City Of Dreams (Season 3)
Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi series, the third season of City Of Dreams which is now streaming on Hotstar. When it comes to political dramas, we have witnessed quite a few of them like Maharani and Garmi which are set in the heartland of India. But what sets City Of Dreams in a different league is that it is set in Mumbai. This has made me realise that each political drama in a specific city does add a totally different flavour to the proceedings.
When the show does enter its third season then you may already have spent enough time knowing the characters and the world around them. It was days before the release of the second season of City Of Dreams that I was hustling to complete its first season. The narrative style was almost indulgent and layered and it was almost fascinating studying the character motivations and dymamics in the first season. The second season of City Of Dreams was a notch better, getting further into the underbelly of the politics of Mumbai which did make for a fascinating watch. And I had sinilar expectations from the third season as well. So then does the third season of City Of Dreams manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
The third season of City Of Dreams starts from the same point where the second season had ended. And a quick recall being that it had ended on a cliffhanger. The story at its core does follow the journey of Poornima Gaikwad in her quest to attain her lost power once again. The story here is decent but not as layered as its first two seasons. The screenplay standing at 9 episodes of 40 odd minutes each does make for a decently compelling watch which definitely has some standout moments. Having said that, the writing isn’t quite layered and it barely scratches the surface.
The drama does open on a slightly wrong foot in my opinion. The entire premise of the disappearance of the protagonist only to be found later on was slightly more stretched than it should have been. And I say that because it takes the main plot that much more time to start while the premise does just enough to have some bearing on the main plot. Had this sequence been slightly shorter, it would have given the main plot that much more time to develop while allowing the viewers more time to (re)invest in the characters. While this premise is on, some of the subplots are kickstarted parallelly that do hold your attention to begin with. It is almost after the third episode when the real ‘game’ begins and there are multiple contenders to the throne.
The proceedings are fairly interesting and compelling but if you have been following the previous seasons, then you would know that the writing isn’t as sharp or layered. It just about scratches the surface without quite going as deep as it should, otherwise. And this has also to do with the characterization wherein most characters are one-dimensional barring a handful. There are moments which are generated throughout the series that makes for some interesting events including a reference to the recent ‘political thriller’ in Maharashtra which was always going to be a winner of a subplot. And the drama is consistently watchable, but ideally I would have liked a little more mind games and twists and turns as opposed to a predictable watch.
The power tussle does make for an interesting watch with some elements of humour added. I did realise that this was the most amount of humour which was added across three seasons and honestly the entire journalism angle definitely does work, a profession which has now become a bit of a joke. But, some of the subplots do not have the required bite and they don’t quite add meat to the main plot. I did enjoy some of the character dynamics here including the ever-changing bond between the protagonist and her wily father and that does result in a good payback at the end although it was a tad too simplistic. But credit to the writers for ending the season on a satisfactory note which may well be the end of the franchise too. Overall, the screenplay is a bit of a mixed bag, good in parts but too simplistic to truly allow the drama to bloom.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are quite well written and they make for a good impact. The BGM of the show is good and it does enhance the drama as a whole. The cinematography does capture tje vibe of Mumbai pretty well and it did add a little bit of texture to the simplistic drama. The editing is good as well. Director Nagesh Kukunoor does a decent job here. The proceedings are fairly engaging despite its surface level writing and the director deserves credit for making the show watchable.
The performances are really good here and they do prevent the slide from taking place. Shishir Sharma as Ramnik and Shriyam Bhagnani as Tanya have their moments to shine. Flora Saini as Asha, Ali Asgar as Pinchoo, Sayandeep Sen as Ojas and Rannvijay Singh as Adarsh are pretty good despite a limited screen time. Girish Sharma as Kas is absolutely hilarious as the NSD(National School of Drama) graduate turned journalist. He will tickle your funny bone every time he is onscreen. Sushant Singh as Jagan is intimidating and really good but the fan boy in me thought that he was underutilized.
Manila Pradhan as Angie is absolutely splendid to witness and she does an incredible job. The find of the series for me was Tejas Raut as Danny who is phenomenal and natural to the core. He was astonishingly good. Divya Seth Shah as Vibha delivers a very dignified performance as usual. Eijaz Khan as Wasim is fiery and exceptional in a wonderfully performed character. Sachin Pilgaonkar as Jagya is wonderfully restrained as the wily politician and he does a swell job. Atul Kulkarni as Ameya Rao Gaikwad is outstanding to the core. His character had so many shades and he did a lovely job with the approach to his character. He was calm and calculative that added a few yards of intinidation to his character. And it is Priya Bapat who shines yet again as Poornima. Her character has a proper arc and she has so many emotions to play with, and she nails every bit of her character. She is simply brilliant in yet another towering act!
The third season of City Of Dreams is a decently compelling drama with some good performances that can be watched once. Available on Hotstar.