Crushed Season 3
It is a Thursday and the morning has been beautiful following the jubilations last night. Just like that, India has qualified for the finals of the ODI World Cup for the first time in 12 years, and we at Popcorn Reviewss congratulate the team while wishing them to conquer the final frontier. And with that, I finished watching the new Hindi series, the third season of Crushed on Amazon MiniTV. Now this show has brought me mixed feelings over the previous two seasons, something that was acting as a hindrance in me wanting to watch its third season. The reason for the same being that I had absolutely loved the first season that felt like a sweet little nostalgic trip down memory lane, but the second season seemed forced(probably due to an untimely exit of a character) so much so that I just didn’t connect with it enough. Come the third season, my excitement levels were a little low while silently hoping that the show gets right back on track. That said, does the third season of Crushed manage to impress, let’s find out.
Story & Screenplay
The third season of Crushed marks another year at Lucknow Central Convent school wherein the protagonists having just finished their exams are sent to an exchange program in Dehradun, where most of the actions(and sparks) unfold. The story here is sweet and endearing which may not be as good as the first season but definitely isn’t as forced as its previous season. It is somewhere in between tilting towards being positive given that there are heartfelt moments along the way. The screenplay standing at 6 episodes of 20 odd minutes each was about the right length of the show wherein the writers did not drag the proceedings unnecessarily and thereby didn’t allow the show to overstay its welcome.
There are a couple of things that were going for the third season of Crushed immediately. No matter how average the previous season was, it still gave you a chance to invest in the characters, some of whom were new, the payback of which could be reflected in its third season. In other words, come the third season, you were already acquainted with the characters and it did help in investing in their journeys a little better. Secondly, the writers have done a good job in changing the setting of the show, shifting the drama from the school premises to an exchange program/camp that added freshness to the drama. That said, the setup wasn’t the best with the drama following a flatter trajectory to begin with. It almost seemed like the writing was grappling from the mediocrity of the previous season before slowly getting back on track, once the drama shifts to Dehradun. The change in setting did change the fortune of the season to an extent as well.
The proceedings are fairly interesting with the onset of games that begin in the camp while all the protagonists deal with their own issues in the interpersonal relationships with each other. In fact, the drama relies on the character dynamics to drive the narrative ahead. This includes multiple love angles that bring with it, their own share of issues along the way while also testing the bond of friendship between characters. The good thing being that the issues aren’t tackled in a frivolous manner, instead there is purpose to the conflicts at hand while keeping the events light and frothy throughout. A couple of minor issues that I had was that the situations could have been staged a little better while allowing the viewers to spend some time with it. This as opposed to touching upon a conflict before moving to its resolution in the next subsequent scenes. Yet, there is a certain endearing quality in the writing that makes you want to give the show another chance, thereby working well in the favour of the show.
The writing of the show keeps getting better with every episode wherein I found myself getting acquainted to the characters that much more by being a little more privy to their traits. The events leading to the final act are good but somewhere I did feel that the writers could have infused a few of the other elements like comedy or even a tragedy(given that it was an outdoor setting) as opposed to allowing the drama to unfold at the same wavelength. That could have added a layer of novelty in the drama. Yet, the surprise final act had me excited for its next season given the turn that the drama took with respect to one of its characters(no spoilers provided). Overall, the screenplay is sweet and has its moments to shine, thus marking an improvement from its lacklustre last season.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are decently penned, corny and cheesy at times but accurately directed towards the age demographics of teenagers. The music and BGM are good and blend well with the drama. The cinematography is good capturing the vibe of the drama pretty well. The editing is crisp for most parts of its runtime. Director Mandar Kurundkar does a good job by creating some heartfelt moments along the way while tapping into some interesting character dynamics between the characters. The direction was pretty good here.
The performances are quite good by the ensemble cast. Anubhuti Saklani as Snigdha and Tanya Sharma as Tanya are wonderful additions to the show and they are quite nice to watch. Rijul Rajpal as Jimmy is quietly charming and does a wonderful job. Anupriya Caroli as Zoya has her moments to shine despite a limited screen time. Manisha Mehra as Farah Ma’am and Shubham Pandey as Ashok Sir are first rate. Sachin Singh as Rajat is quite good in his act, Siddhant Raj Tripathi as Tanmay shines in his role as well.
Naman Jain as Prateek is pretty good here. Arjun Deswal aa Sahil has an amazing screen presence and he is wonderfully restrained in his performance here. Chirag Katrecha as Samarth is a little more easy in front of the camera than his previous season while carrying on his good form from Jubilee. He delivers a sensitive little performance that deftly touches the strings of your heart. Urvi Singh as Jasmine looks cute and does a swell job here. She has such a disarming smile that he integrates in her performance really well, something that makes her character really affable. Aadhya Anand as Aadhya looks pretty and has a phenomenal screen presence. She commands your attention every single time with her wonderful performance that takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. She was a treat to witness and she is someone that you shall hear more about in times to come.
The third season of Crushed is a sweet little teenage drama with good performances that marks a drastic improvement from the previous season. Available on Amazon Prime and Amazon Mini TV.