The Hindi web series Mumbai Diaries Season 2 is directed by Nikkhil Advani and stars Mohit Raina, Konkona Sen Sharma, Satyajeet Dubey, Natasha Bharadwaj, Mrunmayee Deshpande, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Tina Desai, Sonali Kulkarni
Where can you watch Mumbai Diaries Season 2 in the UAE?
Mumbai Diaries Season 2 is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Mumbai Diaries Season 2 review
Mumbai Diaries’ first season was, for all practical purposes, a great lesson on how to build a fictional account around a major national disaster. The Mumbai terror attack 2008 was a cataclysmic event that shook the nation’s consciousness. The nation watched transfixed as armed terrorists from across the border went on brutal and blood-thirsty killing spree. Much of it was on live news television.
Nikhil Advani, Mumbai Diaries’ director, smartly focused on the side event at the Mumbai General Hospital, which had to deal with the endless flow of victims. The moral quandary of doctors who had to treat injured terrorists, too, was brilliantly brought out.
The existential disquiet, whether to treat them (terrorists) as injured patients or as national villains (which they sure were), can never be easily sorted out. Apart from grappling with that, Advani seamlessly coalesced the personal story arcs of some of the medical personnel and one snoopy journalist into the narrative. All in all, it made for a gripping watch.
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In the second season, his focus is on the 2005 Mumbai floods. To be precise, on the night of July 26, 2005, when Mumbai came to a grinding halt, an unprecedented cloudburst led to 944 millimetres of rainfall in 24 hours, claiming 1094 lives. He segues this and scenes at the same Mumbai General Hospital, with more or less the same characters, plus some more.
Dr Subramaniam (Prakash Belawadi) still is in charge of the hospital’s administration. The story’s main man, Kaushik Oberoi (Mohit Raina), who was under a cloud for trying to save the terrorist medically, is again in the saddle. But he is uncertain or unsure for multiple reasons. His wife, Ananya Ghosh (Tina Desai), is pregnant. He worries about her. And she about him. If he was the true leader of the pack in the first season, he is beset with inner issues and hence, his character is less impactful.
His three interns, Dr Sujata Ajawale (Mrunmayee Deshpande), Dr Ahaan Mirza (Satyajeet Dubey) and Dr Diya Parekh (Natasha Bharadwaj) are also around. They have their own set of issues to contend with. Then there is also Dr Chitra Das (Konkona Sen Sharma), one of the show-stealers last time around. This time, she has to deal with Dr Saurav Chandra (Parambrata Chattopadhyay), a visitor from her past. Parambrata is an interesting addition and he acquits himself with aplomb. The always hovering around head nurse Cherian (Balaji Gauri) is also in the scheme of things.
The nosey journo Mansi (Shreya Dhanwanthary), who was a fount of problems in the first season, is also around. This time, she wants to ask questions about the system (corrupt officials, malfeasant politicians in power and greedy real estate operators) that allowed the city to submerge and its population to suffer. But her editor wants her to focus on the spirit of the beleaguered city and present a feel-good slice amidst the watery chaos.
Mohit Rana is spot-on in a controlled performance that again holds this 8-episode series together. The man shows a mature hand in playing a mature doctor. Konkona, Prakash, Parambrata, and Shreya are all fine as much as their roles allow them to be. But there are too many characters and since each has his/her own story, there are too many distractions and the main issue of flooding itself seems submerged, as it were.
Also, as an event, the flooding of Mumbai does come with the searing moral indignation that the Mumbai terrorist attack had. In that sense, Advani and his team of writers, Yash Chetija and Persis Sodawaterwala, with dialogue by Sanyukta Chawla Shaikh, are hamstrung in the first place. But if some cinematic license taken in certain situations at the hospital makes you raise your eyebrows and roll your eyes, Malay Prakash’s camerawork and lighting supply a lot of realism.
Mumbai Diaries Season 2 is no patch on its predecessor. But this one on rains and floods is no damp squib either.
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An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.