The trope of a lone wolf collaborating and taking care of a too-smart-for-their-own good kid is universally beloved. HBO’s “The Last of Us” is gaining global love and fans due to the dynamic between Pedro Pascal’s Joel and Bella Ramsey’s Ellie. But we are not here to talk about that dynamic. Instead, we are here to discuss the other lone-wolf and troubled child dynamic- between Mehdi and Liana in season 2 of “Ganglands.”
Now, obviously, the dynamic between Mehdi and Liana isn’t exactly like Joel and Ellie, but it’s undisputed that the two are in tune with each other and work extremely well together. In season 2 we see their relationship and bond develop further, which will be visible in their well-coordinated fighting style. Speaking of the fights and action sequences, it’s uncontested that those are the USP of this show. From the well-staged hand-to-hand combat scenes to the ones with guns and artillery, every motion is perfectly choreographed and filmed. The chase sequences are beautifully shot and convey the thrill and exhilaration of the moments perfectly.
The camerawork is fluid during the action sequences and crisp during the stationery and emotional moments, making for a compelling watch. The color grading with gray and dark green conveys grittiness, which will definitely help viewers immerse themselves in the world of the show. Another thing that will draw viewers back into the gorey and thrilling world of “Ganglands” is the convincing acting of the star cast. Every grit of the teeth and every crease of the forehead perfectly signals to the audience the stakes of the world they are watching.
As for the storyline, that’s the best part of the show. The fight scenes wouldn’t have the weight to them without the writers’ smart dialogues and scenes. Created by Julien Leclercq and Hamid Hlioua, season 2 has outpaced season 1 by presenting a smart plot where it’s always a cat-and-mouse game, the only difference is that the role of the prey and the predator is always changing. At the end of season one, we saw Shaïnez die at the hands of Chris. In season 2, Mehdi and Liana try to get their revenge on Chris for Shaïnez’s death.
But that’s not the reason alone. They are also trying to steal the precious diamonds he’s planning to bid on. However, things go bad once Mehdi injures a Venezuelan cartel lord’s son. From then on Mehdi and Liana have to save their behinds since the drug lord wants their heads for this crime. But apart from cartels, the cops are also targeting and following every move of the duo. To add to their troubles, there’s Almeida, the South American prosecutor who is playing the cops so that he becomes the next cartel boss. So even though Liana and Mehdi dream of escaping away from the shady world they inhabit, it isn’t so easy.
Overall, season 2 of “Ganglands” is bloody and gorey. There’s no morality or ethics in the dog-eat-dog world of the show. Everyone is violent and looking out for their own self-interest except for our leads who still try to save everyone they love. All of this makes for an exciting and exhilarating crime thriller that has to be seen to be believed.
Final Score – [8/10]
Reviewed by - Ishita Chatterjee
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Publisher at Midgard Times
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