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‘Mirzapur’ S3 Review: Only Mirzapur Could Ask for & Deserve This Much Investment

'Mirzapur' is streaming on Amazon Prime.

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After the events of Mirzapur season 2, a new chapter has started for Guddu (Ali Fazal) and Golu (Shweta Tripathi Sharma), both healing from the loss of their loved ones. However, they barely have the time or space to do so because, in Mirzapur fashion, their primary goal is to consolidate their right on the Purvanchal throne. Guddu Pandit might be a menacing figure but is he nearly as influential as the throne’s previous resident Akhandanand (Pankaj Tripathi)?

'Mirzapur' is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Ali Fazal in a still from Mirzapur season 3. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Akhandanand (or Kaleen bhaiya) is written as the most natural ruler in Mirzapur’s setting – he is one of the few male characters who think first and act later – someone who values the effect the fear of violence can have over that of the violence itself. This season, Kaleen doesn’t loom over the show as largely as he did – he is now a shadow of his former self. Unlike Guddu, who takes his brush with death as a reason to become more reckless and violent, Kaleen uses it as a sign to slow down and think.

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Mirzapur has always been a game of brain vs. brawl and a lingering support for the ‘brain’ has existed in the show’s fabric. A person that doesn’t think five steps ahead is not worthy of the Purvanchal throne; even thinking four steps ahead isn’t enough. Season 3, unlike the previous installments, focuses on the ‘brain’ – for 10 episodes a lot happens but barely anything progresses. Everyone in Mirzapur is doomed to go around in circles.

'Mirzapur' is streaming on Amazon Prime.

A still from Mirzapur season 3. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Guddu thought he was a shoo-in as the ‘ruler of Purvanchal’ but his position is deftly challenged by Sharad (Anjumm Sharma), escalating tensions between Mirzapur and Jaunpur. On Guddu’s side are Kaleen’s wife Beena (a brilliant Rasika Dugal) and Golu, acting as the brains of the operation. Keeping in mind Mirzapur’s overarching messaging about the importance of balance, the cunning Beena and the astute Golu are perfect partners for the brash and reckless Guddu.

But Sharad isn't without allies – he has an alliance with the grieving CM Madhuri (Isha Talwar) who is committed to making a ‘peaceful’ Purvanchal. Sharad also has a trump card at his ready. Even beyond this, secondary characters emerge all over the map – some kill, many are killed.

Mirzapur’s writing has been one of its strengths – the cheeky parallels they draw and the way they've managed to create multiple iconic characters is part of what makes Mirzapur such a massive success. Even if you forget a character’s name, you won't forget what they've done – and in Mirzapur, action matters over all else.

'Mirzapur' is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rajesh Tailang in a still from Mirzapur season 3. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

One of the best arcs is that of Guddu’s father battling with what he deems to be ‘just’ and ‘moral’. He has, for the most part, viewed the crime in Mirzapur from the fringes but this time he's right in the centre.

The show begins to crack at the seams as it shudders under the sheer amount of ‘story’ to be told. In a way, it makes for interesting viewing but it's equally exhausting – how much more of this can one realistically watch? And this exhaustion becomes evident as the show progresses. There is simply too much to follow and there tend to be arcs that go on the backburner for a while.

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That's not to say that these arcs aren't interesting – the exhaustion primarily comes from the fact that you want to keep up with everything. There's no point where you can just switch off an ignore an arc altogether. Even Vijay Varma’s arc as the suffering, surviving twin is interesting even though he deserved a more holistic story.

Mirzapur season 3 still has the ability to surprise you as a viewer but nearly not as enough as the show used to. Things start becoming predictable and only a few shocks survive and when the predictability sets in so does the danger of the ‘shock value’ becoming gimmicky.

'Mirzapur' is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rasika Dugal in a still from Mirzapur season 3. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

That brings me to the dialogue – contrary to common belief, the dialogues in Mirzapur don't work because of the rampant use of expletives. They work because every character and every dialogue had a rhythm – that rhythm is sometimes missing in season 3. In a lesser show this wouldn't make a difference but this is Mirzapur.

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The actors, most of who have become synonymous with their Mirzapur charactere, still bring impressive performances. In Munna’s absense and Kaleen’s faux-absence, the pressure of giving the season an anchor falls on Ali Fazal as Guddu and he doesn't miss a beat. Guddu has been a very interesting character from the beginning – he is unpredictable to the point of even surprising his closest allies and sticking out in the flurry of characters each episode features.

Fazal balances Guddu’s claustrophobic grief and bubbling rage expertly which saves the character from feeling ‘just like that other guy in that other show’.

'Mirzapur' is streaming on Amazon Prime.

A still from Mirzapur season 3. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Rasika Dugal’s character Beena cemented her place in the Mirzapur mind-games by using the misogyny and violence in her surroundings to her favour. In season 3, Golu does something similar – only she becomes part of the system, trying to rework it to her benefit. For the first few episodes, it seems lik Tripathi is trying too hard to fit into Golu 2.0 but as the episodes progress, she seems to find the right marks to hit.

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Anjumm Sharma as Sharad is in a tough spot – he must practice restraint in a season that seems to be firing in all direction. But he manages to pull it off and what an impact that has! There are multiple cast members who I don't name here who give equally impressive performances but don't get enough time to see it through in such a crowded season.

'Mirzapur' is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Anjumm Sharma in a still from Mirzapur season 3. 

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

Mirzapur clearly has so much more story to tell, one only wonders if they'll figure out a way to do that without it feeling like a massive effort. Loyalty to the show aside, what else will pull viewers in? Like Golu tells Vijay Varma's character at one point - 'I don't think you have a plan'.

Rating: 3 Quints of 5

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