Duranga 2 Review: Predictable

What should have ideally been a slow-burn thriller pretty much turns into a game of predictive, uninteresting moments that simply delay the almost obvious climax, notes Divya Nair.

I remember when the first season of Duranga dropped on ZEE5. I watched it with zero expectations.

Sammit Patel (Gulshan Devaiah) — the doting, stay-at-home parent and husband to top cop Ira (Drashti Dhami) — was intriguing right from the first frame.

In the introductory episode, we see Sammit practicing how to smile through an online video, and then executing it with perfection. It’s a well-written scene that establishes the lead character’s dual personality.

As Ira and her team set out to investigate a new killing in town, there are similarities that link it to a two-decade-old pattern of killings, helmed by Bala Banne (Zakir Hussian). Investigations point to Bala’s son Abhishek who is missing, as their go-to suspect.

Soon we find out that Sammit Patel is also Abhishek Banne, a man living as an alias, hiding behind a dark childhood he simply cannot escape.

When Sammit is not faking his life as the incredibly talented metal artiste and home chef, he is the mysterious Abhishek Banne — digging up his past, connecting the loopholes so he can clear his name and protect his sister.

There are parallel stories of Sammit’s parents attending to their son who is in a coma. There is Abhishek’s old schoolmate Vikas Sarode (Abhijeet Khandkekar), who runs a private crime investigation channel offering new leads and possibilities linking Abhishek Banne to the Sarangwadi serial killings.

Why did Abhishek Banne become Sammit Patel?

How did Sammit Patel end up in a coma?

Who is Bala Banne’s accomplice who may also be the new serial killer in town?

With each character either hiding or chasing some kind of truth, the first season ended abruptly leaving us with so many unanswered questions.

Naturally, Duranga 2 was bound to have a certain level of excitement. While season 1 was directed by Pradeep Sarkar and Aijaaz Khan, Rohan Sippy is in charge of season 2. And the difference is evident in the execution.

Season 2 explores the return of the original Sammit Patel (Amit Sadh), the psychologically twisted murderer and his connection with Sarangwadi and Abhishek Banne.

What should have ideally been a slow-burn thriller pretty much turns into a game of predictive, uninteresting moments that simply delay the almost obvious climax.

With the makers trying too hard to portray Amit Sadh as a gruesome serial killer and accomplice, a few new characters are introduced. This is where Abhishek’s character arc suffers, as does Drashti’s and the other members who originally kept the show going in season 1.

In Season 2, Gulshan’s character has nothing new to offer. His only job is to track down his father’s accomplice so he can live peacefully with his family. Also, the word ‘accomplice’ is so frequently used in conversations that you’d almost get tired of hearing it.

Meanwhile, Drashti and the team of cops are made to look stupid, as the serial killer is just one obvious step ahead of them.

Amit Sadh is menacing in parts, especially in scenes where he is just being himself. Like in the particular scene where he casually snoops behind Nikhil Pradhan or when he surprises Prachi Banne at her home. It’s obvious, yet refreshing because Amit Sadh makes it so.

In most other scenes, he seemed to be either overacting or simply copying done-to-death images of mentally disturbed individuals or serial killers.

In fact, child actor Hera Mishra has performed her role better than most adults in the season.

We have seen Gulshan in far more memorable roles, his most recent being Char Cut Atmaram in the Netflix series Guns and Gulaabs.

In Duranga 2, since the crux of the story is mostly revealed in the first few episodes, there is hardly anything left to keep you engrossed through eight episodes. 

Will there be a Season 3, where Sammit Patel will mentor Anya? Or is there more to the story than we already know?

Let’s wait and watch. 

Duranga 2 streams on ZEE5.


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