Aarya Web Series Story
Following on the close heels of season 1, Aarya 2 is a mother’s journey to protect her children and herself from impending danger and unseen threats
Aarya Web Series Review
Created and co-directed by Ram Madhvani, Aarya web series season 2 fails to impress, unlike Aarya season 1. It seems having three people handling the reins (the other two being Vinod Rawat and Kapil Sharma), is not a prudent idea after all.
The show picks up pretty much where it left off in the first season, with Zorawar Rathore (Jayant Kripalani) and Sangram Rathore (Ankur Bhatia) – Aarya’s father and brother – and Udayveer Shekhawat (Akash Khurana) incarcerated and awaiting judgement in a trail for their involvement in the drug mafia.
Aarya has handed over the coveted and much-talked-about pen drive from last season to ACP Younus Khan, played by Vikas Kumar (who seems rather unstable in the head – or conveniently virtuous, situationally moral, etc.), in exchange for safe passage for her children and herself to escape the Shekhawats and the Russian mafia. She is now in Australia, trying to adjust to yet another new place with her brood. Meanwhile, the pen drive that contains all the absolutely essential evidence to put the three accused behind bars proves impotent to do so, despite its contents being blatantly exposed in an open courtroom.
So then, Aarya is conveniently blackmailed into returning home by the chameleon-like ACP Khan, who promises to help her leave once she testifies against the accused in court. Of course, all hell breaks loose (or so it seems) once Aarya returns to her hometown in Rajasthan, India. She is reluctant to trust her family because of their involvement in her husband Tej’s (Chandrachur Singh) death, hunted by Udayveer Shekhawat who wants to avenge his son’s death, and shadowed by the Russians who apparently still want their 300-crore worth of drug consignment.
Will Aarya be able to survive all the enemies she has inadvertently made? Can she return to Australia with her children (who all seem to have mixed feelings concerning their re-entry into Rajasthan) once again?
First, let’s look at what Aarya’s kids are up to this season. Her youngest, Aditya aka Adi (Pratyaksh Panwar), is attending therapy sessions that seem to slowly draw out his suppressed grief and anger. I’ll admit the part where he is screaming, crying, and accusing Daulat (Sikander Kher) of killing his father, all the while pointing a gun at him, was pretty intense. But the boy has little else to do in the season.
Arundhati aka Aaru (Virti Vaghani), Aarya’s daughter is on a different trip altogether – metaphorically speaking. She’s doing drugs, has attempted to kill herself, indulges in a fling with her “manager” and hates her mother’s guts. She apparently believes she is the only one who has lost a loved one. All in all, the track is rather dull and uninteresting, with bouts of bad acting by everyone involved (except Sampat, played by Vishwajeet Pradhan, who seems quite sure about everything he is doing this season). In simple terms, it wouldn’t have made a difference had the track not been included at all.
Aarya’s other son Veer (Viren Vazirani) is the only support she has, as he goes about hiding drugs, babysitting his siblings, sacrificing his own social life and needs, and lying to the police for his mother. But alas, his role is way too short in the series, with the makers perhaps having decided the one central character supporting their main lead is not worth more screen time.
Although Sushmita Sen plays the titular character in various shades and is impressive in many parts in Aarya season 2, she seems to be trying too hard in certain other places. For instance, she is shown diligently practicing aerial workouts in the first season, which should have considerably strengthened her physique. But when you see her hands barely tied together (with her feet perfectly planted on the floor!) to a rope hanging from the ceiling, she is apparently in extreme pain and distress. The whole charade of exhaustion, grief, anger, and distress seems just that.
Of all the Aarya web series cast, Jayant Kripalani’s Zorawar Rathore is as guessable as a character can be. I cannot believe I watched two whole seasons that came to the same damn conclusion.
ACP Khan has an interesting side track – his impending wedding, which he postpones just so he can get back at Aayra. But the man is as miserable a failure in his personal life as he is in his professional one, turning out to be a selfish prick who takes his beloved for granted. And the strange part is that his partner takes him back in exchange for an ill-formed apology (or an indirect one, rather), despite having been treated with utter disregard, disrespect, and dishonesty.
A talented actor like Sikander Kher has practically no role in this season, with Daulat making fleeting appearances from time to time. His intriguing character is yet to be explored fully. Makers, please do something about this!
Akash Khurana as Udayveer Shekhawat seems more like a comic relief in the show rather than Aarya’s arch nemesis. The German he speaks in a strange accent, his eccentric dressing style, and a more or less deadpan face, make one instantly giggle instead of tremble with fear. The same goes for the “Russians” (with voices that seem to be dubbed by distinctly Indian accents trying to fake a European one) who try to menace Aarya but end up nodding their heads in agreement to everything she asks them to do. Let’s not even discuss their costumes.
The women seem to be taking a lead in Aarya web series season 2, with several of them directly or indirectly impacting pivotal outcomes at various points. For example, Aarya’s best friend Maya Sarao, played by Maya Bishnoi, has moved on from her husband’s death in the prequel to nude modelling in this one. Also, she unhesitatingly aids Aarya in kidnapping the Shekhawat grandkids, fights off their mother, and fends off the morally unstable ACP Khan when he tries to blackmail her into spying for him.
Similarly, Hina’s (sugandha Garg) character turns various shades as she at first begs Aarya to not testify against Sangram and then turns on her despite her help, keeps secrets from her best friends, becomes a drunkard, neglects her child, and finally abandons him. However, the acting is excruciatingly (and painfully) loud and obnoxious in many instances.
The most impressive and interesting twist this season has to be the introduction of Geetanjali Kulkarni as policewoman Sushila Shekhar. She is bold, conveniently moral (like many others in the show), a mother-cum-crooked cop, and massively impressive in her short but memorable role. It’s hard not to like her despite knowing she isn’t really your female supercop.
A special shoutout to Tariq Vasudeva who plays Kedia on the show. He is convincing in all shots, playing the fool whenever necessary and being a shrewd accountant when the situation demands it. Here’s hoping the man gets more screen time in the next installment when compared to Aarya season 2.
The biggest dud – The ending!
It’s time the makers understood their audiences aren’t dumb and need no explanations about every single thing that is happening in the frame. Often, the shots seemed written at the last minute just to justify the theme of the episode. For instance, the last episode is titled “Isko Mere Raaste Se Hataa Do” and has Aarya mouthing the same words (twice!) in seemingly forced scenarios – like the man has to die right in front of her so she can say the damn line and cross over once he is removed! Why can’t she just walk past him?
Also, Aarya’s much-awaited “breaking bad” point comes too late and too suddenly like unexpected rain, where she herself realises very late that she has turned into something else entirely. The whole bunch of climax scenes seem purposely shot in a way to VERY obviously explain to VERY dumb viewers in a VERY obnoxious way that she is someone else now, indicating a new beginning with new alliances.
After a very interesting Aarya season 1, this is highly disappointing.
Any Aarya web series review you read that said “bravo,” “awesome,” and a range of similar adjectives is blatantly lying to you.
Watch the season if you are an ardent Sushmita Sen fan but be prepared to be grossly disappointed (yes, even by her in some instances). This season cannot hold a candle to the first one. But yes, it does have its fair bit of highlights.