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Put Undekhi 3 On Your  Must-See List



Undekhi 3

Put Undekhi 3 On Your  Must-See List

Rating: ****

Not being an ardent fan of crime dramas,I am surprised  how involving  Undekhi  remains in  its third season.

For those  who came in late, Undekhi on SonyLIV,  is  about the arrogance  of wealth. This affliction makes the Atwal family  believe  no law of the land is applicable to their lives. Convinced  of their invincibility  they go about  killing maiming grafting , etc with no  fear of God or Law. The arrogance of  unlimited wealth is on full display as the Atwal family  prepares in scenic Manali   for  the  Big Fat ‘Greed’ Wedding  of their heir apparent Daman(Ankur Rathee, suitably lost and wimpish) to his girlfriend Teji(Anchal Singh) who before the series   clambers to a  kickass climax, will display unexpected pluck in taking on her socio-pathic in-laws.

 While the patriarch of the  family loudly Harsh Chhaya , embodying the  high spirits  of  the Capitalist Pig,  embarrasses himself and  the family with his loutish behaviour , it is his nephew Rinku who runs the show , in more ways than one. While  the  character  is  the kingpin  of  the  series’  well-appointed crime  syndicate , the actor  Surya Sharma who  plays Rinku presides over the narrative at though it was inherited  property. Sharma  is  absolutely chilling in the way he normalizes crime  and  treats women  like  vassals, and  vessels. Fill ‘em up.

To me, the  best  part of watching Undekhi is  that it doesn’t glorify the life of affluent crime,although the main antagonist Rinku is every bit the cinematic hero gone the wrong way.The scripting is rigorously non-judgemental . There are no attempts to  rationalize the criminal arrogance  of the  Atwal family as they confidently stride from one level of   reprehensible criminalized  behaviour to  another.

In Season 3 , there is  plenty of ‘feud’ for  thought. There are the old characters played with  reined-in verve  by  all especially Surya Sharma, Aanchal Singh  and Dibyendu Bhattacharya. The  only salient  performance that I failed to comprehend is  that of Harsh  Chhaya whose weird facial expression throughout, as the patriarch  of  the criminal  family ,is  inexplicable.This is  not the Godfather. It’s the Odd Father! If  Chhaya was  trying to convey the sociopathic element in the character, then the performance  just doesn’t work.

Surya Sharma’s Rinku is the best  portrayal  of a criminal mind I’ve seen in a  very long time. With each season of  Applause Entertainment’s eminently watchable Undekhi  Sharma has grown as an actor  of confidence, none of it misplaced,  and stature . It would be  no exaggeration to  say  Sharma anchors this  miniature epic’s progression to  the  stunning finale where nemesis, always  lurking when you least expect  it to be around,  strikes Rinku Atwal’s life with a brute force.

And why not? All through, Rinku has exercised  the  kind of  savage arrogant tyranny  obtainable  only to the most powerful evil minds.There is  a lot karma  catching up in this season.  Two of the most ruthless killers in the series meet their  match in romantic angles that come to expectedly tragic endings.

It is ironical how these men don’t think twice  about destroying lives . But when it comes to their own heart,they are gentle vulnerable men hopelessly in love.

   The women in Undekhi are more practical and shrewish. They fall in love but are practical  about their feelings. And although two  of the very strongest women in the plot  don’t encounter  happy endings to their  love story, they are no walkovers as long as they last.

With the picturesque  valleys and twisted  roadways  of Manali serving a  serene counterpoint to the Atwal family’a  iniquitous  activities Undekhi’s third season swishes  through eight episodes with the  terse celerity  of  a series that means  business.

 The  sprawling space is  not wasted for even a minute. New characters  are brought into play regularly, but never are they superfluous. Director Ashish Shukla employs the less-is-more mode of  narration .This is  unusual in  crime  dramas ,  especially  one  that is now into  its third season. Miraculously  it never seems as if Undekhi has overstayed its welcome.

 Undekhi is  a  mirror of our times. It  sometimes reaches  deadends in its  plot construction but the  writers expertly steer  the plot out of sticky situations. They  know better  than the  characters that ,much as we’d like,  good guys  don’t always win. There is  not a single  character  in this series that  I  would like to run into at  a party.

Director Ashish R Shukla just about succeeds in  holding this irrevocably immoral world together.A  lot of the times in the  eight episodes we see characters on the run from imminent death. Whether it is  the tribal  girl Koel(Apeksha Porwal)  or  Lucky girlfriend , they  inhabit a dark  dreadful  world with no way out.

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