Review: 'Mumbai Diaries' S2 delivers one of the best second seasons of a show ever with moments to remember
Returning characters, new additions and a lot more - as we have the folks at Bombay General Hospital (BCH) fighting bigger challenges, crazier situations both professionally and personally.
Published: Thursday,Oct 05, 2023 18:44 PM GMT-06:00
Mumbai Diaries Season 2
Trust creator and Nikkhil Advani to presen you with some of the most riveting motion viewing that one has witnessed in recent times. Many were pleasantly surprised by just how fantastic Mumbai Diaries: 26/11 turned out to be when it arrived two years ago. And here we are, two years later, the show is back with a second season and is now set on the backdrop of the torrential rainfall that Mumbai witnessed and braved through.
The show picks up where it left off and even though the actual event of rainfall took way back in 2005; the show takes the creative liberty of setting it six months after the terrorist attack - 26th July, 2009.
Returning characters, new additions and a lot more - as we have the folks at Bombay General Hospital (BCH) fighting bigger challenges, crazier situations both professionally and personally. Having seem the entirety of eight episodes, here is what I thought about it
Returning Characters, New Additions & Emotional Connect
What director Nikkhil Advani has done masterfully - is understand that we aren't just portraying a new calamity here, this time natural and not man-made. We are dealing with the fact that unlike last time, the viewers are already attached and invested in these characters. And hence, in spite of being entirely faithful with the portrayal of rainfall madness, more focus is kept on the characters' and their personal developments.
Be it the now-disgraced Dr. Kaushik Oberoi (Mohit Raina), who is struggling to find his mojo while being the maverick he is portrayed to be or be it Dr. Chitra Das (Konkona Sen Sharma), whose backstory of domestic abuse is not just showcased fully but pretty much becomes a parallel plot to the central storyline; be it the earlier interns but now senior resident trio of Dr. Diya Parekh (Natash Bharadwaj), Dr. Ahaan Mirza (Satyajeet Dubey) and Dr. Sujata Ajawale (Mrunmayee Deshpande) and their own personal storylines or even someone as minimal yet brilliant as Nurse Cherian (Balaji Gauri) - each and every character is given a full-fledged arc which is a fantastic feat to achieve.
Even the new additions like Dr. Saurav Chandra (Parambatta Chattopadhay) and Dr. Sandhya (Ridhi Dogra) get some pound characters to play, especially the former.
Almost Too Dangerous But Masterful Execution
If having these many characters and their own little stories wasn't a task enough, Advani has chosen to touch and work with several other issues in the form of storylines attached to the patients. Right from child abuse to gender identity to corruption, drug abuse and so much more - there is a long list of issues that are being touched upon and almost all of them are given satisfactory developments.
There is an immense amount of danger when you are working with so much - you can get lost in what you were trying to convey in the first place, you can lose sight of the central plot in question, you can even forget what was one set out to do when it started. But someway, somehow, Advani and his team managed to connect the dots just about well to make sure these shortcomings aren't as evident to affect your viewing experience.
Learning From Mistakes & The Little Things
One of the few drawbacks the first season of Mumbai Diaries had was the stereotypical and underwhelming portrayal of media with the character of Shreya Dhanwanthry as Mansi Hirani. The evolution of her character towards the end was rather formulaic and underwhelming. It seems this feedback was taken into account by the makers and they worked upon it. Not only does Dhanwanthry get a much more meaty role and occurrences to play with but she also gets a much more humanized angle to play in the proceedings.
But what would be Mumbai Diaries if not for the small things - From having Mohit Raina's Kaushik Oberoi given little but supremely impactful moments viz, in spite of being the ultimate savior doctor, he trembles and panics when it is his own wife in question to him getting the treatment of Shah Rukh Khan when he returns to BCH (to an extent when one character even tells that he is the SRK of the doctor world); from having a character like nurse Vidya struggling with her morals to nurse Cherian being the most diligent employee there can ever be. This and so many other things are portrayed in the most subtle and effective manner thus allowing you time to consume the moment of brilliance that is happening on-screen.
The Cinematography & Entire Technical Department
Just like the first season, the cinematographers deserve special mentions for being able to capture what must have been a nightmare of challenging shoots. The gloominess of the rains, the darkness of the situation and the practically ruins of a government hospital - along with some fabulous water shots is masterfully captured. One would remember how the first episode had a long one-take shot. That is done this time around as well. Only this time, it occurs in a much more chaotic and crazy situation in the penultimate episode.
Apart from the camera team, the entire technical department consisting of editors, production design, costume designers and continuity co-ordinators - each and everyone deserves all plaudits possible for creating a world like no other. One last and special mention to the people who have been assisting with and making sure that the medical jargons and terminologies and facts are as authentic as they can be.
Note - There are some correct but several incorrect names in the official IMDb credits of these departments, hence chose to give a generic shotout.
The only one factor that bothered me in this season would be just how overly dramatic and a tad bit theatrical the climax gets, especially in the dying moments of the penultimate episode and the early moments of the finale. Some of these situations become a tiny bit over-the-top and for the lack of a better word, commercial.
But that doesn't take away from the fact that Mumbai Diaries Season 2 not only fulfils the first season's legacy in the best way but also presents some of the most engaging, intelligent and intriguing viewing experiences ever powered by award-winning and scintillating performances.
Rating - **** (4/5)