Film: Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3
Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Mahie Gill, Sanjay Dutt, Soha Ali Khan, Chitrangada Singh, Kabir Bedi, Deepak Tijori, Nafisa Ali, Pamela Bhutoria, Deepraj Rana, Imran Hasnee, Rishina Kandhari
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Rating: * * ½
The royal saga of deceit, conspiracy, greed and lust that had an appreciably wide-spread audience in the past, continues unabated into a third instalment which once again has the Saheb, Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Shergill) pitted against his first Biwi, Madhavi Devi (Mahie Gill). If you thought that Aditya Pratap would be finished once in prison then think again. Director/writer Tigmanshu Dhulia is obviously not done with this vituperative saga of bloodlines and blood foes, where each one is out to get the other and the moral compass stands totally obliterated.
Dhulia’s script isn’t able to rise above the rudimentary machinations and convolutions though. The narrative cuts, jumps and steamrolls, forward to a bloody coup that also involves the inclusion of diverse shades of Royalty and leads-up to a ridiculously contrived set-up for a game of Russian Roulette. An attempt to murder Ranjana (Soha Ali Khan) falls short and the attempt to overturn Aditya Pratap’s prison sentence comes good.
There’s hot-headed Uday Pratap Singh (Sanjay Dutt) and his heavy-duty baggage of estranged wife and daughter, love affair with commoner Suhani (Chitrangada), power struggle with uncle turned Step-father (Kabir Bedi) and step-brother Vijay Pratap Singh (Deepak Tijori), murderous attempt at a British Lord and inadvertent linkage to Madhavi, to contend with too.
It’s all a little too difficult to comprehend because the numerous characters have little to do other than fall into Dhulia’s plan of elimination or devaluation. Dhulia attempts to modernise his antiquated tale with some computer skulduggery, but even that doesn’t work up enough steam. Mahie Gill tries her best to make Madhavi sympathetic, but the overdone plotting doesn’t allow for any attachment and the rest of the cast merely mark their presence.
Sanjay Dutt merely looks like a street thug wearing royal threads. Jimmy Shergill though, shines through with his dignity intact, making even his villainous turns look acceptable. The song and dance fail to drum up support, but the minimalistic background score is a welcome relief. There’s not much conviction in this telling and it shows. The lack of melancholy and the overall emotional detachment that pervades this experience makes it difficult to sit through.
Dhulia may have allowed the writing to go haywire, but his integrity towards look and presentation is certainly appreciable. The camerawork, setting, colour cadence, lighting shifts, sound and production design are consistently top-notch.