Aashram 2 review: A let down compared to the first one

Prakash Jha doesn’t only introduce us to the ongoings in Baba Nirala’s harem, but also walks us through the drug cartel that Baba harbours in the name of a ‘rehabilitation center’. People chant praises of the baba, calling him ‘Gareebo Wale Baba’ (Messiah of the poor), but does little for their betterment. In fact, this time around, Baba Nirala’s gotten busy deflowering virgin girls as he hooks on to the interest of the youth, using Tinka Singh’s (Adhayan Suman) melodious voice to capture their attention. The malicious designs of Baba Nirala and Bhopa’s (Chandan Roy Sanyal) intent get more pronounced this season. Ujagar Singh (Dharam Kumaar) makes a genuine effort to peel the layers to get to the truth, but fail miserably. The story falls flat towards the end, as the truth doesn’t triumph.

Jha adds to the complexity of the plot by introducing the drug angle, but adding to the complexity is absolutely pointless as the end is very abrupt. Probably Jha wants to give the series a touch of slice-of-life. In reality the plot is fictitious and inspired by real life events, hence an uplifting end could have been more inspiring.

Bobby Deol looks more like a pampered prince rather than a Godman. He is brazenly shown satiating his carnal desires. This isn’t something one expected Bobby to do. He is far more sophisticated than that. Sanyal’s character has literally been thrown around all over the place. There are times when he is a strong aide to baba, at other times he has sold his faith to the Chief Minister. It’s a bit confusing to know where exactly he is at.

Anupriya Goenka, Dharam Kumaar, Rajeev Siddhartha and Vikram Kochhar display excellent sync. Filters used are warming, giving viewers the feeling of an inviting and calming place in the Aashram. The music is suitably incorporated to set the tone of the plot. Overall season two is a bit of a letdown. We are hoping that season three picks up and patches the flaws.

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