‘Asur 2’: Cast & Crew
Series Creator: Gaurav Shukla
Director: Oni Sen
Cast: Arshad Warsi, Barun Sobti, Anupriya Goenka, Ridhi Dogra, Amey Wagh, Vishesh Bansal, Abhishek Chauhan, Gaurav Arora, Meiyang Chang, Atharva Vishwakarma, Barkha Bisht Sengupta
Available On: JioCinema
Duration: 8 Episodes, 42-65 Minutes Per Episode
‘Asur 2’: Story
Set in the backdrop of the mystical city of Varanasi, ‘Asur’ follows Nikhil Nair (Barun Sobti), a forensic expert turned teacher, who returns to his roots at the Central Bureau of Investigation, and along with his former mentor Dhananjay Rajpoot (Arshad Warsi), finds himself caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a brutal serial killer, Shubh (Vishesh Bansal and Abhishek Chauhan). What follows is a blend of suspense, mythology and the murders of some people totally unrelated. In this season, Shubh returns for revenge and this season he takes the challenge to a whole new level. Will the heroes fall apart? Will a desolate Dhananjay Rajpoot be able to get back to his former glory? Will a torn Nikhil Nair be able to stop Shubh? Will the two be able to finally work together despite their differences? Will Shubh be able to finally bring the pinnacle of Kalyug in today’s times? Well, for all that, you’ll have to watch the show.
‘Asur 2’: Performances
Barun Sobti is such a charm to watch onscreen. His performance is so effortless that unknowingly you’re left rooting for the character. It doesn’t look as if he is putting in an effort to become that character, and it just feels natural to him. That’s a great quality to have. Sobti’s character arc has definitely grown from the first season, and he is no longer just the good boy trying to do what’s good, as he is more in control and doesn’t fear letting his emotions outburst once in a while.
Arshad Warsi has a much smaller character than what he had in the first season. Even then he does decently well. He was always the fearless character, and he doesn’t shy away from that any more. Warsi brings out a character that’s powerful yet knows when to pull back. Warsi embodies the character to the core and does well. However, he definitely has put on a lot of weight since the first season and it shows onscreen that he isn’t as agile anymore as he was in the previous season.
Despite having a smaller character, Anupriya Goenka manages to bring quite a number of emotions onto the screen. She is no longer the damsel in distress, and now she has a say of her own and an identity that is subtle yet so powerful. She isn’t afraid to take her own decisions and is not just a puppet in the hands of Sobti and Warsi. It was good to see her taking back the charge.
Ridhi Dogra was the biggest disappointment of the season. Her character wasn’t too fleshed out, and it felt like she just did the show this season for continuity purposes after the first season. However, her character did have the potential to do what Sharib Hashmi did in season 1. What’s missing in Ridhi’s performance is the hunger and the zeal that an officer (or forensic expert) of her level has. She just feels so subdued and it feels like she is just playing second fiddle to Barun Sobti’s character. After seeing her perform so well in ‘Pitchers 2’ or ‘Lakadbaggha’ or even ‘The Married Woman’, this was just a belittling of her talent and immense potential.
Meiyang Chang shows once again that he can pull off strong characters with ease. It's so great to see him not adhere to the stereotypical roles of a Northeastern character and break out and do a regular character and shine so brightly in it. He is fierce and authoritative and it shows not just in his voice, but even in his body language and mannerisms. A great addition to the series this season.
Vishesh Bansal as the teenage Shubh is fantastic. He looks rather monotone and manages to deliver the most complex of dialogues with utter ease. Even in so few scenes, he is able to bring out a maniacal side to the character and coupled that is his cutesy looks, which makes it so hard for you as a viewer to hate this character. Abhishek Chauhan, who plays the adult version of Shubh is not able to bring that fierceness into the character. He made the character look a lot more subtle. Even when he was delivering those monologues, it felt a lot more forced than what it felt when Bansal was delivering something similar.
‘Asur 2’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects
The writing by Gaurav Shukla, Niren Bhatt, Abhijeet Khuman and Pranay Patwardhan is the best part of ‘Asur 2’. Connecting mythology to current-day situations and also managing to bring in today’s geo-political situation into it is simply a masterstroke.
Oni Sen’s direction definitely compliments the writing to the T. While the writing is in itself very good, but to be able to create that thrill and maintain that feeling till the last shot of the season deserves applause.
Sayak Bhattacharya’s cinematography is also good. The shoot has taken place at numerous locations across India, and he has managed to capture the essence of every place quite beautifully. To add to that, the indoor shots also don’t look as dark and gloomy as it was in the first season. So, it's indeed a welcome change.
Shadab Khan and Charu Takkar’s editing is crisp and the way they’ve chopped the episodes is also very skilful. Not all the episodes have the same timings. While one episode is around 42 minutes, there’s another which is around 1 Hour and 5 Minutes. So, to be able to know how much to show in one and how much to leave it out for the next episode and thereby leave the audience on tenterhooks at the end of each episode, that’s a job really well done by Khan and Takkar.
Dharam Bhatt’s music and background score is eerily haunting and it’s so perfect for a show like ‘Asur 2’. With his skill, Bhatt has managed to bring out the perfect balance of horror and thriller. He’s got out the essence of the show so brilliantly that you’re just sitting on your couch having goosebumps constantly whenever there is an intense scene going on. Brilliant work!
The thing that hurts ‘Asur 2’ the most is the delay in the sequel coming out. Usually shows come up with a new season after a year, but when you have got a gap of 3 years between the show and the next season coming out, audiences usually tend to forget what happened in the first season. However, much as JioCinema shows a recap of the first season, there are numerous nitty gritty that you’ll invariably forget. Therefore, the audience once again has to compulsorily watch the first season to remember all that’s happened till now, and then begin watching the second season. This is definitely going to impact the viewership as a lot of people wouldn’t be willing to sit through 2 seasons of one show at a go. It’s too much of a time commitment.
‘Asur 2’: Can Kids Watch It?
‘Asur 2’ very beautifully amalgamates the myths into a current-day geo-political scenario in India. Not for a moment in the show would you feel what they’re showing is so fictional that it can’t happen in today’s times. Its believability is what makes the mythological aspects come alive. The performances are decent. And it’s thrilling till the very last shot of the show. If you’re into thrillers or even just fans of mythology or historical fiction, you’ll definitely love this to the core. It’s a definite Must Watch. I am going with 4 stars.