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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Hostages 2 review: A wasted effort

Hostages 2 review: Predictable to the T, Hostages Season 2 is at least eight episodes too long. The suffering lasts for full 12 episodes with a runtime of 40-minutes each.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Written by Ektaa Malik | Updated: September 12, 2020 8:40:00 am
Hostages Season 2Hostages Season 2 is available on Disney+ Hotstar VIP.

Hostages Season 2 creator: Sudhir Mishra
Hostages Season 2 cast: Ronit Bose Roy, Divya Dutta, Dino Morea, Shibani Dandekar, Shweta Basu Prasad, Shilpa Shukla, Amit Sial, Kanwaljit Singh, Dalip Tahil, Surya Sharma, Aashim Gulati, Anangsha Biswas, Mohan Kapur
Hostages Season 2 rating: One and a half stars

The curious case of improbable situations continues in the second season of Hostages. Picking up right where season 1 left off, this time the situations are far crazier and unbelievable. Sudhir Mishra continues as the series director, and we see the return of Prithvi (Ronit Bose Roy), the protagonist from season 1. Season 2 picks off where season 1 ended, with the successful kidnapping of the CM Kushwant Lal Hand (Dalip Tahil), by the motley gang of kidnappers led by Prithvi. There are some new members in the gang, and they are all headed to Kathmandu, because that’s where the bone marrow transplant between the CM and his illegitimate daughter will take place. The badass cop with a heart of gold, Prithvi has moved heaven and earth to make sure that his ailing wife doesn’t die, and that she will receive the life-saving bone marrow from the CM. But like most film kidnappings which tend to go awry, so does this one, and Prithvi and his crew are apprehended within minutes of them leaving Gurgaon. They end up being holed up in a rundown, ramshackle building, and have been surrounded by the police. The ATS has arrived, and so has the police negotiator Ayesha Khan, played by Divya Dutta, and everything is being run by ATS chief Karnail Singh (Kanwaljit Singh). Things have become a circus, with the national media camping out, while Ayesha plays a game of chess with the cornered Prithvi. The irony is not lost. Last season, Prithvi was holding people hostage, and now he is the one backed up in a corner, with numerous guns pointing at him. Demands are made, some are met, some are tabled, and this is what season 2 of Hostages is all about. Do they get out of it alive? Or will they be at the receiving end of a sniper’s bullet? Of course, there is a larger conspiracy at play, but that’s expected.

Predictable to the T, season 2 is at least eight episodes too long. The suffering lasts for full 12 episodes with a runtime of 40-minutes each. Made with the idea of being a slow burn, the show gives one a headache instead, which by the tenth episode morphed into a full-blown migraine.

Maybe in an attempt to humanise the characters, the writers have tried to litter the screenplay with emotional scenes. But they only detract from the main plot, and bewilder you by its sheer audacity. While Prithvi is trying to negotiate for medical supplies and other necessities, his wife, the ailing Saba, is hysterical because she has not spoken to her daughter. Similarly, a relatively junior intelligence officer, who clearly is not happy with her work situation, blows off steam by ranting the choicest Hindi abuses in the foyer of her sarkari building, where anyone can just walk in and listen to that litany. These hysterical situations are punctuated by staccato dialogues which don’t ring true and sound hopelessly rehearsed. With the web space providing the space and time for meticulously detailed characters and story arcs, Hostages Season 2 is a wasted effort. There are plenty of twists of turns, and if done well, the show could have been a binge-worthy, edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Hostages has a cast encompassing good actors from almost three decades — right from Kanwaljit Singh, Shweta Prasad Basu, Ronit Bose Roy, Dino Morea, Shibani Dandekar, Amit Sial, Dalip Tahil and Divya Dutta. But getting the right people is only half the work done, the actors need something to work with. The script and the writing lets them all down. And of course when all else fails, add the choices of abuses, because abuses add heft and imply a sense of gravity. Well, they do nothing to salvage the lost plot of Hostages. Maybe Hostages Season 2 can serve as a game, where you score points whenever you spot a recognisable name on the screen.

Hostages Season 2 is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar VIP.

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