By Troy Ribeiro
Series: 'Bhaukaal 2' (Streaming on MX Player), Duration: About 30 minutes per episode
Director: Jatin Wagle
Cast: Mohit Raina, Siddhanth Kapoor, Pradeep Nagar, Bidita Bag, Bikramjeet Kanwarpal, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Rahul Gujjar, Priyanka Lulla, Anil Dhawan, Saanyam Srivastav
IANS Rating: ***
There is no pre-defined meaning to the title, 'Bhaukaal', but colloquially in the local North Indian lingo, it egoistically means "in one's own style, pride and honour" irrespective of the fact whether the person is really respected in the society or not.
That said, 'Bhaukaal 2' is a rustic, cop-gangster based, crime-action drama created from the real-life incidents of Senior Superintendent of Police Navneit Sekera, whose name has been changed, to Naveen Sekera in the series.
Set in Uttar Pradesh's crime-ridden Muzaffarnagar during 2004, the story of 'Bhaukaal 2' takes off from where it left in its previous season.
Mohit Raina essays the role of the ace police inspector Naveen Sekera who makes it his life's mission to clean and eradicate the lawlessness that's plaguing the town and this season focuses on him eliminating the gangs of Shaukeen Khan and the Dedha brothers.
How he does this against all odds, be it personal or professional, forms the crux of this season's tale.
With the gangs displaying their oneupmanship, the six-minute prologue of the season shows us the anarchy that's prevailing in the town. And the narrative begins - After Shaukeen Khan's death, the onus of the gang falls on the shoulders of his wife Nazneen (Bidita Bag) and his brother Ashfaq (Ajay Singh Chaudhary). They try to hold their own while doing their business of gun-running operations with the unpredictable Dedha brothers till the situation leads the events to go out of control and Pintu (Pradeep Nagar), the oldest of the Dedha brothers, lets out his war cry, "Bhaukaal".
The plots of the episodes contain oodles of abusive vocabulary, gangland culture, and violence that intersects between the world of politics, law enforcement, and the helpless citizens of the town. There is nothing new or unusual shown in the series that the viewer is not aware of. But there is focus and an element of honesty in the telling. Naveen Sekera is neither glorified nor made into a larger-than-life hero. He is portrayed as an earnest and duty-bound officer, and thus the tale is inspiring.
On the performance front, every actor worth his salt delivers earnestly. Mohit Raina slips into SSP Naveen's boots effortlessly. Similarly, Pradeep Nagar as the aggressive Pintu Pehlwan, Siddhant Kapoor and Rahul Gujjar as his younger brothers, Chintu and Gurjan, are impressive with their on-screen idiosyncrasies. So is every other actor in the series. All of them are natural and simply brilliant.
Technically the series is astutely crafted and mounted with ace production values. The action sequences too, are skillfully designed and brilliantly captured by the cinematography team.