Jamtara, made by national award winning director Soumendra Padhi, streamed on Netflix during the pre-pandemic time when OTT was gaining a foothold in the household of the Indian audience. The series was widely accepted and critically acclaimed for it's raw and intense content based on true incidents and more importantly for it's surefooted and authentic performances.
The follow up, released this week, ups the stakes, escalates the tension and forays into darker and murkier territories of cyber crime.
The last season had ended on a cliffhanger and this one, starts with a note that sets the context - Then there was Chambal. Now there is Jamtara.Rightly termed as the phishing capital of India, the town is infested with the galaxy of scamsters who have spread this nefarious business like such a vicious cancer that it has landed the entire cyber crime division of Police into jeopardy.
Amidst this growing trade, the conniving politician Brajesh Bhaan( played by the terrific Amit Sial) uses the recirculated old money for the forthcoming election polls as he faces stiff competition from the new candidate, Gudiya Mandal( Monica Panwar) who has vowed to take revenge for her ignominy, along with his hubby,the fractured Sunny( an amazing Sparsh Shrivastav) and a volatile Rocky( the brilliant Anshumaan Pushkar).
But with growing awareness among the prospective targets, the phishing success dwindles, forcing the phishers to plunge into more innovative ways of extracting money from them, including OTP, fake Aadhaar Cards etc.
Solidly written by Tishant Srivastava, the eight episode series benefits enormously from Padhi's astute understanding of the region and his characters. Never losing the sight of the core plot of revenge and the associated kaleidoscope of emotions, Padhi mounts the narrative on a seething cauldron like a potboiler, aided with intricate camerawork( by Sayak Bhattacharya) and carressed with a impressive background score( Sidhant Mathur).
In the tense and layered drama, Padhi instills smart and unintentional humor. Note, a young phisher says he won't relieve himself until he earns 70000 in the morning. It underlines the sheer pleasure and sleaze involved in the business.
To convey authenticity, the characters use crass and foul language. The world that Padhi examines is outright 'ganda' and grisly, with new characters - a wicked Ganga Devi( a solid and menacing Seema Pahwa) and a new player, Rinku Mondal played by Ravi Chahal.
Padhi extracts superlative performances from the cast. Each of them, Monica, Anshumaan and Sparsh, has graduated to a new high. Including SP Dolly played by Aksha Pardhasany and SI Biswa Pathak, played by Dibyendu Bhattacharya. But tour de force of the show is Amit Sial. The actor is deliriously fabulous as the antagonist. He has grown on the menace, the hysteria and the hunger for power.
I go with 4 stars out of 5 for Jamtara 2. It's a show worth binge watching.
Jamtara 2 is produced by Viacom 18's Tipping Point and Ajit Andhare, and is streaming on Netflix from 23rd September.
Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes.
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