The Family Man 2 Review: The Only Sequel that Lives Up to the Expectations

My only fear is that The Family Man 2 being a partly Tamil show might struggle to hold the audience’s attention initially. 

The first two episodes make you think whether this is how the entire show is going to be and would you be able to understand what is happening here. Yes, the subtitles are there but when you are watching the show on your phone, you might read the subtitles but when you are watching it on TV, it hinders your experience. I strongly believe that when you read the subtitles for a long time, you cannot enjoy the show as your attention and involvement is somewhere else. While you read the dialogues, you miss out the emotions and expressions that are an integral part of the show when it comes to keeping you hooked. 

Having said that, I also believe that when your story revolves around a certain part of the country or world where people speak a different language, your dialogues shouldn’t be Hindi. Your focus should undoubtedly be on the local language and the local flavour. When the makers do not do that, they are not being realistic. 

Though having dialogues in the characters’ local language was right from the story’s point of view, from the audience’s point of view, it is somewhat painful (to decode). Also, when you do not understand an important part of the story, you easily get distracted and lose interest which had just started to happen with me. But then, a few episodes later, The Family Man 2 again becomes Manoj Bajpayee’s show and then the fun begins. So if you get past the language barrier, you will love The Family Man 2. 

In the initial episodes, before Srikant Tiwari rejoins the task, I observed a weird thing. There was haunting silence in the background for Manoj Bajpayee’s scenes which added seriousness even to the funny scenes. Music helps set the tone for the scenes. It also helps the performers deliver the right emotion to the audience. But here, in a few scenes where the Music was so needed, it wasn’t there. If not music, the sounds of the surrounding area would have also helped. For example, how would it feel if the scene is set in a crowded place and all you hear is dialogues without any chaos, how would that feel? It should sound crowded, right? If you have watched the show and felt the same while watching Srikant Tiwari’s scenes set in the corporate environment, let me know in the comments below. 

As the story’s new elements end, that is Srikant’s corporate job and the Srilankan background of the story is done and dusted, The Family Man 2 picks up pace. Till then, it might bore you. You might even struggle to keep yourself glued to the show and make sense of what is happening. I suggest you to hold on and be patient as once Srikant joins the task with JK and other team members, you will forget the initial boredom. 

Your involvement level will be super high. How involved will you be? 

Spoiler Alert: There is a scene where JK is in danger. He is surrounded by the terrorists which he and his teammate are unaware of in the beginning. As they get to know about it, they run towards the jungle looking for a place to hide. During the entire scene, my Mom kept prompting, asking JK to be careful. Whenever in danger, she told him to leave the place immediately. Then she kept on telling him to, ‘look back or sideways,’ whenever someone was around. That is JK’s magic and the show’s hold on you. 

In season 2, you feel more connected to the characters. They become your own. You want to protect them from the danger that you already see and sense but they cannot. You empathize with them and yes, at times, even blame the authorities for the condition these people are in. The Family Man 2 has done a fabulous job of silently shedding light on how our police or people from the intelligence department do not get the protection or help that they should. While the terrorists are well-trained and well-equipped, our people are almost always fighting bare-handed or with outdated weapons. You choke when Srikant Tiwari and his team are surrounded by a group of terrorists when they arrest Raji. When Srikant tells his team to lock the police station and take shelter inside the station, you cannot help but look at the station’s condition and wonder how this tiny, ready to collapse building will protect anyone from the ruthless predators? And then what you fear happens. Srikant’s precious teammates get killed. 

Another scene that gives you goosebumps is when Srikant’s daughter gets kidnapped. This nail-biting scene brings you to the edge of your seat and at a point, where you don’t want the show to end. Also you keep praying that they shouldn’t drag this part of the story to the third season. I cannot move forward unless I tell you what outstanding performance Ashlesha Thakur (Dhriti) has delivered here. Our child artists are more talented than most of the so-called superstars of Bollywood. Speaking of the child artists, what a charmer Vedant Sinha is! At such a young age, what hold he has over his character, and of course, the audience. May you grow up to become one of the finest and successful actors in the industry, young man. 

And last but not the least, Manoj Bajpayee. He speaks volumes with minimum to no dialogues with just his expressions and body language. Why is he so loved in The Family Man? Because he is no superhero like other actors pretend to be when they are offered similar roles. Remember Abhishek Bachchan in Dhoom? Zero expressions, zero acting, only faltu ka attitude. That makes you neither relatable nor intelligent, and not at all lovable. If you still didn’t understand what I am talking about, go back to this Mangalsutra Chor scene:

Real, relatable, funny yet talks a lot about the determination of this man on the job. That is Manoj Bajpayee for you. How effortlessly he becomes Srikant Tiwari. In Family Man Season 2, you would also see Srikant Tiwari break down when he loses his colleague but then when he speaks to his seniors or his wife, he pretends to be alright. That unlayers another shade of the character and you know why these people are so hard to crack or break in real life as well. Why do people from defense seem emotionless? Because every now and then they suppress their emotions. Not by choice, but because they have no time to sit with their feelings. If they do so, they will lose much more than they just lost. This is reiterated in the scene when Srikant finds his daughter and immediately gets back to work by sending her to the hospital with his associate. Even after that, he wishes he could have caught the daughter’s kidnapper alive as he had the information the team needed. That constant turning on and off of emotions is a tough and exhausting job. The portrayal of which has been fabulously done by Manoj Bajpayee. 

For JK, I would say just one thing: The Family Man is incomplete without him. 

Also:

Dear Musa, you were missed. 

P.S: For Family Man Season 3, start learning Chinese (The end of Season 2 suggests so). 

Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video

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