Crushed (Season 4)
Onto the next release of the weekend and I have finished watching the new Hindi series, the fourth season of Crushed on Amazon miniTV. This weekend has indeed been a unique one simply because it marks the conclusion of two shows with which I have shared a warm bond with. So after the conclusion of Aarya, here I am bidding fairwell to another sweet show – Crushed. My journey with Crushed began almost 3 years ago when I simply started watching the show because I had nothing better to watch. What was supposed to be a casual watch, soon got me hooked while I began investing myself in all characters during its first season. This while an unexpected exit featuring a character didn’t sit with me during its second season, only for the third season to breath a little life into the proceedings with a promise that the fourth and final season will be a bit of a reunion of sorts. More importantly, I was curious to know on what happens to the character of Aadhya after the return of Sam and whether the two of them unite, something that promised to be the foundation of the show. So then, does the fourth season of Crushed manage to impress, let’s find out.
Story & Screenplay
The fourth and final season of Crushed picks up from the same point where the third season had ended, and it taps into the complicated love life of the principal characters coupled with a dilemma in friendship as they enter the 11th standard of their school. Will all conflicts be solved? The story here is again not novel but it is a decent attempt at tapping into the good ol’ days of school that we all miss while also taking us on a sweet little nostalgic ride albeit some speed breakers along the way. The screenplay standing at 6 episodes of roughly 20 odd minutes each(except the last one which is 43 minutes long) did feel slightly stretched particularly in the first half of the series when the exact same conflict was addressed with little returns. Because the final season was mounted on the love angle of Sam and Aadhya, I wished to get to that point a little faster as opposed to spending time in the conflicts being resolved within the group. A faster resolution would have ensured a taut narrative especially because there are rewards to be had in the backend of the drama.
The drama begins with the reintroduction of the principal characters fresh off the results of their boards who are grappling between their career choices while having a bit of a breather in the 11th standard. The writers do well to introduce the conflict in the form of the character of Sam who enters the arena while having to deal with the issues related to folks who were once his friends. To make matters worse, there is an internal conflict circling within the group that needs to be resolved as well, all of which take a little longer than I would have ideally anticipated.
The proceedings are decent although the magic of the first season was missing in the drama despite the reunion of the OG gang. But in between, there were some tender moments created which would tug the strings of your heart or at the very least take you on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The writers get the vibe of the drama absolutely spot on but I wished there were more such moments in the first half of the show which would have further elevated the drama. Things do change for the better when the conflicts begin to get resolved and the ice starts to melt between the characters. There is a certain sweetness in the group that is infectious and does put a little smile on your face. The writers also did a good job in showcasing the growth of characters in terms of their maturity levels over the course of the three years.
The events leading up to the final act are pretty good as well particularly because there was a dual emotion in play – that of the farewell of a few characters from the school as well as the farewell of the show which was concluding at the end of this season. And although there were a few lags along the way, I could sense a little magic of the first season creeping in through more of the simpler moments in the screenplay although the underlying conflicts were a little half baked. This leads up to a moving final act which was emotional while also having a little recall factor from the beginning of the show. And what does happen to Sam and Aadhya? I won’t be revealing that here but it made for a heartfelt conclusion overall!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues capture the Gen Z lingo of the generation pretty well while also tapping into the relatability factor of the drama. The music is good and captures the vibe of the drama pretty well, as does the BGM which is quite good indeed! The cinematography captures a freshly brewed vibe of Lucknow pretty impressively. The editing could have been better by ironing some of the lags in the narrative. Director Mandar Kurundkar does a pretty good job in creating some tender moments along the way although some moments had scope to be staged a little better. But I still wasn’t too unhappy with the direction, it was quite decent.
The performances are quite good here by the ensemble cast. Siddhant Raj as Tanmay delivers a heartfelt performance particularly an act that comes alive in the dying moments of the show. Sachin Singh as Rajat is sincere and earnest. Anupriya Caroli as Zoya flexes the maturity in her character really impressively as she delivers a balanced and understated performance. Naman Jain as Prateek is such a vibe and he does a good job as well. Arjun Deswal as Sahil impresses yet again but I did wish that he was given a little more screen time while also tapping into his conflict with Aadhya from the first season, this particularly after the return of Sam. But he does stand out and makes his presence felt. Urvi Singh as Jasmine is quite good as well although her character was a touch underwritten and one-dimensional this time around. The return of Rudhraksh Jaiswal aka Sam did put a smile on my face, and what a transformation he has undergone. His screen presence is phenomenal and he has an affable quality to win you over with his performance. And the amount of sincerity that he infuses in his performance here is truly commendable. Aadhya Anand as Aadhya is such a fine actor with a radiating screen presence, and she does such a brilliant job here with a plethora of emotions that she dabbles with. She commands your attention every single time with her wonderful performance wherein was a treat to witness and she is someone that you shall hear more about in times to come.
The fourth and final season of Crushed is a decent conclusion to a harmless high school drama that makes for a sweet little watch. Available on Amazon miniTV.