of the series has been mounted on a much larger scale.

Crime seems to be the genre most popular in web-series. Normally, OTT crime shows are edgy thrillers about brutal killings. But Voot Select’s Apharan is an exception, presenting a masala entertainer that also ticks all the boxes of a web show.

The first season was about cop Rudra Srivastava (Arunoday Singh) and his wife Ranjana (Nidhi Singh), who hail from the holy town of Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Framed in a case of corruption and sentenced to prison, Rudra is unable to find work on his release and is forced to take up an assignment to abduct a young woman Annu (Monica Chaudhary). Complications result when the woman is killed but Rudra manages to come out unscathed.

Back in the Haridwar police, Rudra faces a bigger challenge in the second season. The country's external intelligence agency approaches the department to seek Rudra's help to capture dreaded terrorist Bikram Bahadur Shah aka BBS alive from Serbia.

Rudra refuses but is blackmailed into joining the mission; Ranjana, his wife, has become a drug addict after being introduced to the habit at the end of the first season. When Rudra lands in Serbia, he has no idea what he is getting himself and Ranjana into.

The first season of Apharan was set in Haridwar. In the second, the stakes are higher and a large part of the show is set in Serbia, where it is mounted on a bigger scale with more action sequences. In fact, the second season is almost like a new show about a covert international operation.

Like the first season, the second has a fast-paced screenplay with regular doses of witty dialogue, especially from Rudra as the narrator. The events and incidents are not just fast-paced, but also interesting and entertaining. The viewer is not likely to notice how time has passed. The short duration of the episodes, around 20 minutes each, also works.

While the show has twists and turns galore, the one just before the midpoint is not just a complete surprise, but also turns the story on its head. From this moment on, Apharan (Season 2) becomes a different show altogether.

The narrative style and the use of old film songs during various situations again provides an interesting tribute to Hindi cinema. But what really takes the cake is the climax during a Ram-leela performance that gives a tremendous kick to lovers of commercial cinema. This is something quite a few commercial Hindi films promise today but can't deliver.

A show like Apharan needs a strong ‘hero’ and Arunoday Singh fits the bill. His role involves action, stunts, witty dialogues and suppressed anger and he delivers all of this perfectly. Nidhi Singh has a bigger role in the second season and expresses her character's emotions, especially sadness, well.

Ujjawal Chopra, as a senior RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) officer, gives a fine performance as a man who cloaks his intentions. As an SSP (senior superintendent of police), Sanjay Bhatia continues his good work. Snehil Dixit Mehra, known as ‘BC Aunty’ on social media, is genuinely funny. Saanand Verma as Ranjana's horny boss is also humorous, but his screen time should have been limited.

The big surprise is the cameo by yesteryear star Jeetendra.

Fictional crime series usually have some flaws and Apharan (Season 2) is no exception. With some creative liberties, many of the motives of the good and the bad guys are achieved quite conveniently. Logic also takes a back seat. Once or twice in the latter half you may need to go back and forth, like this reviewer had to, to clear some confusion.

But these issues can be forgiven for what we get in return. And the finale builds up enough anticipation for the third season.

Apharan (Season 2) is now available on Voot Select. Watch the trailer here.


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