Well, let’s come to the point straight- The Family Man is the Sholay of Web-Series. It is the GOT of Indian OTT platforms. When the extremely satisfying season 1 had ended, it seemed like the thirst was deliberately left unquenched by the makers. And, every now and then I used to look out for any information on the release date of the second installment. The wait was long. And it has yielded gold. Literally blown over by the beautifully crafted Season 2 of the phenomenal thriller which I am sure will be remembered for a very, very long time as India’s sleekest production till date.
There are total nine episodes of varying length and the total runtime of the series is over seven hours. But believe me, once you have switched off the lights of your living room, turned on the television and embarked on your journey in the life of Srikant Tiwari, you will not realize when those seven hours have passed. In fact, I started at around 10.30 pm after I was sure I was not getting any urgent phone calls and when I looked at the watch the next time, birds had already started chirping. The morning was inviting me to sip its beauty as I was already refreshed by the novelty this season offered. And I was pining for sitting on the laptop to jot down the rhythm of excitement flowing through the veins, an experience the connoisseurs of movies are well aware of.
Manoj Bajpayee as the maverick Srikant Tiwari is stupendous to say the least. His facial expressions when he is at his sarcastic best are real treats. One of the most lovable characters of all time in the history of Indian filmmaking, Srikant makes you root for him. When he grieves, your eyes become moistened. When he is hurt, your nerves pulsate. He is just too good. Do not know why such a gem of an actor is so much underused in Indian film industry. The moment when he searches for the words ‘Sham’ and ‘purported’ in google while having a verbal spat with his wife Suchi will make you burst out in laughing. The comic timing of this actor is just phenomenal.
Priyamani as Srikant’s wife Suchi is okayish and practically she has very little to do in the whole season even though her screen time is substantial. I would say she is one character which could have been portrayed with a little more attention. The kids of the Tiwari family are amazing and the girl has a very important part to play in the events that are to unfold as the series will progress. Sharib Hasmi as Srikant’s sidekick is an asset of the series and he matches quite comfortably beside the illustrious performance of Manoj Bajpayee. All other characters do justice to their roles. In fact, this is the only Indian series where none of the actors appear to be plastic, an experience so commonplace in the sea of cheaply crafted productions available on the Indian OTT platforms.
Even though Srikant has already become a household name because of the man donning the character, this season of the Family Man will always be remembered for the brilliance of Samantha Akkineni as the ruthless Raji who will stop at nothing to earn the freedom of her motherland, the Tamil Eelam. Even though she has very little dialogues, she really did not need any words to express her feelings. Her eyes are so beautifully expressive. And you have not yet seen such ruthless villain ever on the silver screen in India. At the end of one of the episodes, when her original self comes out from the shell of a timid, morose mill worker, her expressions give you goosebumps. She has indeed a shining career ahead. Watch out for the plethora of roles she is going to be offered after this masterpiece.
Technically, you will not find any superior production than this in India. Shows like Special Ops, Asur or Aarya were too childlike in handling the subject matters or creating the right ambience. While those shows were trying too hard to be superior even without having much intrinsic value, the Family Man is much subdued, nuanced and subtle in its execution and this perhaps is the cardinal reason of its superiority. It shines even without trying too hard to be shining. And this makes the Family Man my favourite Indian show of all time.
If you ask me about any lacunae, Srikant’s return to the TASC is one. A job that is so physically demanding does not just let the door open even for the best in the field if he has not proven his mental and physical fitness. But Srikant returns, comes at the helm of affairs and nothing is further uttered of the IT job he was performing. The IT boss Tanmoy Ghosh also appears over the top. Barring these areas which have very little impact on the overall quality of the show, everything is positive about this cult show.
Overall Rating- 9.5 out of 10
Available on – Prime Video
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