Mirzapur Season 3 web series review: So close and yet so far

Compared to previous seasons, this one, overly relies on the plot, leaving little room for the story to breathe.

BySrivathsan Nadadhur

Published:Jul 05, 2024

Director duo Gurmmeet Singh and Anand Iyer's Mirzapur Season 3 is available on Amazon Prime Video

Mirzapur Season 3 (Hindi)

05-07-2024, Action, Drama, 504 minutes 18+
  • Main Cast:Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Rasika Dugal, Vijay Varma, and Isha Talwar
  • Director:Gurmmeet Singh and Anand Iyer
  • Producer:Excel Media & Entertainment
  • Music Director:Anand Bhaskar
  • Cinematography:Sanjay Kapoor



After Panchayat and Kota Factory, the third instalment of yet another much-awaited franchise, Mirzapur, out on Amazon Prime Video, greets streaming enthusiasts, this weekend. The show, set in the hinterlands of North India, has the spirit of a Hindi pulp-fiction novel, packing in an intoxicating blend of redemption, crime, action, politics, and family drama. Does it have the legs to enthral viewers the third time?

Mirzapur’s new season has a near-perfect foundation for a Godfather (1972)-styled crime drama, centred on the nexus between gangsters and bureaucrats. On his deathbed, a mafia baron Kaleen Bhaiya goes into exile, setting up a tough contest for the throne between two resurgent, misguided men Guddu and Sharad Shukla. The show is all about the price they pay for their poor choices.

Meanwhile, Guddu’s father Ramakant, an advocate himself, is accused of murder and put behind bars while waging a tiresome legal battle. In this world of powerful, crooked, vengeful men, a widow Madhuri Yadav is inching to make her mark in the political arena, doing what it takes to eradicate organised crime from the state.

Mirzapur Season 3 treads the road less travelled

It would’ve been easier for the directors—Gurmeet Singh and Anand Iyer—to chase instant gratification, go all out, play to the galleries, fill the show with dollops of action, and gore, and iron out the subtext to a bare minimum. However, Mirzapur Season 3 treads the road less travelled and seeks to ask tough questions—like how far can one go in trusting the system or how futile can redemption be?

Mirzapur Season 3 offers a bird’s-eye view of society from various dimensions—dysfunctional families, the police force, the judiciary, and bureaucrats. The common aspect that binds all the characters is their survival instinct—they’ll do anything that it takes to guard their safety—the lines between right and wrong are blurred. It’s a messy universe and hope is an emotion residing in a distant planet.

Mirzapur’s issue isn’t its lack of effort, but vice versa, its indulgence, going too far in establishing the context of its events. There are many bridges to cross and complex issues to address—the icing is great, but the cake, not so much. It wants to do justice to all its subplots and offer a philosophical viewpoint and the story drowns in this heaviness (and the desperation to over-explain and cram everything).

The director-duo places its characters in many uneasy situations and forces them to confront their moral dilemmas but the pattern gets repetitive across episodes and sucks the life out of the show. While the dense writing (by Apurva Dhar Badgaiyan) is not to be blamed, the ‘holier than thou’, docu-style approach to the storytelling sans any flamboyance doesn’t help. After all, you watch a show to be entertained.

Mirzapur Season 3 gains mileage surprisingly in an episode set in prison, where a poet, who is jailed for obscenity in his expression, regales his inmates. It’s lovely how the women—Madhuri Yadav, Beena Tripathi, Zarina, Dimpy, and Golu—get a chance to drive their point across and get their work done in a male bastion without bloodshed. Guddu’s mythological comparison to Bhasmasura is quite effective.

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No closure to characters

There’s a delectable throwback to Don with the identity confusion between the Tyagi twins. The episode where a female politician doesn’t hold back while using a woman to honeytrap her male counterparts (perhaps hinting how women could be propagators of patriarchy too) leaves you repulsed. By the end of the show, there’s one death too many (making you wonder if the writers fell short of ideas to provide closure to characters).

If the ‘inaction’ is the main issue of the initial episodes, the urgency to squeeze every layer in the material in the later part of the show adds up to a viewer’s fatigue. In comparison to the previous seasons, Mirzapur Season 3 relies too much on the plot and doesn’t allow the story to have its own space and breathe. Between the grim mood and the intense battles, the show forgets to entertain its core audience.

Stand-out performances by Isha Talwar and Anjum Sharma

Two performances stand out, in particular, this time—Isha Talwar (modelled on Sonia Gandhi’s appearance?) and Anjum Sharma (as Sharad Shukla). Beneath all her shrewd machinations, Isha brings a likeable elegance to Madhuri Yadav. Anjum plays the manipulator act with a touch of class, not letting his emotions get the better of him.

Ali Fazal is as resolute as ever, representing Guddu’s trauma, caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. While Pankaj Tripathi and Rasika Dugal may have less screen time, they don’t let it come in the way of the impact they create on the screen. Shweta Tripathi, as Golu, too, has her moments and her verbal duels with Vijay Varma are a delight to watch.

Several other actors too make their mark—the doggedly Rajesh Tailang, the gracious Sheeba Chadha, and the focused Harshita Gaur, to name a few. Sanjay Kapoor’s cinematography, shifting between mansions, prisons, blood-soaked streets, and landscapes, is an asset to the show. John Steward Eduri’s background score raises the stakes judiciously and creates a solid impact.

Final take

As blunt and basic as it may seem, Mirzapur Season 3 is a bore—an ambitious failure that tries hard but falls short.

(Views expressed here are personal)

(Edited by S Subhakeerthana)

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