By Troy Ribeiro
Jan 28: Series: 'Pavitra Rishta Season 2' (Streaming on Zee5). Duration: Average 21 minutes per episode (eight episodes in all).
Director: Nandita Mehra. Cast: Shaheer Sheikh, Ankita Lokhande, Usha Nadkarni, Suchita Banderkar, Ashima Vardhan, Pooja Bhamrah, Anant Joshi, Vivek Dahiya and Tasneem Khan.
IANS Rating: ***
There are many reasons why 'Pavitra Rishta' on Zee TV hit headlines. It ran for five years between 2009 and 2014, showcasing 1,424 episodes, making Archana and Manav an iconic couple. And with the premature demise of Sushant Singh Rajput in 2020, the series received a new lease of life.
Season 2, consisting of eight episodes, once again centres around Manav, a car mechanic now working in the automobile sector, and his ex-wife Archana. The story takes off from where it left in Season 1, where their marriage ended, and the duo went their own ways. After their divorce, Manav married Akanksha, and Archana is still single.
But, as they say, never say never to destiny. Season 2 shows us how their paths cross time and again with all the tragic turns, the heart-wrench, the twist, the suspense and the sweetness, akin to the storylines of most romantic classics.
'Pavitra Rishta Season 2' is a love story, a family story, and a story about betrayal, sacrifice, forgiveness, and being true to yourself and your feelings.
Packaged as three chapters, the plot unravels in such a way that not everything is what it seems at first sight. This drama is a fitting representation of how love should be portrayed as being befitting of a pure relationship ('Pavitra Rishta').
The first episode titled, 'Deja Vu', lays on the table a web of complicated relationships; by the second episode, the characters and their relationships are all ironed out, and you are in sync with what is happening on screen. In the fourth episode, the story takes a two-year leap and what follows is a relatable narrative that will pull at your heartstrings, and you can't stop thinking about the lead pair.
But by the seventh episode, as the final chapter begins, and the story takes a further leap of two years. You'd notice that the plot turns ridiculously lame and forced, wrapping up the series in a hurry and a predictable manner, but by the end, you get three fulfilling love tales.
The series is engaging because of both the on-screen chemistry between the lead pair and the endearing performance by each character, and to top it all, there are no negative characters in the series. The tale is purely about romance and the bitter-sweet matters of the heart.
Shaheer Sheikh is a brilliant actor. He slips into Manav's shoes effortlessly and you relate to his despair, pain and pathos.
Ankita Lokhande, too, delivers a superbly intense performance. She appears a bit run-down with her mannerisms and subtle expressions, but that's what makes her character, Archana, who is blatantly affected all the time.
The duo is ably supported by Ashima Vardhan as Manav's wife Akanksha; Usha Nadkarni as Savita, Manav's rustically rusty mom; Vivek Dahiya as Rajveer, Archana's colleague and boss; Anant Joshi as Archana's family friend Satish; Pooja Bhamrah as Archana's sister Varsha. They all, with their brilliantly natural demeanour, enhance the season.
Overall, mounted with ace production values, the series reinforces the belief that love never dies even during the toughest moments in the drama.