City of Dreams 2 Review: Dragged; Still a Better Show than Paatal Lok and Tandav

First things first, stories of political dramas won’t change unless and until politics change. So, as I said in my City of Dreams Season 1 review, there is nothing new when it comes to the plot. It’s the same old story of conspiracy, deception, betrayal, and revenge. In short, hardcore POLITICS! 

The only downside of this show is that like every other sequel some more characters and storylines have been added – unnecessarily. When unnecessary characters come in, to justify their roles, stories are always given illogical twists to make these characters a part of the main story. Two such unwanted additions are Arvind Mehta (played by Ankur Rathee) and Tanya (played by Shriyam Bhagnani). Tanya’s character felt like a welcome change till they revealed her job. It was all truly foolish and childish. 

What’s her profession? Along with her friends, she is setting up an app to stop crime in the city. With this app, citizens can report any ongoing crime based on which immediate action can be taken. But when an abduction is reported, Tanya along with her gang and fiance, Arvind, without informing or involving the Police, leaves for the spot to save the girl. In a very filmy way, they stop the rape. How? By knocking the door and distracting the kidnappers. This entire scene was unbelievably silly. 

Anyway, moving forward, if the writers would have cut the clutter and the Director would have focussed not on the number of episodes but on keeping the show crisp and limited to the lead characters, it could have been a ten on ten show. 

But when I compare it to all the other political dramas, the so-called ‘HIT’ shows, City of Dreams 2, for me, will always be ahead in the race. It connects the dots well and is gripping. What disappointed me is that it has the potential to sit on the throne only if they focus on the core storyline. I hate it when good shows are ruined just because they want it to be a 10-episode web series. City of Dreams 2 is not the only show that has made this mistake. Many shows out there could have been an instant hit among the audience but couldn’t be because they stretched it for no valid reason. 

When I compare it with Paatal Lok, why is Hotstar’s City of Dreams series better than Amazon Prime Original, Paatal Lok? 

The only difference between City of Dreams and Paatal Lok is that the latter has used gory, abuse, and effects to get immediate emotional response from the audience. That doesn’t give the audience the time to think rationally about the story. If you make your viewers scream, cry, or laugh, your story is being projected as one of the most successful works. But that’s never the case. That’s, infact, the easy way out and most of the time, it is used to cover up a (logically) weak story. Like Ram Gopal Verma’s horror films; with sound and visual effects, the film might make you scream at times, but that doesn’t make it a good horror film. 

City of Dreams’ only focus is its story and that’s what I like about this series. This kind of work, though might not impress you at first, but if you sit back and connect the dots, you will definitely like it. 

The concern here is do people actually have time to watch such lengthy shows and connect the dots? This show has smartly sown the seeds of season 2 in the first season. With all the chaos in the mind, people want web series or films to entertain them. Shows like City of Dreams 2 do not sustain because they demand a lot of your attention and intelligence. They make you constantly switch between two seasons in your head which not everyone might want to. This is where the audience might lose their interest and if they do not finish the show in one go, they might not come back to complete it. 

Speaking of performances, like Season 1, Eijaz Khan rocks in Season 2 as well. Instead of Arvind and Tanya’s track, I would rather see more of Wasim Khan. Priya Bapat has improved a lot, but she is not there yet. Her character, Poornima, is drastically changing with time. She needs to live that change on screen. It’s a challenging job. If not done right, this unusually strong character would lose its essence. 

Streaming On: DisneyPlus Hotstar VIP

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