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Movie Review

Mirzapur Season 3: A binge-worthy saga of power and vengeance

BY ARNAB BANERJEE

Mumbai, July 5 (IANS) The long wait is over. Mirzapur Season 3 has arrived.

And is the delay in releasing the third installment any good? You bet it is. In Mirzapur Season 3, the reign of the Tripathis in Purvanchal is over. Guddu (Ali Fazal) and Golu (Shweta Tripathy Sharma) are pitted against a new contender as they stake their claim to the throne. Will they pass the baptism of fire to become the undisputed rulers or will external forces seek to destroy the seat of power forever?

All those who loved the ruthless scheming but extremely gripping first two seasons, are in for yet another violent but engrossing 10-episode series. The third season being the most anticipated web series, doesn’t disappoint all the die-hard fans of characters, such as Kaleen Bhaiyya, Guddu Golu or Sharad, who have become familiar names among youth in their day-to-day conversations.

Without giving out any spoilers, let me add that the series is gripping and the drama gets more intense (and gory) as the power struggles intensify.

Continuing from where it ended in season 2, season 3 has Guddu’s actions resulting in Munna Bhaiya’s death and Kaleen Bhaiya getting allied with Sharad (Anjum Sharma), which results in creating new power dynamics both within the family and outside as well. Kaleen calls Guddu “Bhasmasur,” the mythological legend blessed by Lord Shiva whose hubris killed himself. He is ready to pass on the throne of Mirzapur to Sharad and declares him the next Bahubali. That naturally leads to severe confrontations in which all the key characters – Guddu, Kaleen, Sharad, Beena, Golu, and Shatrughan – get involved.

The raw portrayal of the underbelly of power-hungry, revengeful and ready-to-kill has been the hallmark of Mirzapur. Though a fictional city, Mirzapur and its gruesome killings and cold-blooded murders are akin to what one reads in newspapers today. And that perhaps, resonates with the audience so really well. Alongside, the show manages to weave a complex narrative, rife with morally ambiguous characters. There are also sudden unanticipated twists that don’t really hit you hard as it’s all set against the backdrop of a merciless criminal landscape. But despite all the bloodshed, it remains a vicious cruel account of vengeance as characters harp on payback time making room for more primeval elements coming to the fore and giving us more thrills.

As you watch the developments, what is at its core is the tale of many such blending of Indian politics, lawlessness back-stabbing and the primary business of drugs in the Hindi heartland of Uttar Pradesh. With such a complex web of affairs, there are bound to be complicated relationships too. On that count, Mirzapur 3 interknits the familiar narrative that may seem familiar.

The iron-fisted Akhandanand Tripathi, the millionaire carpet exporter and the main boss of Mirzapur as Kaleen BhaIyya (Pankaj Tripathi) is grieving the death of his son Munna played by (Divyenndu) and is grievously injured. It is then that his nephew Sharad brings him to his home to help him recuperate. On the other hand advocate Ramakant Pandit (Rajesh Tailing), confesses his crime in the court of law and gets arrested. For some time it seems that the game of ambition, power and greed that threatens the fabric of this lawless city is on its way to normalize, but soon, Ramakant’s family urges him to leave justice in the hands of the judge and be accountable to his family too.

There is no glamorization in the unflinching violence that follows. Alternating between instances of morality and complete surrender to all the baser instincts of mankind, the 45-minute episodes revel in its portrayal of the socio-political landscape that is invariably hand-in-glove with the criminal world. The organised crime in the mafia parivar, the power-hungry politicians as also the rise of new challengers, keep the conflicts going forever.

Both the directors Gurmmeet Singh and Anand Iyer deserve praise for choosing to shoot in locations that add authenticity to the theme and make it all the more realistic. They also reveal the changing equations between power police and the common man that results in the roles that women play in society. Madhuri (Isha Talwar) who takes over as the chief minister is seen smoking with Sharad in one scene.

Sanjay Kapoor’s photography captures the dark dingy terrains of the hinterland wonderfully. The scenes of fights, attacks and killings are as heartlessly shown as editor Siddheshwar Ekambe doesn’t spare us the gore. Music by John Stewart Eduri is never jarring, and that says a lot about the subtle use of sound throughout.

But the series will be remembered for brilliant acting by all. Here, besides great acting skills of Ali Fazal, Shweta Tripathy, and Rasika Duggal, you will also notice Anjum Sharma, Vijay Varma, and Sheeba Chadha playing definite characters.

Vijay Varma and Anjum Sharma shine as they have more power to deal with as far as their own characterization is concerned. And they both do a great job too!

Director: Gurmmeet Singh and Anand Iyer

Cast: Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Rasika Dugal, Vijay Varma, Isha Talwar, Anjumm Shharma, Priyanshu Painyuli, Harshita Shekhar Gaur, Rajesh Tailang, Sheeba Chadha, Liliput Faroqui and Anangsha Biswas

Cinematography: Sanjay Kapoor

Music: John Stewart Eduri

Duration: 10 episodes of 45 minutes

Rating: ***

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