The first season of Zee5’s crime thriller Kaali came way back in 2018 and the series received a modest amount of interest from the audience. Created and directed by Rohan Ghose and Aritra Sen, Kaali 2 takes forward the protagonists’s journey and exposes the underbelly of Kolkata with newer drug kingpins which seem to be saviour of the show. For the unversed, Kaali revolves around a mother’s efforts to save her son from dying and Kaali played by Paoli Dam will go to extreme lengths to do that. While the first season was a rollercoaster ride and ended on a cliffhanger, Kaali 2 takes the story forward but fails on multiple levels to wrap your head around it.
The second season, which includes eight episodes, begins with Kaali’s new life which she has now started as Aparna Sen after a fateful night at the hospital six months ago. The first thing that strikes about the new Kaali is her appearance. Now, a salon owner in Kolkata, Kaali lives with her only son who is recovering after a deadly accident and living with the help of an oxygen cylinder.
Within minutes of this introduction to her new life, the story gives a glimpse into her former lover’s life — a Special Branch Officer named Aniket played by Bengali actor Rahul Banerjee. While the first season of the web series was deeply entrenched into Kolkata’s underbelly, the second season takes it further and involves drug kingpins from across the border. One would imagine that this game between the drug lords, police and gangs to get more interesting but as a viewer it was nothing but convoluted massively.
The two new druglords are played by Abhishek Banerjee and Chandan Roy Sanyal who bring a breath of fresh air. After Paatal Lok, the expectations from Abhishek Banerjee are only higher and he does not disappoint in his part as an international kingpin. While the actor is capable of much, much more, it’s the writing in this case that seems lacklustre. As for Chandan, the actor has returned to the screen after quit some time and his restrained act is easy to take in.
Paoli Dam is fierce as ever but her character’s motivation and conviction to carry out killings and shoot goons at the drop of a hat is simply preposterous. The same rigmarole of going to extreme lengths to save her son continues in the second season as well. Kaali 2 also pans out in a back and forth manner with too many locations and timer to keep a track of. The plot of the web series shifts in every other episode and the coveted prize of a torn Rs 500 note seems to be forgotten halfway through the series.