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Undekhi 3 Review: Unpredictable

May 10, 2024 09:49 IST

Such a set of greedy and amoral characters have seldom been assembled in a Web series, observes Deepa Gahlot.

The first season of Undekhi set up a watchable mix of crime and family drama. It was a watered down version of The Godfather, mixed with a dash of Succession, in which a powerful man keeps a tight rein on his family, his business and the town where he rules without opposition.

Papaji (Harsh Chhaya) is the foul-mouthed, vulgar, alcoholic head of the Atwal family.

They run a resort in Manali, which is a front for their lucrative drugs enterprise.

At the wedding of his son, Daman (Ankur Rathee) a drunken Papaji shoots dead a tribal woman brought in to dance.

The incident is captured on video by the team of wedding photographers from Delhi.

Papaji's foster son Rinku (Surya Sharma) is a sadistic monster who believes he can bully, intimidate or kill his way out of any situation that touches the clan, and he almost always succeeds.

The death of the dancer, however, brings into their ambit, a headstrong and eccentric cop from Kolkata, Barun Ghosh (Dibyendu Bhattacharya), who is not afraid of the Atwals, and seems to have no jurisdictional boundaries.


By the second season, Rinku had made the possible murder rap go away but he had not bargained for an enemy within the gates: Daman's newlywed wife Teji (Aanchal G Singgh), who has her own agenda.

There wasn't much to drag the show into a third season, just to use its popularity to the channel's advantage.

The Atwals are even more venal and violent than before. Papaji with his boozy tantrums is insufferable, and there are some shenanigans to take over the region's drug trade, with the help of an Israeli gang.

When that does not work out, there steps in another player (Varun Badola), who matches Rinku in the dirty tricks department, and has by his side the kind of hatchet-faced moll (Shruthy Menon) not seen too often on screen these days.

Ghosh with his loyal team, Satinder (Rahul Bagga) and Rashi (Lavvina Taandon), pull out all stops to get to Papaji and destroy the Atwal cartel.

Despite having little fresh material, Director Ashish R Shukla with Writers Abhishek Garg and Chirag Salian, have created a fast-paced show, full of unpredictable twists.

Teji has met her match in Rinku's sharp wife Muskaan (Shivangi Singh).

Rinku's loyal henchman, Lucky (Varun Bharat, with an interesting get-up), who had killed his brother on the boss's orders, falls in love with Papaji's nurse, which results in some trouble.

Such a set of greedy and amoral characters have seldom been assembled in a Web series.

Still, there is the sense of piling on complications just to draw out the show to its eight-episode length, and some level of disbelief at how Rinku's tentacles reach just about anywhere.

The body count rises alarmingly, and the rate at which the rival gangsters shoot through their men -- who can't even hit the target with automatic weapons -- it's a wonder anyone wants to work for them at all.

Papaji, wearing a wide-eyed, slack-jawed, mean look and cursing away is more of an irritant this time round, and Harsh Chhaya's performance is painfully hammy.

Surya Sharma retains his flinty menace and Dibyendu Bhattacharya his simmering rage -- one man tall and muscled and the other short and pot-bellied, but both equally obdurate.

As the hapless Lucky comments, they are the same: They stop at nothing to get what they want.

In the earlier seasons, it was the despicable Papaji who gave Undekhi its magnet. This time, Surya and Dibyendu hold the series together.

Hopefully, this will be the end of the Atwal saga. There is only so much casual violence and cruelty a viewer can take.

Undekhi 3 streams on SonyLIV.

Undekhi 3 Review Rediff Rating: