It’s time to again raise a toast to the Damini (Sayani Gupta), Umang (Bani J), Anjana (Kirti Kulhari) and Siddhi (Maanvi Gaagro) – the four girls who are back in the second season of Four More Shots Please. The four women, who met at the Truck Bar and bonded over tequila shots, might not have learned much from their mistake, but their bonds are stronger.
Directed by Nupur Asthana and created by Rangita Pritish Nandy, Four More Shots Please Season 2 again deals with the same-old drama that these four girls dealt with in the first season, rightly called ‘Deja-chu’ by Anjana. A mess-up you’ve done before.
The series starts with a drunk Siddhi walking on the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. She drunk-dials Umang, which results in a reunion of the four in a foreign land. The three land up in Istanbul only to find Siddhi in bed with a Turkish guy, who they (including Siddhi) later discover is a hooker.
Siddhi’s character seems to have undergone a transformation, but gradually, the viewers get to understand that she is the same girl, who can’t deal with adulting. We understand that the series celebrates the unapologetically flawed women, but one should, at some point, learn from their mistakes and not repeat them over and over again.
The other three girls are more or less in situations similar to what we saw in the first season. Damini is still hanging between Jeh (Prateik Babbar) and Warsi (Milind Soman), while Umang and Anjana are still dealing with their respective relationship woes. The series touches upon various topics – from open marriage, infidelity, misogyny, body positivity to anti-nationalism – but doesn’t delve much deeper.
Istanbul was a major attraction in the trailer, but only the first episode featured the quaint cafes of the city along with a few tourist attractions, and before we could get used to the location, the series shifted back to Bombay. Not fair, we say. Especially when we can’t physically travel and have to rely on virtual tours The last two episodes were shot at Udaipur, which was all about Udaivilas Palace. Again, a tad unfair.
Cinematically the series is a joy to watch – be it the locations, the gorgeous outfits or the glamourous stars. The story flows at a steady pace but the wedding drama was a little stretched. The 10-episode series could have easily been wrapped up in eight. Story-wise, the girls still seem to be at the same juncture. Situations are different, but they all seem to be dealing with similar dilemmas and similar heartbreaks. There are moments when the girls are distraught, but they fail to connect to the viewers. It hardly touches a chord or stirs emotion.
Nowadays, every show tries to bring in the current political scenario. Same was seen in Four More as well. Damini writes a book on a judge who was murdered. This seems to be inspired by Judge Loya’s death case. In Sacred Games 2, the makers included mob-lynching while in Code M, the series spoke about cast-based violence. While these issues need to be talked about, at times, it appears to be forced. Like the little ‘Inquilaab’ moment that Damini enjoys at the literary fest when she is harassed by two political goons and is called ‘anti-nationalist’.
In the new season, relationships go through a lot of ups and downs. Siddhi talking about dealing with body-shaming in one of her comic acts is one of the wow moments of the show, where she reveals the importance of self-love.
Four More Shots Please is a women-centric show that features urbane women. Small-town girls have other concerns, which might not be an issue at all for these city girls. The show caters to the metropolitan crowd and certainly appeals to those dreaming of the big-city life. However, it’s still far from reality for girls who can’t even make their own decisions.
The second instalment of Four More Shots Please seemed to have given more limelight to Siddhi. It kind of begins and ends with her. Nothing to complain, as Maanvi Gagroo totally owned her character. Bani J was convincing as Umang while Lisa Ray seemed to be a little out of sync, especially during the proposal scene, which doesn’t get you emotional. Sayani Gupta and Kirti Kulhari totally justified their characters. Three new actors – Samir Kochhar, Shibani Dandekar and Prabal Panjabi joined the cast. There was hardly anything to do for Samir than look charming and act horny while around Anjana. Prabal, on the other hand, was apt as the stand-up comic and one of the most relatable characters on the show. It would have been nice if we could see a little more of Neil Bhoopalam, who plays Varun, Anjana’s ex-husband in the series.
In total, Four More Shots Please S2 is a good watch, and even helps satiate your wanderlust by giving you a glimpse of the three cities. We would have loved more, but we’ll take what we get. The episodes are around 35-42 minutes long and one can easily complete it over the weekend. And since the first season hooked you, you shouldn’t miss the second one.