Aarya Season 2 review: Sushmita Sen strikes back in Ram Madhvan

 Aarya Season 2 review: Sushmita Sen strikes back in Ram Madhvan

The sense of stillness that made Aarya a thriller with a soul arrives quite late in this season. But the delay is planted and deliberate. The pace is relentless, but the core remains uncompromised.

Aarya Season 2 review: Sushmita Sen strikes back in Ram Madhvani's thrill-a-minute ride with a spine

Sushmita in Aarya Season 2

    Language: Hindi

    In the first 15 minutes of Aarya Season 2, Sushmita Sen's titular character stares at the piercing pain on her face in the mirror as she gingerly removes her shirt to expose a fresh, gushing gunshot wound on her shoulder. Her expression and scream tell us it's a familiar pain — like penetrating an old wound before letting it heal.

    That's how the ball starts rolling in Season 2, where Aarya is back in India from Australia, where she was seeking refuge with her three kids, to testify against her father and brother, involved in a multi-crore drug racket. But a weak moment ends up in bursting open a can of worms.

    There are too many sharks in the sea — her father who had got her husband Tej (Chandrachur Singh) killed, her brother Sangram eyeing their ancestral property, Uday Singh Shekhawat, father of the influential dealer Aarya got killed, and the Russians, seeking their stolen drugs worth Rs 300 crore from her company. To make matters worse, there is ACP Khan (Vikas Kumar) lurking in the shadows, waiting for any chance to clamp down on Aarya.

    Aarya Season 2 review Sushmita Sen strikes back in Ram Madhvanis thrillaminute ride with a spine

    It is this potpourri of villains that makes Season 2 a thrilling ride. One never knows where the next blow would come from, and when it does, who is responsible for the same. There is no room to investigate either, as the breather before the next blow is rather short-lived. There is no central track like Season 1 ("who shot Tej?") so the journey is less suspenseful, but certainly more thrilling.

    The relentless pace has a lot to do with the absence of Tej in Season 2. Though he was shot in the first episode of the previous season itself, his presence loomed large over the remainder of the show. The hangover was not limited to only the consequences of his dealings and the secrets he kept, but also extended to how the family coped with his loss. Each nursed their grief in their own way, but they loved watch him sing his favourite old Bollywood melody while looking them in the eye, on their device.

    Aarya Season 2 review Sushmita Sen strikes back in Ram Madhvanis thrillaminute ride with a spine

    There are fleeting moments of such stillness in Season 2 as well. But it's not as invested in quietude. Aarya has no time to pause and remember Tej as she is too busy dodging the bad guys and planning an escape route. That then leaves her daughter Aaroo to process the grief and battle clinical depression. She now has a tattoo that says 'Tej' in Hindi on her throat, which suspiciously looks like it is silently choking her or can slit her open anytime. The youngest, Aadi, continues his eerie fascination with guns, while Veer has now become Aarya's partner-in-crime, learning tricks of the trade and filling the emotional and logistical vacuum left by her husband.

    Aarya Season 2 review Sushmita Sen strikes back in Ram Madhvanis thrillaminute ride with a spine

    But Aarya is not running from pillar to post for a reason. Stillness may evade her life but the show is not entirely divorced with its core. It is deeply wedded to an existential idea — of whether to confront one's demons or keep running from the inevitable. Whether to nest away the young ones at a remote, secure branch or to throw them into the deep end so that they can fly. These conflicts are not easy to resolve, particularly when the ghosts of one's past are as ominous as the signs of a morally ambiguous tomorrow.

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