Exclusive review – Hostages Season 2 – A relentless thriller with several layers of twists and suspense
Now that’s how a thriller ought to be. Hostages 2 pretty much begins from where the first instalment of Hostages ended in 2019 and the best part is that this Sudhir Mishra created show has an excellent continuity that binds the two seasons. Otherwise time and again there is either an altogether different story with newer characters been introduced or some sort of retrofitting being done. In case of the second season, which has cinematographer turned director Sachin Kumar Krishnan taking charge, there are no such complaints. You know that SP Prithvi Singh (Ronit Roy) has now taken CM Handa (Dilip Tahil) as a hostage, which means the stakes have gone far higher now.
What takes the second season many notches higher is the complexity of the whole set up, be it the story or the characters. If the first season set the stage well, it was still largely restricted to the ‘chaar deewari’ of the mansion that the hostage (Tisca Chopra) and her family was confined in. In case of the second season, other than the CM and his security-in-charge (Mohan Kapur) along with a couple of other hostages, acquaintances (Amit Sial, Faezeh Jalali) and family members (Shriswara, Aashim Gulati) finding themselves in a dilapidated ‘angrezo ke zamaane ka bangla) close to Delhi-Gurgaon highway, there is a lot of action happening outside too.
For starters, there is a staple Western world style war room a la Money Heist that is created right near the hostage site where officers across intelligence, police (Kanwaljeet Singh), negotiators (Divya Dutta) and assault teams (Sachin Khurana) come together to secure the hostages and take on the kidnappers. The conversations that ensue indeed keep the viewer on the edge and one can say that for an Indian web series, this indeed is a unique experience worthy to be cherished.
However, what makes matters far more interesting is the action that is happening far far away from the hostage site, with characters from UK, Bangladesh and even Pakistan coming into play. That brings in a true global appeal to the show as you realise that what seemed like just a personal situation to be a tackled has taken shape of a much larger global conspiracy. So there is a cold blooded yet suave assassin Dino Morea, who could as well have killed with a smile. On the other hand there is an billionaire heiress (Shibani Dandekar) who believes in paying 10 times the amount offered by a competitor, as long as she gets her way. A mysterious character (Danish Hussain) comes later in this 12 episode series and brings a unique twist to the story while the track involving another investigating officer (Shweta Basu Prasad) further reminds one of the character that she played so effectively in The Tashkent Files.
With so many tracks coming into play for this well written series that has politicians, businessmen, cops, intelligence, assassins, media and a lot more coming together, it is indeed credible to see that the emotional appeal is still maintained. While Divya Dutta goes about her part well to play a cool minded negotiator, there is further twist to the tale with a mysterious pathan (Asif Basra) coming into the fold. On the other hand the presence of the assault teams means that there is heady action always round the corner.
This is the reason why at a couple of places you do expect the drama to unfold at an even rapid pace and a couple of character placements to have done even better. Case in point being a character called Chaudhary, another assault team lead, who comes intermittently but eventually doesn’t add anything to the story. On the other hand Danish Hussain, otherwise a very reliable actor, coming across as a rather unconventional choice for the character that he plays. Surya Sharma and Anangsha Biswas, the two accomplices of Ronit Roy, are back as well from the first season, though wish their part was more fleshed out. The hidden tunnel track is a bit too extended while a couple of decisions surrounding Sachin Khurana and his acts aren’t really as convincing.
That said, from the larger picture perspective, director Sachin has a good command over this nearly six hour long web series that revolves around Ronit Roy and the way he goes about channelising the entire series of events. He is truly convincing as a man who just wants to save his wife and family/friends and acts a la Professor (from Money Heist) no less. On the other hand the man who really wins you over with his evil presence is Dino Morea. He is just perfect in his ‘all black’ avtar, and one just hopes that with his great looks and physique, he is seen more often on the big screen.
As for the small screen set up, this is yet another exciting offering by Applause Entertainment which has been on the roll with their recent OTT outings, be it Undekhi, Avrodh or Your Honour. With sheer range of content that they are creating and that too at a rapid pace, Hostages 2 is yet another feather in their cap as it emerges as a relentless thriller with several layers of twists and suspense.
Go, binge watch!