Before 2016 and demonetisation, a self-sustaining economic model was being set up to spread fake currency notes in India. Counterfeiting of currency has traditionally been a key weapon to sponsor terrorist organisations, criminal gangs and money launderers. Director Raj Acharya’s SonyLIV web series Avrodh 2 is a retelling of how the government and the armed forces worked tirelessly to cease militant activities and the outspread of fake notes in India.
It all starts when Pradeep Bhattacharya (Abir Chatterjee), an army and income tax officer, catches fake currency notes worth Rs 50 crore in Assam and is thereafter assigned to form a network to sieve out the truth behind counterfeit notes and militant activities across the country. There’s palpable tension in the air from the very first episode, and Avrodh 2 sucks you right in.
Before getting to see the on-ground action by army personnel, we get to witness the closed-door meetings between the Prime Minister and other leaders discussing the economy, demonetisation and terrorism. The intelligence gathering and strategising create enough intrigue. Through the sequences involving the main antagonist, Ehsaan Waziri (Sanjay Suri), the makers show how terror outfits operate without using an actual army.
Ehsaan plots with India-based Parveenaa Shahnaz (Aahana Kumra) to plan and execute his mission. She is a local politician in Amritsar, Punjab, who joins hands with the Pakistani politician and businessman to spread hatred and remind people of the carnage during the 1980s.
The eight-episode series celebrates the intelligence and courage of the Indian Army as it takes the viewer through numerous operations while building up to the final triumph. Along with some creative liberties, writers Brijesh Jayrajan and Sudeep Nigam give a detailed account of how Captain Pradeep Arya formed an intelligence network to eliminate terrorist activities. The only drawback here is the limited screen space given to the antagonists. Also, if you expect to experience moments of adrenaline rush similar to what you had while watching military dramas like Border, Lakshay and Uri: The Surgical Strike, you won’t find them here.
What plagues Avrodh 2 is its slow pace. That heart-pounding action comes only towards the end and is limited to a couple of episodes. On the other hand, the high point of this series is definitely the cast, which has pulled in commendable performances, especially Abir Chatterjee, who is impressive as Pradeep Bhattacharya. Aahana Kumra, Anant Mahadevan, Krishna Hebbale, Mohan Agashe, Neeraj Kabi, Rajesh Khattar, Sanjay Suri and Vijay Krishnan added finesse to their respective roles too.
While the narrative mostly stays on the ground, the cinematography and background score keep the mood and tempo going through most of the episodes. Overall, despite a predictable story arc, there are enough twists and turns in Avrodh 2 to make it a gripping watch.