The psychological thriller series, ‘The Gone Game’, conceived and shot during the first year of the pandemic, has returned with its second season. The first had a frugal set-up, with the actors shooting for their parts from the confines of their homes, thanks to the nationwide lockdown and the uncertainty around Covid-19, the second season cranks the game up a notch in terms of production design.
The upgraded production design doesn’t really trickle down to the narrative as the plot keeps losing itself. The season opens in a classic ‘fabula-syuzhet’ style, presenting the end first. From then it harks back to the events that lead up to the end sequence.
The second season follows the events post the projected death of lead character Sahil Gujral (played by Arjun Mathur), who, in reality, has flown off to a place with the intention to cross over to the India-Nepal border after pulling off a Rs 300-crore scam.
As Sahil is on the run, the lives of the people who are connected with him goes into a messy downward spiral with the needle of doubt on his wife Suhani (played by Shriya Pilgaonkar), who eventually is gunned down.
The shocking murder amplifies the scrutiny of the Gujral family as they become prime suspects in a national scandal. The investigation of the murder and Sahil’s efforts to stay afloat form the crux of the story.
What bogs down the show is the storytellers’ weak grip on the narrative, which even good performances from its talented cast of Arjun Mathur, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Sanjay Kapoor, Dibyendu Bhattacharya and Shweta Tripathi Sharma cannot compensate for. The conflicts lining up the plotlines are resolved too soon, leaving no room for the viewer to connect, and empathise, with the characters.
Another factor that adds salt to the injury is the show’s DI (digital intermediate), which is responsible for the colour grading being off in many sequences.
Though the direction and screenplay may appear inconsistent, the cinematography saves the show in many instances. It departs from textbook shots and explores new perspectives (and aspect ratios) on many occasions.
With more room to experiment and a bigger playground this time around, one would expect ‘The Gone Game’ Season 2 to take things to the next level, but the show barely manages to levitate beyond a certain level. In a way it is unjust to its cast who have done everything in their capacity to put up a good show.
Web Series: The Gone Game Season 2
Director: Abhishek Sengupta
Cast: Sanjay Kapoor, Arjun Mathur, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Harleen Sethi, Rukhsar Rehman, Lubna Salim and Amit Jairath
Streaming on: Voot Select
Duration: Five episodes (25-29 minutes each)
–By Akshay Acharya