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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Spotlight 2 review: Stereotypical characters, a done-to-death narrative and the same old Vikram Bhatt

Vikram Bhatt's Spotlight 2 starring Karan V Grover and Aditi Arya in the lead is one of the most underwhelming shows on the internet right now and the 20-minute episodes will make you move your cursor every few seconds waiting for the tiresome series to end.

Written by Shivangi Jalan | New Delhi | Updated: February 20, 2018 6:30:10 am
spotlight vikram bhatt karan v grover show Vikram Bhatt’s Spotlight 2 could be one of the most underwhelming shows on the internet right now

Welcome to the world of Vikram Bhatt. Where when men aren’t busy saving themselves from evil seductresses, they are high-headed rockstars who depend solely on their better halves to regain their lives. Yes, that is the premise of Vikram Bhatt’s latest offering Spotlight 2 which has been made available on streaming platform Viu. Recycled tropes, a done-to-death narrative and stereotypical characters are just a few of the liberties that the makers dare to take with the second installment of Spotlight.

The premise is simple. Vicky Varma (Karan V Grover) is a singing prodigy. At the peak of his music career, he does what most rockstars do in the filmy universe — drugs, alcohol and sex. Finally, when his recklessness gets too out of hand, he is ousted by everyone including his music producer with ‘benefits’ Deeya Sarkar (Ruhi Singh). He loses everything — fame, money and friends, though I doubt he had any. Now, for the remaining lot, except Deeya of course, there is just one agenda — getting Vicky back on track. It takes little convincing for his ex-girlfirend Jyothika (Aditi Arya) who he also cheated on, to agree to take up Vicky’s cause.

In short, Vicky is the centre point of everybody’s universe in Spotlight. At one point in the series, Vicky himself says, “Kuch toh ache karam kiye honge meine, jo mujhe tumhare jaise dost milein.” Throughout the 13 episodes, I keep wondering the same. A number of characters are introduced here with the only purpose of proving a point in the plot. Nisha, for example, enters the scene only to make the viewers realize that Vicky and Jyothika love each other. There is absolutely no sexual chemistry between her and Grover. Their racy scene is a pain to watch on the screen and in case you’re wondering, so are the rest.

While most of the characters are particularly one-dimensional, Anubhav (Mehul Dawar) is the one that especially stands out. The kind of dedication that Vicky’s manager shows towards him has been exaggerated to the point that it seems like his life’s only purpose is Vicky. And apart from this, there isn’t any character trait that Bhatt dares to explore in Anubhav.

The way Spotlight 2 looks at its women is also pretty skewed. They belong to the extremes, they are either skimpily clad and overtly sexual drug addicts or the ‘sati savitri’ goody gooders.

There is Deeya, the modern day Komolika. She is introduced in the show clad in a bikini because that’s power dressing? (Cue: Vikram Bhatt’s world) Her ego is so fragile that once Vicky leaves her company, her only aim in life is to destroy his career. Most of her screen presence is wasted in trying to prove that she is the reason behind Vicky Varma’s success and not the other way round. As Nisha says, these are the kind of girls that Vicky needs apparent “saving from.” Then, there is Jyothika, the only girl who dresses up normally because she is the only one who deserves Vicky?

While Grover does a passable job at essaying Vicky, Arya can’t stand the test of time for Jyothika. There comes a scene where Jyothika in a fit of passion sobbingly walks away from Vicky and Arya delivers the most cardboard cut-out performance. Ruhi is extremely melodramatic in her act but maybe that is what the script demands.

The way Vicky transitions from his high-headed, drug addict self to his ‘Good Samaritan’ avatar is like a miracle, as the episode is aptly titled. After a point, even the originally composed soundtracks by Harish Sanganay and Ankit Shah are indistinguishable from each other. The kind of importance that songs hold in a musical’s narrative is again not something that the makers bothered to take into account.

Spotlight 2 is one of the most underwhelming shows on the internet right now and the 20-minute episodes will make you move your cursor every few seconds waiting for the tiresome series to end.

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