Normally, sequels don’t impress me much; but Zee5’s Ishq Aaj Kal has all the ingredients of a well-crafted thriller. It has set the stage for a high octane part 3, which hopefully will answer the litany of questions thrown up so far. There was one major drawback though – lot of gaping holes in the narrative.
Since this is the sequel and those who have not seen part 1 will not understand my normal format, I will review in a different way.
The story takes off from where Season 1 ended.
To be honest, I was not happy with the pace of the first 2 or 3 episodes. It was a bit flat, but then as the plot began to unravel, it piqued my interest.
One thing I did not get was how come Naaz (KavitaGhai) got Alia (Ankita Sharma)off the drug hook and why did the latter not dial SOS back home, rather than trusting outsiders. Also, how come her loving chacha (Vinay Jain) is not keeping tabs on her, especially knowing her boss, Naaz’s history? Also, how come he was unaware of what really happened to Alia’s dad whom he hates so much? Poor Eisha Singh (Ishq Subhan Allah)was wasted in Season 2 as well. Hope she has something better on offer in the finale outing.
What I really liked was the fact the writers have made most of the character’s grey, making for interesting viewing.
I was really impressed by Rajesh Khera as Arshad’s father Javed. He has lots of layers, i.e. wanting to get even with his sister-in-law Naaz, who always humiliates him.
Naaz also has an affair with the chief of the anti-terrorist squad, which she obviously wants to hide. Kudos to the creative team forNaaz’schic mature power woman look, and also, Kavita has done full justice to the character.
But Ejaz, Javed’s other son, gets wind of their liaison and starts blackmailing them in an attempt to help his dad regain controlling stake of the hotel where all the action takes place. Ankita is doing a good job as Alia. It was really good to make her look human, i.e. drinking part.
AngadHasija is true to his good businessman character(Arshad). But if he is so smart, how come he is ignorant of shady happenings under his watch? Not very good managerial skills?
We liked the very subtle romance between Arshad and Alia, a far cry from today’s wham bam thank you mam hook-ups, common on the web.
We all missed RoshmiBanik as Munmun. She was there in just 2 fresh scenes in the entire season.
Could the creative have given some darker twists to the friend character, Paresh (Kunal Nirola)? But all said and done, he did a good job.
Fired Faraz (ParasKalnawat) returns, courtesy Aamira (ShagunJaiswal), who convinces her mother Naaz to rehire him. But through Season 2, she keeps doubting his loyalty as he keeps getting close to Alia. Love triangle in Season 3?
Faraz is one more impressive grey character. He goes out on a limb to get into Naaz’s good books. But we wonder how he could break into hospital to getArshad’s alcoholic mother out. Faraz wants revenge from Javedat any cost.
The story also brings into sharp focus the burning issue of nepotism,whereAmairais treated like a queen by the manager. The snooty man also tries to fix Alia on Naaz’s orders, but Arshad becomes her Man Friday.
As it happens, Alia has to save the hotel from blushes, right? In one fashion event, the show stopper model gets stoned, so Alia walks the ramp along with Faraz. Which designer will allow a newbie to walk their prize piece?
Also, Alia seems to be a babe in the wood, not knowing the main bad guy Barkat Ali (Prakash Ramchandani) is very close to her boss’s family.
All said and done, the story moves quickly, keeping you wondering what happens next.
ProducerDheeraj Kumar has stuck to his promise of not making a sex and abuse fest.
Being youth-skewed, we enjoyed the short form mkh (ma ki ankh) lines.
As an analyst, I am not a big fan of non-linear storytelling, for although creatively satisfying, it confuses viewers, which can’t be good for mass numbers. Luckily, such time leaps were few in Season 2.
Also, given the time lag between seasons, it would be better to also have episodic stories running parallel to the main plot, to better hold the binge-watching crowd.
Our rating for Ishq Aaj Kal Season 2 is 2.5/5.