Aspirants Season 2 Review: A Flawed But Fascinating Upgrade

Rahul Desai

It Stages A Country’s Most Pressing Challenges

Academics, peer pressure, entrepreneurship, dysfunctional familyhood, sexism, middle-class ambition – as cutesy social vignettes. Real-world stories seem to unfold in a world that’s afraid of being too real.

Season 2 Continues The Juxtaposition Of Two Timelines

The past features the Old Rajindra Nagar adventures of three young UPSC hopefuls – Abhilash (Naveen Kasturia), Guri (Shivankit Singh Parihar) and SK (Abhilash Thapliyal) – hurtling towards yet another civil services exam attempt.

Pro-Establishment Or Just Blinkered Optimism?

One might argue that Aspirants 2 is almost pro-establishment, in that it portrays vengeful industrialists and politicians as people who are capable of reforming at the drop of a hat. 

Abhilash As An Unlikable Protagonist Of Sorts

Naveen Kasturia’s sharp performance ensures that Abhilash’s patriotism remains complicated. His arc suggests that – much like the protagonist of Newton (2017) – the character thinks he’s a hero by virtue of being righteous. 

There’s No Winning

Aspirants 2 is a rare – if slightly misguided – reminder that success can be costlier than failure; that exam conquests are only a prelude to life quests.