Director: Nikkhil Advani
Cast: Konkona Sen Sharma, Mohit Raina, Tina Desai, Ridhi Dogra, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Mrunmayee Deshpande, Natasha Bhardwaj, Satyajeet Dubey, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Prakash Belawadi, Sonali Kulkarni
Where: Streaming on Amazon Prime Video
Rating: 3.5 stars
After a heart-achingly poignant Season 1, which took a leaf out of the events that transpired on the fateful night of 26/11/2008 witnessing the worst terror attack in Mumbai, Amazon Prime Video’s Mumbai Diaries: Season 2 returns with its resilient and powerful ensemble cast, posing a new challenge at hand.
Taking cues from the unfortunate deluge that happened on July 25, 2005, submerging the island city, Season 2 of the Konkona Sen Sharma-Mohit Raina-starrer recreates the painful ordeal of average Mumbaikars who survived nature’s wrath and displayed the fine spirit and solidarity of a city that prides itself on never stopping.
This time, the staff at the fictional Bombay General Hospital (designed on Cama Hospital) will rise to the occasion to save lives and attend to ailing patients while battling infrastructural challenges and personal demons.
Dr. Kaushik Oberoi (Raina) has been taken to court by Mrs. Kelkar (Sonali Kulkarni) on account of medical negligence. The grieving wife of ATS Chief Anant Kelkar accuses the Head of Trauma Surgery due to his inability to save her husband, while choosing to treat a dreaded terrorist instead. The doctor’s right to practice is endangered and he is being dragged in between court proceedings and media trials, led by journalist Mansi Hirani (Shreya Dhanwanthary). Meanwhile his wife Ananya (Tina Desai) is expecting their baby. Chitra Das (Sharma) is confronted with her past when ex-husband Dr. Saurav (Parambrata Chattopadhyay) arrives as a member of a delegation comprising of London-based doctors. Resident trainees Dr. Sujata, Dr. Diya and Dr. Ahaan (Mrunmayee Deshpande, Natasha Bhardwaj, Satyajeet Dubey respectively) have bigger challenges at the work-front to tackle.
With Mumbai caught in the midst of the monsoon season, Bombay General Hospital is witnessing a rise in diarrhoea and other water-borne ailments but medical supplies are running out. In between the chaotic workings of a government-run hospital, the city is about to witness an unfavourable weather, which will lead to devastation and despair.
Written by Yash Chettija, Persis Sodawaterwalla and Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh, Season 2 witnesses the similar sense of urgency and dread that was displayed in Season 1. Once again, viewers are put through an emotional wringer as they watch the selfless services rendered by frontline workers, never once allowing themselves a moment of privacy or empathy. With much of the technical crew retained from the earlier season, you can sense that the story-telling of Mumbai Diaries has thankfully not been compromised with. Although the pacing of the episodes are problematically slower than Season 1. The editing could’ve been tauter and the conflicts could’ve been briefer. But Ashutosh Pathak’s score skillfully compliments the characters during intense scenes.
Like I had observed with the previous season, Season 2 celebrates the spirit of an average Mumbaikar. Hence, there isn’t anyone who is remarkably outstanding. From Sharma and Raina to Balaji Gauri who is excellent as Sister Cherian, casting director Kavish Sinha puts together an ensemble of well-cast actors.
Mumbai Diaries Season 2 urges you to check upon your privilege and spare a thought for frontline warriors, who selflessly serve a larger cause without ever questioning the intent or the nature of their seemingly thankless jobs.
You can view the show on Amazon Prime Video.