Inside Edge 2
Cast: Angad Bedi, Tanuj Virwani, Vivek Oberoi, Richa Chaddha, Aamir Bashir
Creator: Karan Anshuman
Like the Indian Premier League, Inside Edge, which revolves around a similar tournament Power Play League, never shows any qualms in its affection for quick thrill shots, and the new season gets even better with more nasty characters and scheming franchise owners.
Arvind Vashisth (Angad Bedi), the ideal street-smart captain of Mumbai Mavericks is back in PPL but with a new team Haryana Hurricane. The previous season established some sort of rivalry between Vashisth and gifted batsman Vayu Raghavan (Tanuj Virwani). The idea was to present them as teammates with totally different approach to the game. However, match fixing reports and the accidental shooting of Devendra Mishra (Amit Sial) forced them to part ways.
This time, the makers—creator Karan Anshuman and directors Aakash Bhatia and Gurmeet Singh—have chaffed out extra flab, which means they expect the audiences to take some characters on their face value. It’s not a bad idea considering Inside Edge 2 is more about PPL patrons than the game itself.
Yashwardhan Patil aka Bhaisaab (a very nuanced Aamir Bashir) takes the center-stage and sets the ball rolling despite being surrounded by enemies. Believe it or not, Bashir has managed to attach motives to most of his ruthless tactics. Vivek Oberoi’s Dhawan is back in the game, but unlike the first season, he is more humane and less superman-like this time.
Actors like Sayani Gupta, who plays a master statistician and Virwani’s sister, and Manu Rishi Chadha, a franchise owner, have also been given more screen time. This serves the show well as it gives every major character a chance to add dimension to the story, which totally depends on the delicate equations between the well-wishers and money makers of the PPL.
The second season of the Amazon Prime show takes some time in coming on to the actual game. It happens only towards the fourth episode. By then, all the major parties are established. In fact, the writers smartly push on new characters that may take over the throne from Bhaisaab in the coming seasons.
Richa Chaddha’s Zarina Malik isn’t the docile, helpless woman anymore as she has quickly learnt the tricks of the trade. It seems like natural progression for most of the characters except Virwani’s Vayu, who still seems unidirectional, thanks to his foul mouth and anger issues.
Before you form any opinion, Inside Edge is not about proving test cricket’s importance in the world of T20s. Its sole motive is entertainment through quick twists and turns. To meet the purpose, sometimes it seeks refuge in free flowing abuses and steamy scenes too, but interestingly, none of these seems out of place.
The texture of the first season has been maintained. To be honest, it’s been outlined in a better way.
Karan Anshuman, who is also the showrunner for Mirzapur, has slipped in a certain kind of tonality in Inside Edge 2. Shocking yet full of hook points and without any pretention of looking ‘serious’. It’s never too heavy to make you think twice before streaming the next episode and never too light to overlook plot points. It’s just the right blending.
Performance wise, Bashir, Bedi and Oberoi are the frontrunners but the show has potential to carve out new story drivers, Sapna Pabbi could be one of them.
Inside Edge 2 is more conniving in nature and that raises the fun quotient. It’s an enjoyable commentary without being heavy on senses. It should be on your binge watch list.
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