Updated: Jun 8
Firstly let me get this out of my system - "Telugolla mazaaka"
If you didn't understand what it means, it's fine move ahead. If you did understand what it means, then I know deep down you are as proud as I am when Baahubali, The true Pan India Blockbuster Film was directed by Rajamouli. Now, Family Man, The true Pan India Blockbuster Series has been directed by Raj and DK.
It is no exaggeration to say that The Family Man Season 2 has been the most anticipated series over the entire pandemic starting last year. The show and its makers rightly earned all the hype by delivering a stupendous pan India Original series in the form of Season 1. The first season ended with a cliffhanger, a question of relationship and some open threads that could really set the anticipation high for the subsequent season. The second season only raises the bar high with their writing especially.
In one of the interviews, Raj & DK mentioned that they do not like to take a particular stance with their content. They feel that it is necessary to present all perspectives to the audience and then it is left to the audience what stance they want to take if at all they want to take. That is why you empathise with the characters of Moosa & Sajid in the first season as well to a considerable magnitude. This makes the entire show balanced.
It contains plot elements but not exactly spoilers, so decide if you want to continue reading if you haven't watched the show yet.
Let me list down the 3 reasons why I feel it is balanced
The plot is operating at so many levels that it is difficult to maintain the right balance and sensitivity. There is a geo-political level ( Indian government wanting control over the Northern part of Srilanka to ensure we keep Chinese at bay from the Indian Ocean). There is a political level (historically the state of Tamil Nadu has never welcomed any National Party ruling them, hence the Indian PM wants to rally support for her party through a bilateral talk with Srilankan President in Chennai). There is a Socioeconomic level (The entire Srilankan Tamil Rebels fighting for their rights and economic status trying to garner support from International governments so that their status is removed from Government in Exile). There is a National Sovereignty level (The Defence Minister and Chief of Security trying to get favours from London government and the Leader of Srilankan Tamil rebels). There is a Terrorism angle (Sameer killing the Chief of Defence of Pakistan and befriending the Tamil rebels along with Sajid for Zulfikar 2.0). There is a cultural angle (TASC employees from Mumbai working along with TASC Chennai and the common differences thereof). There is a relationship angle (Suchi & Arvind, Suchi & Tiwari, Dhriti & Kalyan). There is a personal vendetta angle (Raji's character arc & Rebel President joining hands with Sameer). There is a personal introspection angle (Tiwari's character arc, Milind's character arc, Zoya's character treatment). Did you get an idea of how many levels the script is operating at? All these combine together at the same plot points and the writing is just brilliant to accommodate all this in a such good manner.
There are a lots of characters and each of them have different hidden motives that moves the plot ahead with enough twists & turns. Raji wants to take revenge for the kind of treatment her family and she were subjected to. Indian Prime Minister Basu has hidden motives of not displaying her personality as someone who is scared of threat. Hence, despite major security concerns she doesn't shift the meeting location from Chennai.Bhaskaran, Tamil Rebels leader quits his position and shakes hands with Sameer from ISIS to take revenge against his brother's death. Sajid has a personal vendetta of destroying Srikant Tiwari along with the plan to destroy India with Zulfiqar 2.0. Deepan secretly is plotting against his own leader Bhaskaran to ensure their government comes back to power through peace & dialogue. Srikant has taken up a 9 to 5 job and trying everything in his capacity to spend time with family and make them happy. Deep down, he knows that his job sucks and he wants to be back in action along with JK in TASC. As much as her parents don't reveal what they are going through as a couple, Dhriti also doesn't reveal anything about her relationship with Kalyan calling it privacy. Arvind & Suchi know that something has gone sour in their relationship but they do not want to address & talk about it openly. Even a local MLA who talks to Subbu has a hidden motive of confirming his location and not actually supporting him. Milind & Zoya are still suffering from the scars of Orion Chemicals. One physically and the other mentally. This affects the way they think and deal with situations this time. Security Chief wants to save the country from threat but is never really open to admitting their defeat even though it adversely impacts families and loved ones for life. I mean a lot of characters and a lot of hidden motives converging at one single plot point is very difficult to achieve in writing. They in fact pay beautiful homages to all those characters who martyred saving their motherland. Actually the writers even pay homage to the great SP Balasubramaniam garu. If you too got it, mention it in the comments.
The 3rd simple reason is the humour thread that runs throughout the series. There are no dull moments in any episode. Be it the Wolf of Wall Street influenced 28 year old boss or the marriage counsellor. The North Indian notion that all South Indians are the same or the tussle between wanting to listen Hindi or Tamil songs while working. Atharv's annoying musical instruments and hypnosis or a conversation between JK & Tiwari while Tiwari is on bed. The differences in languages and culture are touched upon with grace & dignity harming no-one in particular. Putting your wet mobile phone in rice to recover or JK flirting with unmarried women. The middle class mentality of JK and an upgraded lifestyle of Tiwari at the hotel or discussing Tiwari's family life in a moving car in Chennai in the middle of action. The undercurrent humour is brilliantly laced with issues related to geo-politics and International security.
All these combine together giving us various perspectives of the same incident. They do not really take a particular stance. If we as an audience identify ourselves with one character then we might end up taking that character's stance.
Gripping screenplay is essential for keeping the audience hooked to the screens especially in a web series streaming on an OTT platform because audience have the luxury of pausing and stopping any moment. The astonishing part of the writing is that it maintains tension and progression with every passing scene. There are no dull moments and keep you invested.
The main reason for this along with the writing is the stupendous performances by every cast member. Manoj Bajpayee as Srikant Tiwari is effortless and breezes through the show with a class of panache that is so hard to achieve otherwise. Priyamani and the 2 kids do complete justice to their role by creating as many mental struggles as possible for Tiwari. JK Talpade is again fantastic like in the previous installment. The biggest surprise of course has to be Samantha as Raji. The way she carried suppressed anger waiting to burst forth is something that we have never seen in Samantha as an actor. She has abs, is poking eyes, chopping human organs and flying a fighter plane. WoW! It's hard to believe if that is even Sam that we saw. The Prime Minister, Defence Minister, the TASC team in Tamil Nadu, and Srilankan Rebels all of them did a praiseworthy job.
The screenplay contains a lot of slick action and one shot action choreography. The DOP and Action choreographers have pulled it off very well.
The series ends with another threat lurking large over national security. We know that Srikant Tiwari and JK will be back with another new set of team members to save our country again. Family Man needs to be made into a 6-7 season series for sure. This will also put Indian OTT content on par with International shows. Thanks to Raj & DK.
One final plea to Raj & DK - Handcuff your criminals the moment you catch them, avoids a lot of subsequent hassles.
On a serious note, go watch Family Man Season 2 streaming on Prime Video.