Criminal Justice 3: Adhura Sach is average thriller

Pankaj Tripathi is back as maverick attorney Madhav Mishra in Criminal Justice Season 3: Adhura Sach. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

The most irritating aspect of this series is that we do not know what the complete story will be, as they have released a mere four episodes until now at the rate of an episode a week. This could have been tolerated if each episode was a different story, like the TV serials of yore, or a detective series, but when it is a continuing tale, it irritates. I, at least, began watching Criminal Justice 3: Adhura Sach after four episodes had been released on four Fridays! Applause and Disney+Hotstar must junk this experiment, whether it has been done before with some series, or not!

Another disadvantage of such a series is that people lose interest even if the proceedings grip the viewer, and certainly if they do not! For, unlike the two illustrious earlier seasons, Criminal Justice 3 emerges, so far at least, as an average thriller. The performances of most of the cast, for one, are incredibly predictable, but for Aaditya Gupta’s studied essay as Mukul, the spoilt brat of the Ahuja family, and the briefer turn by Deshna Dugad as Zara, the super-star at a precocious age who earns in millions as a model and actress.

Of course, Pankaj Tripathi wades into his lovable character of Madhav Mishra with practiced ease, and so does Khushboo Atre as his beautician wife, Ratna. Their interplay provides a lot of the humor in the story. Shweta Basu Prasad, ever the bankable performer since her debut as a child in Makdee two decades ago, down to Iqbal, The Tashkent Files and more, has the role of the prosecuting attorney and is remarkably poised and ruthless.

The story begins when Zara disappears after a party in which Mukul is also present (and is shocked to see her), for neither has informed their parents Neeraj and Avantika (Purab Kohli and Swastika Mukherjee) and have secretly stolen out for the soiree. Later, a chain of events lead to Zara found dead, her face mutilated by acid. The evidence points toward Mukul, who hates her success. The interesting aspect is that Zara is Neeraj’s daughter from his previous marriage, while Mukul is Avantika’s son, also from previous husband Arvind (Gaurav Gera), who resurfaces when Mukul lands in trouble.

As he is on the right side of 18, Mukul is initially sent to a Juvenile Correctional Home, but the incriminating if circumstantial evidence that points to his culpability in Zara’s murder becomes ground for his being tried as an adult, thus becoming eligible for complete punishment. The story will be continued from here…for we do not know how many weeks (episodes) more!

The series subtly underscores the way a child’s psychological balance is disturbed when parents do not remain together and also touches on premature fame and wealth and how it affects children (the real Zara—Deshna Dugad—is just 13, incidentally!), and that is a plus for this story.

The technical values are great, including Sirsha Ray’s breathtaking camerawork, especially outdoors. The script and direction have some absurd or clumsy moments and aspects (no spoilers here) that could have been avoided, and Rohan Sippy does not exhibit the mastery of his previous series, Sandwiched Forever (a comedy), the previous season of Criminal Justice or Mithya. At best, he comes near to Aranyak, the thriller featuring Raveena Tandon that he had co-written only.

Rating: **1/2

Disney+Hotstar presents BBC Studios & Applause Entertainment’s Criminal Justice Season 3: Adhura Sach  Produced by: Sameer Nair, Deepak Segal & Myleeta Aga  Directed by: Rohan Sippy Written by: Brijesh Jayarajan Music: Sameer Phatarphekar  Starring: Pankaj Tripathi, Shweta Basu Prasad, Swastika Mukherjee, Purab Kohli, Aaditya Gupta, Addinath Kothare, Kalyanee Mulay, Khushboo Atre, Deshna Dugad, Gaurav Gera, Rajesh Khera, Ranu Singh, Upendra Limaye, Rushad Rana & others




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