Director: Apoorva Lakhia
Cast: Saqib Saleem, Iqbal Khan, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Sonali Kulkarni, Waluscha De Sousa, Freddy Daruwala, Ankur Bhatia
Where: Jio Cinema
Rating: 3 stars
Please note: The review is based on the first two episodes of the series, that are now officially streaming on Jio Cinema. The remaining episodes will follow on a daily basis
Taking off from where Season 1 concluded, Season 2 of 'Crackdown' is quick to cut to the chase, but not before it briefly allows the viewer, a recap of what transpired in the previous season. Following the first few minutes, the new season jumps straight into crisis and solution mode when the three principal characters and RAW agents Riyaaz Pathan (Saqib Saleem), Zorawar Kalra (Iqbal Khan) and Divya Shirodkar (Shriya Pilgaonkar) are tasked with newer challenges ahead of them.
Season 1 ended with Kalra discovering the truth about his wife Garima aka ISI agent Mausam Masoud (Waluscha De Sousa). He is distraught and unfortunately held responsible for being unable to recognise the threat in his own backyard. He is likely to a face a trial for treason even as he shockingly discovers that whom he presumed dead, is now alive. RP is fraught with guilt over the death of RAW Chief Ashwini Rao (Rajesh Tailang, from the previous season) as new RAW Chief Avantika Shroff (Sonali Kulkarni) takes over. As they deal with their personal demons, the agents must address a crisis before them. With 80 passengers onboard, a fateful flight has been hijacked by terrorists and the agents must rescue the innocent lives at stake, while tracing the links to their ultimate nemesis, across the border.
Directed by Apoorva Lakhia, the premise is simple. Identifying newer enemies and annihilating them. Teaming up with his writers Raj Vasant, Chintan Shah, Chintan Gandhi and Varun Badola, Lakhia keeps the proceedings taut and engaging with seemingly palpable tension. With each episode timed at 30 minutes, the screenplay doesn't meander, although for those who aren't familiar with season 1, one is bound to be overwhelmed by the introduction of a dozen characters, in between. This is however, a short-lived notion. What funnily works in favour of 'Crackdown 2' is its predictability.
Because for the larger part, the show remains watchable, which owes credit to it's primary cast. Saqib's performance is sincere and the binding glue of this series. Shriya brings in a sense of naivety to her performance which is infectious even as Divya remains curious and watchful. Iqbal's Zorawar makes for an interesting character arc in the show. As an arrogant officer who is coming to terms with betrayal, he makes the character worth rooting for. Waluscha gets a meatier fare, this time around as the narrative makes it imperative for us to learn what Mausam's intentions are. Sonali as RAW chief Shroff however is not compelling enough and her familial conflict seems misplaced.
Despite the familiar tropes, 'Crackdown Season 2' makes for a thrilling, arresting binge, this weekend.
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