Jamtara season 2 – out now on Netflix – is an idea in search of a story. Returning director Soumendra Padhi and writer Trishant Srivastava know where they want some of their characters to end up, but they’re taking the most mundane route to get there. Over the course of its eight-episode run, no one from Sunny (Sparsh Shrivastava) to Rocky (Anshumaan Pushkar) takes a trip while on its way to its destination. As with the first season, JamtaraThe second season of is too plot driven. Rarely is there a conversation between two characters that clarifies who they are or who they want to be. And towards the end, Jamtara season 2 more or less admits that she doesn’t know what she’s doing with some – and writes them off the show entirely.
No wonder then that for a show that doesn’t care about properly developing its characters and treats them like fodder for its narrative, Jamtara season 2 displays a callous disregard for subjects that require nuance and a deft hand. At the start of its new season, the Netflix series sets out to tackle cow vigilante violence in India. A Muslim butcher shop owner is accused of selling beef – a word that Jamtara season 2 is even scared to utter – and battered, after a news anchor used his widely watched program as a whistle to his audience. But no one calls the broadcaster, not even after the victim later turns up dead. The whole incident is a minor plot, in the ongoing feud between two politicians.
As my mind began to drift with the uninviting storylines and problematic choices, I began to wonder: what is Jamtara really trying to say? At one level, the netflix The series discusses how the lack of good jobs and opportunities is pushing small towns in India to get rich quick. They have nothing better to offer. On the other hand, it is about how money is also power. That’s why local politician Brajesh Bhan (Amit Sial) was so quick to jump into Sunny and Rocky’s operation in Season 1. And Season 2 extends that argument by throwing an election into the mix, with the wife of Sunny and fellow con artist Gudiya (Monika Panwar) posing as an alternative to Brajesh. Politics may be more central than ever, but Jamtara season 2 has nothing new to say.
Jamtara season 2 begins in medias res in November 2016, as PM Modi’s the demonetization campaign hits and briefly sends the Jamtara crooks into a panic. (It’s weird that it doesn’t cast a greater shadow over the Netflix series, given that Jamtara seems to run entirely on cash. (where the grades are (Nor is there talk of job losses or long lines at ATMs.) Other than that, the status quo seems to have returned. Phishing has reached new heights in the Jharkhand city, with scammers now buying phones and SIM cards in bulk – and wholesale, I mean thousands every week – to meet their revenue targets. Dare I say it, it’s starting to look professional.
Meanwhile, after somehow avoiding jail, Brajesh (Sial) prepares to fight a political battle with his aunt Ganga Devi (Seema Pahwa) who has withdrawn his support. Fresh out of jail herself, Ganga Devi instead gave Gudiya Mondal (Panwar) a ticket, hoping to use Brajesh’s assault on Gudiya to boost voter sentiment and bring her party back to power. Of course, misogynistic townspeople aren’t inclined to believe a woman — and it helps Brajesh that his family has been in power for decades. Pahwa is, as always, the most natural actor of the lot here. Unfortunately, his role is very limited, in what can be called an extended cameo. Sial also feels left out Jamtara season 2. He’s still on screen a lot, but he doesn’t really have much to do.
This brings us to our chief crook, Sunny. With the Season 1 cliffhanger resolved off-screen, Sunny (Shrivastava) begins Season 2 recovering in a hospital. There he begins to think of a new scam, like the Kaun Banega Crorepati scam than you could have seen go around WhatsApp. (Jamtara continues to be ripped from the headlines in Season 2, as it did in Season 1.) But Jamtara’s cops – new cybernetic cell leader Biswa Pathak (Dibyendu Bhattacharya), and returning Dolly Sahu (Aksha Pardasany) and tech expert Saurav (Udit Arora), who are now in Ranchi but sent back to Jamtara for a special assignment, are busy elsewhere, thanks in part to the scale of Brajesh’s operation, and a new con is taken to the wife of the chief minister of Jharkhand.
As for Sial, Pardasany feels left out Jamtara season 2, with the Netflix series working overtime to involve Dolly in Jamtara’s business after she moves to Ranchi. Bhattacharya’s Biswa is caught between his desire to do a good police job and not get suspended, but Jamtara season 2 never really digs that properly. And after being shot by Brajesh’s henchmen at the end of season 1, Sunny wants revenge on the guy who keeps them on a leash in season 2. But Jamtara keeps Shrivastava-on-crutches too busy with scam after scam, rarely letting him reflect on the enemies he’s made. I didn’t even mention Pushkar’s Rocky, who doesn’t have a lot of arc to be honest.
Jamtara season 2 puts more emphasis on Gudiya from Panwar, who is given prominence thanks to her contestant status. Even though she is in the public spotlight, Gudiya remains shy. And it’s good. But the problem is that she’s more internal than the others – her mind is constantly wondering how she can outsmart Brajesh, but that’s not something that translates well to screen.
At least Gudiya is a cohesive character. With its supporting cast, Jamtara season 2 is going as it should. For plot purposes, the very people who were minting money a few episodes ago become conveniently unable to do their jobs overnight. And while it’s okay to show that ordinary people are mostly very stupid – we all know someone who’s fallen for one or more of these online scams – even thieves aren’t nearly as smart as they are. they claim. Jamtara season 2 reveals that they use really dumb ways to scam ordinary people, although the worst part is how they park their own money.
The Netflix series also engages in one of my pet peeves: movies that get the technology wrong. Jamtara Season 2 is a classic example. Sunny’s “big con idea” deep in the new season is a brute-force technique that stopped working a long time ago. There are also fake police investigations, with a cyber-expert tracking down a criminal who posted a video online, without going through the platform concerned.
In the end however, what dooms Jamtara season 2 isn’t his mastery of technology – but of storytelling. As the season progresses, its characters come to look less like three-dimensional human beings and more like chess pieces moved around on the board. (Jamtara season 2 transforms its drug-addicted comedy-relief characters into narrators, who comment on plots by drawing mythological analogies. It’s a naked attempt to make her story appear larger than life, but it falls flat.)
Season 2 is also a clear case of a TV series being designed as an X hour movie, a decision that jumps out at him. (I would have liked a few standalone episodes; ones that explored its deep whole.) And as tensions boil over, the Season 2 finale falls apart instead. It’s a disappointing end to a disappointing season. Little things aside (which was not exactly a Netflix Original), the Wait keep on going for a strong season 2 of the House from Netflix India.
Jamtara season 2 is out friday september 23 at 12:30 p.m. IST on Netflix worldwide.
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