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Mirzapur 2 Review: Revenge Is Coming For The Tripathis. But What Men Can Do, Women Can Do Better?

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So, Mirzapur fans? Saans mein saans aayi? Mirzapur 2 is finally here and you can binge all ten episodes over the weekend to your heart’s content. One of Amazon Prime Video India’s biggest shows, the hype surrounding Season 2 is so strong, that the entire season dropped several hours before its slated release on the platform. If you ask me, that’s a rather Mirzapur move pulled by Mirzapur, wouldn’t you agree? Season 2 brings most of the original cast and crew, with some choice new additions that’ll make for interesting arcs and plots in the show. Written by Puneet Krishna and Vineet Krishna, and directed by Gurmeet Singh and Mihir Desai, the new season stars Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal , Divyenndu, Shweta Tripathi Sharma , Rasika Dugal, Harshita Shekhar Gaur, Amit Sial, Anjum Sharma, Sheeba Chaddha, Manu Rishi Chadha, Rajesh Tailang, Vijay Varma, Shaji Chaudhary, Isha Talwar, Meghna Malik, Lilliput, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Pramod Pathak, Paritosh Sand, Aasif Khan and more.

Also Read: 5 Thoughts I Had While Watching Mirzapur S2 Trailer. I Can’t Wait To See Golu Get Her Revenge!

Kya chal raha hai in Purvanchal?

Spoiler free update chahiye? Chinta mat kijiye, hum prabandh karte hain. 

I had access to just two episodes before writing this. And I can assure you, there’s no big dhamaka this early into the season. It’s a very familiar world you’re returning to. After the events of Season 1, the Mirzapur 2 trailer gave us a fair idea of what’s in store—Revenge. Guddu and Golu want it. Sharad Shukla wants it. Beena wants it. Yusuf and Lala want it. And of course, Munna will never not want it. Oh, and sabko Mirzapur chahiye. Yeah, big change. NOT. But after the bhaukaal of Season 1 Episode 9, Purvanchal is quite shook. It’s bleeding. It needs time to heal, regroup and restrategise.

The first episode opens with a sight for sore eyes. Guddu getting his revenge on Munna. But wait, what? Munna survives! Awoken from this sweet medication-induce slumber, and made to realise that he survived after taking five bullets, Munna Bhaiyya has a newfound God complex. He claims he doesn’t know fear anymore, but his dreams have a subtext. A few towns over, Guddu is dreaming of Munna too. He’d like to fly to Mirzapur if he could, and empty a round in Munna’s chest for killing Bablu, Sweety and his unborn child. But as Golu points out, before he can pick up a gun, he needs to pick himself up and heal. Basically, thoda rest kar lijiye, varna rest in peace ho jayenge.

In the late Ratishankar Shukla’s household in Jaunpur, his son Sharad, at the behest of his mother, is ready to play his own game of chess. He looks like someone who believes why use a gun when you can do it with your mind. He’s taking over his father’s business, not out of choice but out of acceptance of his destiny. Sharad is building alliances, particularly an interesting one with Bihar’s Dadda Tyagi and his grandson Bharat Tyagi, when he pulls off something rather surprising. It’ll change some fates for sure.

Akhandanand Tripathi is in major damage control mode after Munna’s tandav at the wedding. He thinks he might be able to make a King of Mirzapur out of his son yet. But that means tying up loose ends, securing bigger allies and drilling some important chess moves in Munna’s thick head. Like, when the time comes for sacrifice, always play the pawn so the King can be safe.

Beena is still reeling from the trauma of being forced to sleep with her father-in-law, Satyanand Tripathi, and mutilating her lover on his order. Bauji isn’t going to stop, and Beena must make the same choice as Golu, Guddu and Sharad. Almost on the verge of admitting defeat, she realises that instead of using a gun, she’ll have to use her mind and play a game worthy of her last name.

If Mirzapur 2 is about survival and revenge, could the women be playing a smarter game than men?

Again, it’s too early to say, but having spent a season knowing them, we might be able to anticipate that where the men rush in, the women tread carefully. So if it comes down to strategy, you know who to bet on.

The men of Mirzapur are all about that bang bang boom. There are few, like Kaleen Bhaiyya, who chose to rely as little as possible on violence to get their job done. However, from what I gather, the laws of the jungle have changed, and the old are being pushed out by the new. Munna Bhaiyya, in the illusion of his invincibility, might not pay heed to the threats that could be emerging around the Tripathis. And this illusion is going to deal the blow they least expected.

Another thing about guns? In Purvanchal, everyone has them, even little kids. And now, with someone as opposed to violence as Golu picking up a weapon and learning how to fire it, it is not guns that should scare the players of the game. It’s more about the aces up each sleeve, the alliances, the secrets that threaten to destroy, and the fickle loyalties that are more dangerous. And as most of us know, strategy can be a woman’s game through and through if she choses so.

Beena has already put her plans for survival in motion. But all that repressed rage and trauma is going to bubble up at some point. And when that volcano erupts, it’s going to be rather destructive. The same could happen to another character who feels helpless right now before the Tripathi might. Luckily for Guddu, he’s got Golu to ground him and keep his head in the game. He’s going to need it, since the Pandit and Gupta families don’t exactly have the muscle to take on the Tripathis and seize Mirzapur. Even Sharad Shukla is seeking his mother, Shakuntala’s advice, and playing the long game. He’s made some smart moves so far.

Let’s not forget, the women of Mirzapur have been underestimated a lot. We’ve already seen how Golu and Beena have changed. Who knows what Dimpy, Vasudha, Shabnam, Shakuntala Shukla or the newest entrant, Madhuri Yadav (Isha Talwar) might have to do when the time comes…. All I know is, they’ve been watchful and observant, and being underestimated is probably going to be there biggest power move.

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE! Mirzapur Ladies Shweta Tripathi And Rasika Dugal On S2, Change In Power Dynamics And What ‘Bhaukaal’ Really Means!

The cost of revenge

That being said, if this is anything like the reality in Uttar Pradesh, where the series is set, the characters are fighting a losing battle. Call me a pessimist, but people rarely ‘win’ in such scenarios. Sure, they might get their revenge, but we all know it is an empty emotion that does nothing to heal the trauma that one’s been through. Especially the female characters, who’ve been through bereavement, verbal and sexual abuse, relegated to nothing but objects to satiate the needs of men, and often caught in the crossfires of men’s ego clashes, without any control of their own lives. They could overcome all this for that one triumph to feel vindicated. But the question is, at what cost?

The season, by the time it ends, is clearly going to rake a massive body count. So how do these characters, these men and women, return to a normal life after so much bad has happened to them? Especially, when they too have inflicted an equal amount of damage on the lives of other people on their way? They say ain’t no rest for the wicked. And it is true. It’s a very difficult idea to to acceot that the only peace for most of these characters would be in death.

Who am I placing my bets on in Mirzapur 2?

As I’ve said before, I’d love to see Golu get her revenge. Her character is  a favourite, and having spoken to Shweta Tripathi Sharma about the drastic transformation Golu’s undergone, I am as excited to watch her story as she was to play the character. I have a strong feeling that Golu’s actions are going to inspire a lot of other characters to change too. There’s something about the good ones shedding their innocence due to trauma and emerging the strongest players of the game.

I’m loving the chemistry between her and Ali Fazal’s Guddu. Both brilliant actors, they’ have managed to bring out that whole ‘bonded by pain and bereavement’ relationship well. For now, they seem united in their quest for revenge and the throne of Mirzapur. But something tells me, there might come a time when ideological differences seep in. I can’t imagine Golu not having a major guilt episode for who she has become and that’s going to be a powerful decisive moment in her story.

Beena, as described by Rasika Dugal during our chat, has always been someone who sought power. Because she cheated on her husband who loves her (and because he is played by Pankaj Tripathi who makes the bad guy likeable), you might not like her instantly. But after the hellish ordeal she has been through, you are rooting for her to get her revenge. I’d love to know what she was thinking in the split-second moment she made the decision to play a different game. Oh, and how her husband would react if and when he finds out what has happened.

And finally, try as I might, Kaleen Bhaiyya, with his love for his erratic, foolish son, his calm demeanour in the face of a threat, his desperation at being unable to sexually please his wife, and his need to protect his legacy makes it impossible to not root for his survival. It’s a dilemma, because you know that if he survives, he has the ability to destroy all the characters that you’re rooting for to win. And yet!

There’s a bunch of new characters, but I’ve only so far caught a tiny glimpse of Vijay Varma’s. So I don’t know who to bet on or hate just yet! Watch this space!

Verdict

Mirzapur is our very own Game of Thrones, if you will. And if you thought both these shows were just about strategy and violence and politics, you’re mistaken. As the baap of all these stories, the Mahabharata, will tell you, it is all about human desire and emotion. You might have the perfect gameplay laid out to best your enemy, but you can never predict how unpredictable human emotion can change it all. Humans are slaves to their desires, and only the ones who can control those and do what needs to be done, will survive.

Mirzapur 2 is going to test this patience and control of all its characters. It’s also going to be a huge test for the show’s writers and actors. The scale and effort is impressive once again, and ready to be immortalised in pop-culture and public memory through memes and quotable dialogues. Who becomes the King of Mirzapur? Who finally sits on the throne of Mirzapur? I’d like to think I know. But things can change in a jiffy! We’ll have to wait and watch.

All ten episodes of Mirzapur 2 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video India.

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