One can identify with the characters at pretty much every stage
The second season of the much-awaited ‘Four More Shots Please!’ dropped on 17th April on Amazon Prime Video and, if the trailer was anything to go by, it was about to take the audiences on another rollercoaster. With Sayani Gupta, Kirti Kulhari, Bani J and Maanvi Gagroo reprising their roles as Damini, Anjana, Umang and Sidhi respectively, there was definite promise of the continuation of the season one journey but now with characters that audiences were familiar with.
Season one left the viewers with the cliffhanger of whether Damini (Gupta) would get together with bar owner Jeh (Prateik Babbar) again and where her career would now take her. Anjana had begun an affair with an intern Arjun (Ankur Rathee) and it was yet to be seen where that would eventually lead. Umang’s affair with actress Samara Kapoor (Lisa Ray) was in a “will they, won’t they?” scenario and Sidhi had rejected her arranged marriage with her childhood sweetheart Mihir (Rajeev Siddharta) and wanted to search for herself. Ultimately, the four women are not on good terms.
Cut to this season two, which begins four months after the last season ends, and Damini and Jeh still aren’t together, but she is contemplating writing a book on the Judge Damodar case and she’s also very much “in touch” with Doctor Aamir (Milind Soman). Anjana realises she doesn’t want marriage and kids with Arjun, who says he’s head over heels for her, and she also discovers that she’s got unfinished business with her ex Varun (Neil Bhoopalam). Umang sees footage of Samara losing her control when being spotted going to rehab and ends up going to her house to see if she can steady her again. And Sidhi is in Instanbul drunk and crying her heart out, calling Umang to rescue her. This causes them all to come together once more.
Nupur Asthana took the director’s reins for this season from Anu Menon who directed the first. However, it has to be said that the two seasons still feel very seamless, with the second season obviously being fresher and arguably a little more ambitious in feeling because the settings are that much more familiar to the viewers. Asthana’s focus on the characters and their development, with Devika Bhagat’s very well written episodes, is laid bare for all to see. However, what makes the second season so much more exciting than the last is the growth of the initial storylines and the characters. The director and the team have made very fresh settings for the viewers to gorge on including Instanbul and Udaipur. And the drama continues for all four main characters, with familiar characters making a return and newer ones coming in to spice things up. There is equal quotients of heartbreak, tragedy, love, lust, drama and fun – a recipe fit for success, one may think.
In terms of performances, it is very hard to dissect the four female main actors’ efforts because everything feels so seamless. They are as fantastic as they were the first time round, if not better this time. A special mention should go to Ray who has much more scope as Samara this time, as well as Jeh who seems to really come into his own. Some of the other supporting cast returners not mentioned above include Simone Singh as Sidhi’s mother and Amrita Puri as Anjana’s ex-husband’s wife. All of these, including those mentioned above quite literally give the entire series its character and it seems even stronger this second time round.
Aside from this, the newbies Samir Kochhar who plays Shashank, Anjana’s work “rival” is a very welcome addition to the cast. Prabal Punjabi plays Amit, a comedian, who helps Sidhi find her calling, which she’s desperately been on the look out for – he is a fresh face to join this time and provides some light relief and gives Gagroo a fitting person which she bounces off in all the scenes they have with one another. Shibani Dandekar, as Shashank’s wife Sushmita, is truly mesmerising. She has only a handful of scenes towards the latter half of this season but her impact is really impressive.
It has to be said that this series still has a lot of sass and this was perhaps its USP from the start of season one. One can identify with the characters at pretty much every stage and when they come together, they give each other strength, honesty, fun and – most importantly – a feeling of being themselves. The finale episode of this season touches on this quite cleverly about finding “the one” but encourages a feeling of realisation that self-love is perhaps the most important thing. Many may feel that this season is not a great continuation as the four women seem to always get themselves into the same compromising situations but it does feel that this is the “in thing” about this series – a lot like a certain American show which was fronted by four women too. No names mentioned.
There are so many messages within the two seasons of ‘Four More Shots Please!’ and these are very interestingly and subtly embedded within the intertwining storylines. These characters quite literally show the viewer a side of life that is not without its ups and downs but in how you deal with situations, overcome them, and the mistakes you make.