Thursday, July 18, 2024

Asur- Season 1 and 2 Review: A.I. vs Humanity?

Robin Bhuyan (Editor)

Released just before the Coronavirus lockdowns, Asur is an Indian web-series revolving around a psychopathic killer who takes inspiration from Indian mythology, and considers himself as Kali Purush. In Hinduism, Kali Purush is considered as a demon who is the personified form of all negativities in human beings, who rules over the world in Kaliyug. The first season of Asur stars Arshad Warsi, Barun Sobti, Ridhi Dogra, Anupriya Goenka, among several others, most of whom reprise their roles in the second season as well, which was released recently on 1st June.

Finding a modern-day movie or TV/web show which incorporates elements of Hindu mythology can be quite challenging, if not impossible, due to the Westernization of most of our content that is produced, whether it is on theatres or on OTT platforms. Therefore, Asur proved to be a turning point, because it not only incorporates Hindu mythological themes, but it also has a fantastic concept with a gripping storyline that manages to keep you hooked till the end. The story revolves around the antagonist, Asur, who considers himself as Kali Purush, and begins killing people who are considered as righteous and benevolent by society. By doing so, he intends to anger Bhagavan Vishnu, who is considered one of the major Gods in Hinduism, so that Vishnu incarnates Himself as Kalki, who is considered as one of His main and final avatars. Asur’s goal is to destroy Kalki, and start the creation of a New World. He wants to prove to the human race that morality and ethics are nothing but a facade.

The first season ends on an interesting note, confusing the viewer about who the actual antagonist aka Asur is, because the character seems to have an endless number of followers who act just like him, and is extremely devoted to him. The main two protagonists investigating the case include Dhananjay Rajput, played by Arshad Warsi, and Nikhil Nair, played by Barun Sobti. Although both the characters have similar goals, i.e., to bring Asur to justice, their methods differ. While Nikhil believes in the system, and always tries to uphold the law, Dhananjay believes in punishing the criminals in any way necessary, even if it means breaking the law.

If you have watched the series, you will notice some small similarities with the anime Death Note, as well as the Oscar winning films The Dark Knight (2008) and Joker (2019), as in Asur, we see a character who is neglected and abused since childhood, and gets inspired to start killing people to prove to society that all kinds of morality and ethics is fake, and plans to start a New World, which he considers to be perfect. Although the series has an interesting concept, which you might have never seen in Indian cinema, there are some loopholes or inconsistencies as well. However, these can be easily ignored and you can enjoy both the seasons without bothering much about them.

The first season did a great job, but unfortunately fans had to endure a long wait over three years to watch the second season. Although in the second season, the story continues to be gripping and full of surprises, there are instances where you might feel that the show has become sluggish as well as overly prolonged. One interesting thing about the second season is that we see that the primary antagonist aka Asur seems to have an endless number of followers, who believe that innocent, kind-hearted and ethical people need to be murdered, in order to prove that human nature is fundamentally selfish. They believe that they will need to keep piling up the numbers, so that Kalki, the final Avatar of Vishnu, reincarnates, so that Asur can kill Him.   

The antagonist is shown to rely hugely on technology and Artificial Intelligence to carry out his plans, and through this, the series might also be trying to show how technology and A.I. can be used to easily manipulate the masses, and lead humanity to anarchy. It not only shows us the limitations of A.I. but also explores how A.I. can be dangerous, if it falls into the wrong hands. However, the second season may be a tad disappointing if you compare it to the first season, which was a mixture of crime, forensics and mythology. The second season, at several times, requires suspension of your disbelief. For example, you will see the antagonist and his followers having huge AI and tech dens, hiding just under a part of the city, or in the middle of nowhere. Despite these flaws, the last two episodes will definitely give you an amazing experience, where you will be trying to guess what happens next.

If you are tired of watching Indian action flicks where the ‘heroes’ are shown as infallible do-gooders, you will definitely find this series quite refreshing, where the main characters act like genuine humans, trying to navigate between good and evil.

Rating – Season 1 – 9 out of 10, Season 2 – 8 out of 10.  

Related articles

error: Content is protected !!