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Abhay Season 3 review: Kunal Kemmu and Vijay Raaz shine but this thriller is undone by lazy writing

ByAbhimanyu Mathur
Apr 08, 2022 07:04 AM IST

Abhay season 3 review: Ken Ghosh's thriller web series features strong performances by Kunal Kemmu and Vijay Raaz but falters because of weak writing.

When Abhay began three years ago, it followed a rough case-of-the-episode format with an overarching story following the titular hero through the season. In season 3, however, there are no individual cases barring one in the first episode. Every episode from thereon grapples with one story. That approach makes the show much different from its previous two iterations. But it does not make it necessarily better. The third season includes new elements and bad guys but also takes away some of the aspects that made the show successful, diluting it in the process. Also read: Kunal Kemmu recalls when Inaaya Naumi Kemmu saw a poster of his show Abhay: 'Why is daddy so angry'

Abhay season 3 review: Vijay Raaz and Kunal Kemmu have given strong performances but lazy writing dilutes the show.

Abhay follows UP Police SP Abhay Pratap Singh (Kunal Kemmu), who heads the Special Task Force and solves violent and gruesome crimes. And Abhay must do all this while battling his personal demons and making sure his past doesn't catch up with him. Throughout the season, he is both the hunter and the hunted, as he squares up against a charismatic cult leader hell-bent on mass murder (Vijay Raaz).

Abhay has toned down on the gore and violence this time around and left something to the viewer's imagination too. That much is refreshing. The show was never a whodunnit. You always knew who the killer was. The show's core was how this supercop tracked the killer in a way that seemed elusive to others. That journey made the show engaging. And that's what is missing here. We no longer get a front row view of Abhay Pratap Singh's brilliant and twisted mind as he solves the cases. Things just fall into place themselves.

The trouble with the show is that the writing comes across as quite lazy. The characters aren't fleshed out enough, the plot holes are gaping at us, and the cops come across as quite incompetent in the absence of sharp writing. By dumbing down the mysteries, the writers have not just diluted the show but also made the cops appear more incompetent. To sum it up, much of the twists and turns in Abhay season 3 could have been avoided had the cops simply followed protocol and taken back-up along with them.

The villains in the season include a social media influencer couple that kills for fun, a cult leader, a feral individual that hunts people, and an outcast who lives in the woods. There was so much scope to delve into their backstories and give weight to these characters, explain their mindsets. But all these villains were reduced to 2D drawings, leaving the actors very little to take from.

The actors have done justice to their roles. Kunal Kemmu brings equal parts ruthlessness and vulnerability to the role, making you root for Abhay. Vijay Raaz excels in every scene he is in, even though his role isn't very smartly written. Even in a cliched charismatic cult leader character, he manages to hold his own. Rahul Dev has been utterly wasted in a role and character that could have allowed him to showcase his acting talent. Instead, we get a fleeting glimpse of him in what can only be described as an extended cameo. The rest of the cast hold their own without leaving an indelible mark though.

By following a murderous cult with a semi-paranormal ideology, Abhay attempts to wade into new waters and fans may equate it with shows like The Following or even Mindhunter. It's a solid attempt but should not have been done at the cost of the elements that made the show strong and watchable in the first place.

Directed by Ken Ghosh, Abhay also stars Asha Negi, Nidhi Singh, Divya Agarwal, Tanuj Virwani, and Vidya Malavade. The eight-episode season 3 begins streaming on Zee5 from April 8. And the way the show concludes (no spoilers), it appears that this may be it for Abhay's investigative days. But then the makers give in to the temptation and end on an unresolved note. Can an Indian show be brave and resolve its plotlines on its own at least once?

Series: Abhay

Director: Ken Ghosh

Cast: Kunal Kemmu, Vijay Raaz, Rahul Dev, Asha Negi, Nidhi Singh, Divya Agarwal, Tanuj Virwani, and Vidya Malavade


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