The second season of the MX Player Marathi web series Samantar sees the return of Swwapnil Joshi and Nitish Bharadwaj as characters soldered together by a common destiny. In the first season, Kumar (Joshi) learns that his life parallels that of Sudarshan Chakrapani (Bharadwaj). Whatever is happening to Kumar in the present has already happened to Sudarshan, setting Kumar on a path of pre-destination.

Kumar spent the bulk of the first edition tracking down Sudarshan. When they finally meet, Sudarshan hands Kumar a diary with a piece of advice: you will learn today what is going to happen to you the next day, but don’t read more than one page at a time. Like the fairy tale character who nibbles on the enchanted apple too early or ignores the warning to look over his shoulder, Kumar finds that it is hard to outrun fate.

Both men are undone by a femme fatale, played by Sai Tamhankar. As Sundara, Tamhankar embroils Sudarshan in a murder investigation. As Meera, Tamhankar damages Kumar’s reputation and causes tensions between him and his loving wife Nima (Tejaswini Pandit).

Swwapnil Joshi in Samantar season 2 (2021). Courtesy GSEAMS/MX Player.

Screenplay writer Ambar Hadap, working on an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Suhas Shirwalkar, is back to stir the pot once again. The directorial reins have passed on from Satish Rajwade to Sameer Vidwans.

The second season is more eventful but as repetitive as before, resorting to far too many flashbacks and over-the-top scenes to pile on the tension. Even after 10 episodes, the philosophical implications of psychic twinning remain underexplored. What we are left with is an enjoyably pulpy but overlong saga of men brought to the brink of ruin by foolish ambition and crafty women.

Marathi movie star Swwapnil Joshi stretches himself to the limit to portray a victim of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sai Tamhankar is the show’s most memorable character, exuding mystery and charisma as the woman of dreams and nightmares. Also impressive are Tejaswini Pandit as Kumar’s hapless spouse and Nitish Bharadwaj, who is suitably chilling as Kumar’s partner in crime and time.

Samantar 2 (2021).

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