New Delhi | Jagran Entertainment Desk: A narrative built out of coincidences gives out predictability as its default product but the second season of Voot Select’s ‘Illegal’ does not. The second season takes two episodes to take head-start but gradually manages to move forward to engage and entertain with its legal-political crisscrosses. Illegal’s legal ensemble of lawyers and law firms with its blend of politics comes out natural and ends up emerging as its strength episode after episode.

However, at least in the first couple of episodes, Ashwini Chaudhry’s direction appears borderline soap-operaish and struggles to justify the relevant legal backdrops clashing with each other. As the show progresses into episode 4, one finds the cast of the show under utilised. First due to mediocrity in cinematography and second because of unimpressive production designs.

Despite a uniquely crisscrossed screenplay fascinatingly navigating between politics and legal circles and its cross-roads, Illegal is still far from being India’s Suits or Boston Legals. It had the potential to be one but lacks the scale to be so.

The second season has more highs than lows and that’s exactly what makes it better than the first season. Neha Sharma’s acting quotient makes a gradual progression into proving her expressionistic finesse opposite someone as impressive as Piyush Mishra gets in the show. Sharma as Niharika continues to be subtle and  headstrong with her own share of vulnerabilities. Akshay Jaitley (Akshay Oberoi), Niharika’s ex and the successor of his father Janardhan Jaitley’s legal enterprise emerges as the gem of an entrepreneurial mind while brilliantly managing to match his father’s legacy of being the mastermind of ‘Illegal’.

Satyadeep Misra’s public prosecutor-turned law firm co-founder transition appears organic and devoid of any logical fallacies which ends up becoming an overarching backdrop of show’s legal precision other than Niharika’s courtroom arguments. As an actor, since his last OTT outing in AltBalaji’s ‘His Storyy’, Misra steps up his diverse expression game and leaves no scope to be typecast as a singular expression acting face.

Illegal tries to be different in its treatment of bland legal backgrounds of an overburdened Indian judicial system with its legally precise screenplay taking unpredictable turns episode after episode. But its direction struggles to rise above mediocrity and that’s exactly what scales down its audience gratification quotient in an otherwise excellently built up legal drama.

'Illegal' Season 2 started streaming on Voot Select from November 25, 2021 onwards.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma