City of Dreams 3 marks chilling end to enthralling political drama

Priya Bapat as the idealistic yet ruthless politician in City of Dreams Season 3. Photo: Think Ink Communications

There could have been, logically and otherwise, only one end to the story of the third and final season of City of Dreams, inarguably the finest political drama on the Indian web (Maharani ranks a fairly close second). And co-creators and co-writers Nagesh Kukunoor and Rohit Banawlikar take the path needed. Under the former’s directorial helm, the series has a gutsy and chilling finale that, incredibly, also has its heartwarming moments!

This seemingly-impossible tightrope is walked with the splendid support of a quartet of superbly-written lead characters—Poornima Gaikwad (Priya Bapat) who is an idealistic chief minister who also is remarkably ruthless, her father, senior party head Ameya Rao Gaikwad a.k.a. Saheb (Atul Kulkarni), his best friend, Jagya a.k.a. Jagdish Gurav (Sachin) and senior inspector (SI) Wasim Khan (Eijaz Khan).

When the second season ended, Poornima had vanished after her son, Amit (Krrish Chhabria) is killed in an explosion caused by dirty politics. She had all along been at loggerheads with her father who had always preferred his incompetent son (not shown here) as his heir rather than see and admit her potential. But after his son’s death, and all the developments that followed, Saheb is now in the mood to make amends with his erudite daughter, who on her own steam has politically outwitted him. He instructs Poornima’s old reliable, SI Wasim Khan to locate her.

Meanwhile, there are other threads that coalesce as climax approaches. Wasim, who finally locates Poornima abroad, has kept someone unknown hidden for a reason. There is a drug menace in the city and he now heads the Special Task Force organized to destroy the cartel. A drug delivery boy (Tejas Raut) is in love with a company receptionist, Angie (Manila Pradhan). A top politician from Delhi, Vibha (Divya Seth) wants to destroy Saheb as he has betrayed her often, and gets into a physical relationship with him to achieve that! And Gurav has his own secret agenda.

A don, Anna (Sushant Singh), who Saheb ill-treated after patronizing,  swears to destroy him. A media baron (Rannvijay Singha) wants to clean the system with his exposes on television and targets the Gaikwads. And Saheb admits that though he is a changed man who now loves his daughter a lot (to compensate for the time he missed), he is seething within as he knows that plans are afoot to destroy the power his daughter and he command by several inimical forces.

All these diverse threads come together blazingly as the eighth and ninth (final) episodes come in and a pattern is shown. There are several twists and surprises on the way: characters we expect to die, for example, based on such ‘prophetic’ dialogues we hear in films, TV and other series, do not. Others do. And more than “What?” and “Why?” the word ‘How?” becomes paramount in the dazzling narration.

Technically superb as in its first two seasons, City of Dreams S3 has a luminous script, though this time, the natural usage of Marathi (with subtitles that are mercifully apt) is less than earlier, and restricted to small words or phrases. Never mind. The Hindi dialogues are magnificently to-the-point and ‘un-showy’, to coin a term. Tapas Relia’s music is spot-on, mood inducing as well as unobtrusive, as ‘background music’ must be.

The chemistry and camaraderie between father and daughter is shown with exemplary minimalist melodrama and is all the more effective for that. Full marks, then, also to the director for brewing such a magnificent essay on turbulence in both human beings and politics.

Priya Bapat is even more striking, if that were possible, in this season than in earlier ones, and shows the extraordinary caliber she has among Marathi actresses yet again. Atul Kulkarni always has a great advantage—he never accepted substandard films or scripts and ordinary characters. And so, he is especially good as the fierce politician keeping himself in check for tactical reasons.

Sachin as the manipulative Jagya who has an innocent face is the epitome of menacing backdoor villainy—by leaps, this must be his best character and performance in his long career that began as a child artiste! And Eijaz Khan is effectively controlled as SI Wasim. Sushant Singh as the quirkily deviant Anna speaks most with his laconic eyes. Divya Seth is good as Vibha, but I found Tejas Raut, Manila Pradhan and Rannvijay Singh brilliant in their roles. In a brief role, Raviraj Kande as the ex-cop is effective.

Girish Sharma as ‘Kas’ is a riot, while the three kids, Moukthika Sharma as Fatima Khan, Veda Agarwal as Asha’s daughter and Krrish Chhabria as Amit are totally adorable.

Like the first two seasons, City of Dreams S3 is not to be missed, and kudos to its creators for writing a blueprint that ends logically and in finite manner after these three seasons of 29 episodes. Never mind if, this time, some of the episodes could have had a more effectively edited run-time that was 10 minutes less.

Rating: ****1/2

Disney+Hotstar present Applause Entertainment’s & Kukunoor Movies’ City of Dreams Season 3  Created and written by: Nagesh Kukunoor & Rohit Banawlikar Produced by: Sameer Nair, Deepak Segal, Nagesh Kukunoor & Elahe Hiptoola Directed by: Nagesh Kukunoor  Music: Tapas Relia  Starring: Priya Bapat. Atul Kulkarni, Eijaz Khan, Sachin, Divya Seth, Sushant Singh, Tejas Raut, Manila Pradhan, Uday Tikekar, Shishir Sharma, Flora Saini, Rio Kapadia, Moukthika Sharma, Girish Sharma, Rannvijay Singha, Sayandeep Sengupta, Prammod Sanghi, Shivprasad Pandit, Rajendra Shisatkar, Kasturi Banerjee, Ali Asgar, Raviraj Kande, Veda Agrawal, Krrish Chhabria, Saurabh Goyal & others




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here