Crackdown 2 is average spy drama

Iqbal Khan and Saqib Saleem in Crackdown 2. Photo: Trailer Video Grab 

Something is lacking here, and I wish I could pinpoint the cause of the missing overall aura of a crackerjack espionage thriller. The elements are all there, including a few twists to the tale, the action, the computer geek who helps out, the explosions, drama and everything else, but the series ends up on an average note.

The story continues from Season 1 that came almost three years ago. RAW, the Indian intelligence wing, now has new leaders, but Riyaz Pathan (Saqeeb Saleem), Zorawar (Iqbal Khan) and Divya (Shriya Pilgaonkar) remain as protagonists. In steps a troublemaker chief, Avantika (Sonali Kulkarni), who was also there in Season 1. And now Pakistani ISI agent Garima (Waluscha De Sousa) is on the run, and there is a new villain in terrorist Abu Khalil (Freddy Daruwala). And Divya can still pose, if need be, as doppelganger enemy agent Mariam, who has been annihilated in Season 1.

There is a plane missing after being hijacked, pressures upon RAW and the ministries, Riyaz Pathan’s estranged wife, Preeti (Rashmi Agdekar) as one of the hijacked passengers, a nuclear bomb being made that can destroy India and multiple angles. All these make for a convoluted plot that also has a personal vendetta angle—of a terrorist who feels he is wronged! Is he?

Yes, they are all wrapped up in the end, but somehow, the inspiring feel of a drama that is supposed to make the viewer’s chest swell with pride is missing. Technically competent, one of the main issues here is a needless amateurish feel in the direction (Apoorva Lakhia) and the script. In fact, I was halfway through episode 2 of 8 when I decided that I will continue and complete this series, as things were seeming to get better and the flawed Season 1 had ended up fairly riveting. And today’s audiences are not going to find a connect with the story when even as ISI agent is shown to be pro-India and Indian officials are not all above the board! Don’t also miss the “secular” angle wherein two Muslim actors, playing Muslim protagonists, are shown as dedicated RAW officers and one is even married to a Hindu girl.

The actors deliver as they had in Season 1, Iqbal Khan excelling as Zorawar. As Avantika Shroff, Sonali Kulkarni makes her character correctly obnoxious yet vulnerable, while Freddy Daruwala turns up as an endearing chap! Shriya Pilgaonkar, getting a watered-down role compared to her other web outings, puts in a watered-down performance. But Ankur Bhatia impresses as Tariq, the ISI agent.

Rating: **1/2

Jio Cinema presents Crackdown 2  Produced by: Apoorva Lakhia & Manjit Sachdev  Directed by: Apoorva Lakhia  Written by: Raj Vasant, Varun Badola, Chintan Gandhi & Chintan Shah Music: Sachin-Jigar Starring: Saqib Saleem, Iqbal Khan, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Sonali Kulkarni, Rashmi Agdekar, Freddy Daruwala, Hemant Kher, Ankur Bhatia, Waluscha De Sousa, Aditya Lakhia, Eisha Chopra & others        






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