Four More Shots Please! (Season 3)
Onto the next release of this Diwali weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi series, the third season of Four More Shots Please streaming on Amazon Prime. The previous two seasons were unabashed and unapologetic, something that I had really liked. But the show has been met with criticism from a certain section of the viewers who are dismissing it as “fake”.
This has been a norm every single time(way before the Boycott Bollywood gang stepped in) wherein any film or series which has a central theme around women is dismissed as “Pseudo Feminism” or simply “Fake”. Now I have no problem with anyone criticizing the series for its content or the performances but too plainly dismiss it as per your agenda is what I believe “Toxic Criticism”(there I coined a new term). If you have been following the trend, films involving a male lead does get away with everything problematic in the name of “comedy” and “entertainment” and never once called out for or questioned. I am unaware if there is a term like “Pseudo Masculinity” which has been coined or not.
Anyway, the long and short being that a show or a film should be criticized or praised for its content at the end of the day. If it doesn’t serve its purpose, by all means do call it out with constructed criticism. And if you are in disagreement with the concept itself, do not watch it, no one is forcing you! With that little rant, I went in with an open mind to watch the third season of Four More Shots Please and here are my two cents on the show.
Story & Screenplay
The third season of Four More Shots Please picks up from the same point where season 2 had ended, and it continues to explore the lives of the four protagonists as they make their way through messy experiences and cherished ones while continuing the bear the flag of friendship. The format of the show is a slice of life drama and often slice of life drama can be dismissed as a “wafer thin plot”. The reason being that there are many layers to be discovered and if you have short sightedness while viewing the content, there are more chances of you missing the point and in return not liking the drama. The story here is fresh, unapologetic and unabashed, just like its previous seasons. The screenplay standing at 10 episodes of roughly 30 to 40 odd minutes each does seem a little long, and some flab could have easily been cut down here in an otherwise breezy drama.
One of the main challenges of the show is to reboot and restart on the world building, something that the second season of Mismatched had faltered with. But here, the writers do well in recreating the ambience which was a crucial cog in this drama. For some lovely locations of Mumbai instantly do give you the vibe of the city(and I can say that as I am from Mumbai too). Yes to address the elephant in the room – this is a story of girls from a typical SoBo(South Bombay) privileged upper class society where everyone is filthy rich – So What! Does that make the show ‘fake’ – Hell No! This is not to say that the show is perfect or a masterpiece(and I will get to it in a minute), I am just putting things across the table on which the show is called out for(rather unfortunately).
The drama here is engaging with well etched out characters and some interesting character dynamics. In fact the show does rely heavily on the latter and that is what makes the show layered and complex. Modern Day Relationships are always complicated and that is what the show does try to address. Along the way, the drama does touch upon topics of s*xuality(censoring the word to beat the google algo) and the vulnerabilities of an individual or even the messed up generation that we all are a part of. The proceedings are definitely interesting although fairly predictable(and there are no surprises in store).
The drama is spread across many subplots and that is one of the drawbacks wherein a few subplots seem half baked and underwhelming, even though the drama is consistently watchable. The drama also does get a touch repetitive in the back end of season where things do begin to drag marginally(the entire Italy segment which did add crucial minutes in the screenplay, a similar overindulgence was observed in season 2 as well). Having said that, the show comprises of many heartwarming moments that have the power to embrace you. Another interesting subplot is of a single parent finding a “companion” which was a welcome addition and handled with sensitivity. The final act although decent doesn’t quite end on a cliffhanger but the ultimate messaging of friendship being above all f*ckups was rather satisfying. Overall, the writing here is breezy and unabashed, something that should not be judged on a moral scale(because the theme of the show itself is unapologetic). And yes, cheating is wrong! There I said it!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are sassy and go well with the theme of the show. The music is excellent and deserves a playlist of its own. The BGM is peppy and does well in enhancing so many sequences. The cinematography is the unsung hero of the show. It captures the vibe of Mumbai beautifully through some stellar grabs which are useful in the scene transition. Elsewhere, some intimate scenes are shot aesthetically which never did seem vulgar. The production and art design gives the show a fresh vibe with the use of bold colours and some of the best lighting that I have seen recently. The editing is crisp as well. Director Joyeeta Patpatia does a pretty good job here in consistently sticking to the theme while unfolding a marginally frivolous yet engaging drama in the second layer. The direction was really good here.
The performances are outstanding here. Sushant Singh as Rajan looks sharp and does a pretty good job despite a limited screen time. Rohan Mehra as Dhananjay is well restrained and does well in a role which I did think was a touch underwritten. Lisa Ray as Samara, Amrita Puri as Kavya, Shilpa Shukla as Meher, Rajeev Siddhartha as Kihir and Samir Kochhar as Shashank have their moments to shine and all of them are really good.
Jim Sarbh as Sean is a welcome addition to the series and he is spectacular here. Simone Singh as Sneha delivers a very dignified performance in a character that has a lot of layers to it. Neil Bhoopalam is one of the most underrated actor doings the rounds who quietly goes about his job, is a delight to watch as Varun. Prateik as Jeh is supremely good here and this is one of the roles that really did suit his persona.
The show however did belong to the four protagonists who have crackling chemistry together. Bani J as Umang is wonderful to watch her in a character that was quite complex. Kirti Kulhari as Anjana is so well restrained and natural to the core. It was a pleasure watching her perform. Sayani Gupta as Damini looks really pretty and delivers a towering performance. It was wonderful to watch and explore her confused state of mind despite being a really head strong character, which in itself was an interesting combo. She delivers to the T here. But my pick of the season this time around is Maanvi Gagroo(in her second outing this weekend) who shines as Siddhi. There are layers and layers to her character who is suffering from a personal loss and it leads to a string of conflicting emotions involving her mother, her friends and her life in general. And she definitely takes you on a roller coaster in a character that has a lovely arc this season.
The third season of Four More Shots Please is unapologetic, unabashed and breezy with stellar performances. And yes do keep the shots coming. Available on Amazon Prime!