Pushpavalli, Season 2: Web Series Review
Amazon Prime Video.
Director: Debbie Rao.
Language: English, Hindi, Kannada.
Genre: Comedy, Drama.
Release Date: 13th March 2020.
Platform: Amazon Prime Video
“Amazon Prime Video’s Pushpavalli Season 2, starring Sumukhi Suresh, follows Pushpavalli’s return to Bangalore after her engagement. Is her journey worth your while? Find out in this review.”
Pushpavalli, now engaged to the sweet and gentle Vidyuth, has returned to Bangalore. Everyone assumes that she has moved on from her past but the reality is quite different. Is she here to make amends? Or is she set to take revenge?
Sumukhi Suresh is a powerhouse in Pushpavalli. She has a complete understanding of Pushpavalli’s mindset and fits into her character with ease and perfection. Season 2 is a riveting reach into Pushpavalli’s mindset as she returns with vengeance and becomes dangerously deranged in her ways.
Sumukhi portrays the imperfectness of Pushpavalli well. She is conflicted and desperate. Her mind, explored meticulously in this season, is self-loathing and tormented by the humiliation of her past, but does not learn easily, continuing relentlessly in its pursuits. She sways between her love for Nikhil and her desire for revenge, but the wounds to her psyche that surface every now and then, end up forming the setup for her actions leading to an explosive finale.
The show succeeds in making you root for Pushpavalli, despite her incessant mind games, web of lies, and unhinged actions. As a viewer, you may be upset or disappointed, but you genuinely feel sorry for her, hoping that she learns and chooses what’s right. She is likeable despite her out-and-out criminal activities. The only time you dislike her is when she is insensitive, rude, and condescending towards T-Boi, which in a way reflects her own position among others.
Naveen Richard continues his fiery performance as Pankaj, who, with his foul-mouth and misplaced temper, is more entertaining than before. The new season develops his arc further by adding a softer side to his persona, that comes out in his interactions with his love interest, Swati.
Manish Anand plays Nikhil adequately well. Interestingly, the portrayal of Nikhil moves beyond his loveable image and brings out grey tones in his character. He exploits Pushpavalli’s vulnerabilities, playing with her regrets to get his work done, only to push her away. A point to note is that this extreme antagonizing could very well be Pushpavalli’s own changing perception.
The highlight of the show, again, is the quintessential Kannadiga landlady, Vasu, played by Shraddha. With a rollicking personality and impeccable comic timing, Vasu’s presence always results in a laughter-riot. Preetika Chawla as Swati and Latha Venkatraman as Pushpavalli’s mother are a delight to watch. Vidyuth Gargi is endearing in his role as Vidyuth. Ashok Pathak’s T-Boi, too, retains his amusing presence.
Debbie Rao’s direction gives the show’s vision clarity, ensuring that the narrative is balanced in its darkness and humour. This allows Pushpavalli to retain its tragicomic elements while venturing into Pushpavalli’s insecure and precarious mind. The cliffhanger at the end definitely leaves you wanting for more.
The novelty that Pushpavalli enjoyed in the first season wears off. While there’s a fresh storyline taking on a darker, more engrossing form, the underline thematic developments do not happen and it’s not as riveting as it seems in the trailer. Somewhere in the middle, the story, for a short while, loses its sharpness and goes back to a familiar, dull repeat of the past. Fortunately, it catches back right up in the last two episodes.
The repeated intercuts to the past, although serving a purpose, become slightly distracting after a point. The whole subplot where Pushpavalli has Nikhil’s mother pushed from the stairs is too much even for her. And she never even faces accountability for it either. Pushpavalli Season 2
Pushpavalli is an engrossing series that is as dark as it is amusing. Worth a watch!
Some elements in Pushpavalli’s story are inspired from Sumukhi Suresh’s life. Sumukhi completed her Food Science degree, then moved to Bengaluru and worked at a children’s library. After that, she worked as a chef and then briefly at a food laboratory before starting a career in stand-up comedy.
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