- BOTTOM LINE: Intriguing, Middling Take on Lives of Admakers
|Platform: MX Player||Genre: Drama|
What Is the Story About?
Thinkistan Season 2 isn’t any different from the first season in terms of its essence – mostly focusing the minds behind the admakers of the 90s. The conflicts, the characters are probably more nuanced here. The tale significantly revolves around Hema and Amit Shrivastava’s worsening equation over time owing to professional/personal conflicts in their lives. Meanwhile, the premier advertisement company’s belief system changes for the worse with the entry of a new creative head Williams. Moreover, a lot is happening within the personal space of its employees, there’s a misplaced sexual harassment scandal, the death of an employee among other significant episodes of the series.
Shravan Reddy, playing Hema, is undoubtedly the star of the series. In a role of several shades that has him succeeding/failing at so many levels – as a professional, a friend and a husband, he goes through the motions and Shravan fits the part quite neatly. Naveen Kasturia is another actor who gets the lion’s share of the screen space as Amit Shrivastava. However, he’s not as effective as his on-screen friend. He looks and plays the small-town vibe of his character to the hilt but he appears to ‘act’ too much than trying to ‘be’ the part.
One of the most integral aspects of storytelling is the honesty with which you do your job – and Thinkistaan is extremely efficient at its attempt. There are no cheap gimmicks with the 90s backdrop, no dilution of the advertising universe or manipulation of the problems that its protagonists are going through. Humour, emotion, conflicts appear in the story quite organically akin to the story of an individual of any profession – that’s why it’s able to create an air of universality within its space.
The major problem with the series is that it’s too well-rounded, too polished to look like real life and has way too characters that speak with utmost sophistication (which doesn’t help the reality it tries to attain). Before you invest in one character, the series switches its focus onto another one. The cycle just continues. There are just too many characters, personal conflicts waiting to be absorbed – you’re just lost in a cob-web of unending subplots. You’re still being entertained but you realise the maker is trying too hard. Had the series significantly focused on the problems of its pivotal characters Amit and Hema and the change in guard in office, the impact would have been wonderful.
The director packs in a debate about sexual harassment of workplace, also a ‘message’ giving thread that there’s no right ‘age’ to marry, a commentary about the inclusivity of the LGBTQI community, the story behind the origin of ‘Airtel’ among many others. The good things that the series does? The ability to easily relate with the fresh viewer base of the second season and its casting. The younger actors are given the mantle to carry the series forward while the senior names like Kabir Bedi, Mandira Bedi are there to provide emotional highs in critical junctures. The 12 episodes are tightly structured, mostly at around 23 minutes each. If not for its wavering focus, Thinkistan Season Two was a winner on the cards.
With Jayashree Venkataraman, Neil Bhoopalam, Kabir Bedi, Mandira Bedi, there are a host of performers with varied styles in the series and it helps the impact. Jayashree as Hema’s broken wife gets her act right. Kabir Bedi and Mandira Bedi with their heightened body-language can create drama with their parts and they utilise this trait to their advantage in Thinkistan Season 2. Neil Bhoopalam, the only ‘antagonist’ of sorts in the series does justice to his role. The actor playing Aashiq, the closeted homosexual poet, lends dignity to his part.
Music and Other Departments?
The music of the series could have been more smartly weaved into the plot – given a couple of characters keep writing poems and stare at the waters for creative inspiration. It could have weaved in the right element of magic with good cinematography. The visual backdrop of the series is quite limited to the workspace with occasional montages of Mumbai as a city. The production scale is adequate to meet the needs of the story.
Shravan Reddy’s performance
The intra-office dynamics between colleagues
Too many subplots
Lack of focus in the screenplay
Minimal effort with the music score
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, with reservations.
Thinkistan Season 2 Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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