The Gone Game 2 review: Sanjay Kapoor, Shweta Tripathi-starrer is a pale, predictable shadow of its impressive season 1
The Gone Game season 2 review: The second season of this Voot pandemic-era thriller fails to live up to the lofty standards set by season 1.
When season one of The Gone Game released in 2020, it was a unique experiment. As a taut thriller conceived, written, and shot during the lockdowns, it required actors to do much of the shooting themselves. How the cast and crew managed to make a watchable show despite the million restrictions, made The Gone Game stand out. Well, the very first scene of season 2 takes that USP and throws it out of the window quite brutally. The show is still set in 2020 and the abundance of masks and sanitisers on screen makes it clear. But by doing away with the novelty of closed-door claustrophobia, it relegates itself to just another thriller in the OTT space these days. Also read: The Gone Game review: Voot’s shot-during-lockdown thriller is an effective experiment
The first season of The Gone Game followed the Gujral family, who are shattered by the death of Sahil (Arjun Mathur), who apparently died of Covid-19 days after the first lockdown came into effect. Unable to go out of the house, Sahil’s parents (Sanjay Kapoor and Rukshar Rehman) and sister Amara (Shweta Tripahi Sharma) discover Sahil may have actually been murdered by his wife Suhani (Shriya Pilgaonkar). The twist in the tale is revealed in the season finale when they discover that Sahil is alive and actually framed his wife for his own ‘death’ as he plans to flee with money from a scam. Season 2 follows Suhani’s attempts at revenge while the Gujrals find themselves in a new soup.
Let’s face it. Thrillers in the Hindi streaming world are a dime a dozen these days. Every second week, one platform or the other sees the release of a thriller with some twist. What made The Gone Game stand out two years ago was that its twist was unique and unprecedented. Of course, the lockdowns couldn’t last forever so that had to go away. And hence, season 2--set in September and October 2020--sees that the pandemic is still around but people are out and about. And suddenly, The Gone Game gets lost in the crowd of similar-yet-different thrillers we have seen in the recent past.
Watch The Gone Game Season 2 trailer here:
Even minus the novelty, The Gone Game has an interesting premise that should keep the viewers glued. Add to it some strong actors and a very crisp 5-episode length and you have all the ingredients for a nice thriller. Alas, much of it is undone by some bad writing. The twists and unpredictable turns that made The Gone Game in season one are absent. You could see every twist from a mile away. Another turn off for me was the lack of research and absence of realism. Sahil is supposedly struggling to find a fake passport as he wants to flee to Nepal. Well, if he had only Googled, he’d find that Indians can cross over to Nepal without a passport too, with just a Voter ID, a document that is notoriously easy to obtain. Wish the writers had told him that. The show would have been much shorter.
But The Gone Game still has some positives, largely in the form of its performances and background score. Sanjay Kapoor as the two-faced patriarch is effortless and believable while Rukhsar brings credibility to her role as the mother who can see no wrong in her scammer son. But it’s Arjun Mathur who steals the show in a rare negative role. The actor has shown his mettle in Made in Heaven and here, he brings the desperation, anger, and deviousness of a criminal mind to the fore quite brilliantly. Shweta Tripathi Sharma as his suspicious and righteous sister is his ideal foil. The actor shows she is much more than just the unidimensional roles she has been given so far. Dibyendu Bhattacharya impresses in his small role but Harleen Sethi as a CBI officer--a new addition this season-- and Shriya Pilgaonkar as Sahil’s wronged wife fail to leave a mark.
The performances are some toppings that make a bland base called The Gone Game 2 somewhat watchable, but just barely. As a package, it is rendered eminently forgettable and largely avoidable. The good thing is that it is five episodes of 20-25 minutes each, so you won’t waste more than an afternoon on this if you do decide to binge it.
Series: The Gone Game, season 2
Creator: Nikhil Bhat
Cast: Sanjay Kapoor, Arjun Mathur, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Rukhsar Rehman, and Halreen Sethi