Loser 2 Review: This sports drama is appealing when it is not prosaic

The locations look lived-in, thanks to Manisha Dutt's excellent production design. The BGM is another plus, so also the cinematography.

Updated on Jan 22, 2022 02:57 AM IST  |  460.8K
Loser 2 Review
Loser 2 Review: This sports drama is appealing when it is not prosaic
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Title: Loser 2 (Telugu) 

Cast: Priyadarshi, Kalpika Ganesh and others

Directors: Abhilash Reddy, Shravan Madala

Total no. of episodes:

Streaming on: Zee5 

Rating: 2.5/5

The web series under review is a sequel to the 2020 series 'Loser'. Suri Yadav (Priyadarshi delivers a dekko after 'In The Name of God', the Aha web series) is a national air-rifle shooter who has been reduced to a 'gumastha' in the government office where he works. Despite the odds, he wants to crack Olympics and has an able coach (Ravi Varma) and an Ad filmmaker Maya (Dhanya Balakrishna) as his pillars of support. 

Ruby (Kalpika Ganesh) is a former Badminton player who wants to begin a new life by steering clear of marital discord. Wilson (Sashank), a former cricketer, has a huge tummy and an adamant son John (Harshith Reddy) who wants to play international cricket come what may. 

A characteristic that is common to Suri and Wilson is that they both talk less. They are either angry or sulking or just cold. The latter looks like his self-esteem is low but the writing has more to offer as the story progresses. The understated grit of Suri may give way to something elese. The strong desire of a beloved person, the loneliness of a single parent, a character talking about building an image for others' consumption... these are some of the elements that make 'Loser 2' look adequate in bits and pieces.

There is a well-written scene where a key character tells Suri that one has to not only be a winner but also look affluent. Buying a car can both be your dream and a vehicle to achieve your dreams. In another scene, an anguished Suri questions the media's lowly enthusiasm for writing canards and negative news at the expense of publishing worthy stories. When this unassuming national player falls from grace, we should have felt really sad but that doesn't happen. 

The season is more voluminous compared to the first one. There is a father waiting to watch his son play in a state-level match with relative calm and occasional anxiety. There is a reference to marital rape in a well-narrated but not-so-nuanced segment. The flashing back to the past is not jarring but it's not moving either. There are two love stories that may not be under-developed but that don't hit the right notes either. 


A long-lasting relationship makes a comeback and Suri Yadav's behaviour vis-a-vis a woman is an example of fine writing. Amidst such elements, the series fails to rise above ultra-familiar tropes. The fight on the pitch plays out like an extended cliche. At times, John is a side-in for a sportsman with anger issues. The Wilson-John segment becomes pedestrian eventually. 

The viewer would do well not to read up the synopsis for each episode before watching it. They are dead giveaways. For example, we are told that Suri Yadav is on a transformational journey and the decision he is going to make might be guessed easily. This is among the vague spoilers. There are narrow, specific ones that take you through the entire episode in 25 words. 

The sports rivalries needed to be narrated with heft. They are highly predictable. A woman rediscovering her dreams, a motivational monologue, old-fashioned machinations, the pitch turning out to be a battlefield... these elements have been over-leveraged by our cinema. 

The locations look lived-in, thanks to Manisha Dutt's excellent production design. The BGM is another plus, so also the cinematography. 


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Credits: Pinkvilla

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