It is very necessary to holistically understand the politics of a landscape, its culture, its power dynamics, its expected code of conduct, and its sensibilities in order to create conflicts that don’t look preposterous and pretentious. “Jamtara: Sabka number Ayega” Season 1 was able to do that quite effortlessly, and that is why it was able to stand apart from the plethora of series which tried to weave their narrative around similar settings. The biggest challenge is to not get reduced to a gimmicky representation where a film or a series has nothing authentic to say but still tries to latch upon a tried and tested formula. “Jamtara” came at a point of time where everybody just wanted to tell the stories of small towns, as they knew that there was a certain peculiarity that was omnipresent in the characters that resided there. A lot of times these films and series had no particular story to tell but merely wanted to make use of the setting, its originality, its flavors to their benefit. The problem was that there was blatant stereotyping that made you realize that the writing wasn’t backed up by proper research work. “Jamtara” crossed this hurdle in Season 1 and passed the test of authenticity with flying colors. But with the announcement of Season 2, there was yet another pertinent question that needed to be answered. The makers had to figure out the direction in which they were willing to take the story so that it was able to maintain the sanctity of the franchise and maybe even provide the audience with a more profound conflict.
“Jamtara: Sabka Number Aayega” Season 2 is directed by Soumendra Padhi and written by Kanishka and Ashwin Verman. It is based on a concept created by Nishank Verma. It continues from where it left off in Season 1 and once again makes us privy to the underprivileged underbelly of the Jamtara district, Jharkhand. The youth residing in the small town find a purpose when they realize that easy money could be made without taking much risk. The local politicians provided an environment where the illegal activities could be carried out without the fear of being caught or any other kind of hassle. Soon Jamtara saw the formation of a phishing racket that filled the pockets of the political masters and fueled the aspirations of the youths. The country was still adapting to the age of digitalization, and these unbridled youngsters took full advantage of the ignorance that prevailed among the masses.
Now, with the premise already established, the challenge becomes to further explore the narrative and create plot points that don’t look frivolous and, most importantly, are not there just for the sake of it. So, let’s first talk about the positive aspects of “Jamtara” Season 2 and what it does that most franchise sequels are not able to do. Kanishka and Ashwin Verman make sure that the series holds its ground, and that too, very firmly. Obviously, a creator gets influenced by the precedents that have already been set, and it is an undeniable fact that strains of the pre-existing creations would be visible in his own perspective. But the catch here is that you need to keep a check on those inspirations and stop them from becoming imitations. “Jamtara” is able to do just that. The series isn’t scared to make unpopular choices. It explores complex human emotions and the darkness that resides within them, which sometimes even the person experiencing them is unaware of. The series refrains from stereotyping any character, and that very aspect brings me to a very important point of how to refrain from cringe worthy dialogue writing that banks heavily on stereotypical images and is miles away from the actual lingo of the land. A lot of times, we have seen that the writers force certain words into the dialogues just to make us feel that the characters are well versed in the local dialect and that they belong to the make-believe world. The lingo becomes a touchstone for authenticity. But the point is that 90 percent of the time, the writers end up making everything way too pretentious and superficial. The usage of the local lingo is never the yardstick, but it is just a supplementing facet that is useless if one doesn’t understand what behaviors are given accreditation by society they are referring to. “Jamtara” focuses on the soul of the conversation and is able to intensify it by the usage of local dialect in the precise amount.
The series benefits greatly from some fantastic performances. Amit Sial as Brajesh Bhan, Sparsh Srivastav as Sunny Mondal, Dibyendu Bhattacharya as Inspector Biswa, Monika Panwar as Gudiya Mondal, Anshumaan Pushkar as Rocky, and the rest of the cast together put up a great show. The character of Rinku Mondal is probably the meatiest and most intriguing one of the lot, and Ravi Chahar’s performance elevates it even more. Just like Season one, “Jamtara” Season 2 also relies heavily on metaphors and analogies to create a profoundness around its narrative. The screenplay makes covert allusions to the epics and folklore of ancient India and derives its inspirations from there. It adds a philosophical layer to a vice called “desire” and makes us understand the intricacies of human emotions. The characters of Bachha and Munna, played by Rohit Kp and Harshit Gupta, respectively, add a “Shakespearean” tinge to the scheme of things. They look like a personification of the unearthly witches from the world of the Scottish general, Macbeth. They scrutinize the very existence of humans and try to find a plausible cause behind their motivations.
As the story progresses, you will find that the makers try to add a lot of angles that disturb the cohesiveness of the narrative and, in turn, make it look a bit scattered. The writers try to converge everything into one single structure in the climax, and you can’t help but question the purpose of including certain subplots. But there is so much flavor added, even to purposeless subplots, that you won’t get fatigued by them. There is no great revelation at the end of the series that would take you by surprise. You would realize halfway through in which direction it is going to tread. “Jamtara” presents the perfect concoction of compelling dramatization and realism. The motives of the characters might become mundane as the story progresses, but the dynamics between them remain as fresh as ever. It is the uniqueness of the relationships shared by the various characters that make Jamtara an intriguing watch. The series isn’t scared to make you privy to a harrowing reality of a power-frenzied and unjust patriarchal system. “Jamtara” tries hard to avoid the potholes and sometimes trips over them, but it quickly regains balance and starts walking briskly and reassuringly.