Aarya season three, part one, ended with a key character being killed by Aarya Sareen. The show has reached a point where Aarya, the matriarch of the family, has no qualms about killing people, either intentionally or accidentally. Season two had ended with Aarya killing her biological father accidentally, which led to a chain of events that leaked into season three, and the revenge cycle went on. Ram Madhvani’s crime thriller drama, starring Sushmita Sen, has garnered quite a fan base. The show since season one has turned out to be a game-changer when it comes to delivering compelling drama. Aarya has managed to grab the eyeballs of people complaining about the lack of female-led crime dramas in the OTT space.
This article contains spoilers for season three, part one, as it ended with the death of Sooraj Raizada, who was accidentally killed by Aarya in her bid to prevent her son Veer from committing a crime. Sooraj was in town to get hold of his wife’s mortal remains and gather evidence against Aarya and Maya, as he was aware of their role in killing her. Sooraj, in the process, ended up murdering Veer’s pregnant girlfriend, Roop, which rattled the young boy.
Part two of the third season begins with the aftermath of the incident and its dire effect on Veer, as well as how his opinion of his mother changes drastically. Aarya, on the other hand, is juggling between many tasks at home and work just to get the ball rolling. At home, she must face child welfare, who are probing her youngest son Aditya’s erratic behavior in school in an effort to conclude if his current residence is the right place for him to be raised. On the work front, Aarya is being pressured by the Russian clients and Nalini Sahiba to retrieve the 500 crore worth of narcotics that were seized by ACP Khan and his team.
ACP Younus Khan is desperate to catch Aarya and her associates and end the power of the cartel. His three years’ worth of work will either be a success or Arya would walk away unharmed. The police and Aarya’s team want to identify the moles in their respective organizations that are leaking information to each other. This forms the crux of the last four episodes of season three. Many friends become foes, and Aarya will have to make the right decision for the protection of her family.
There is no change in momentum in part two as it picks up from where it ended, which is a good sign. Disney+ Hotstar, along with many other streaming channels, has adapted a new method of releasing shows in parts. It is working for some of them, but not for many. Aarya picked up steam, and quickly the screenplay jumped into the nitty-gritty of the narcotics business she is now a part of, and the screenplay did not slow down at any point. The pacing of the second part is as excellent as the first one and the last two seasons, and it never gets unnecessarily confusing.
Several plot holes in the story should not have been overlooked, especially towards the end, but the makers were too keen on ending the story. Even though the show was heading toward the climax, there’s no excuse for all these mistakes as the existing plotlines needed closure. Even though most of the subplots got the ending they deserved and were believable too, there should have been some clarity of thought given to some of them.
Sampat and Aarya’s friendship takes a different route, and the change in dynamics is the reason behind issues in the screenplay. The show begins with the attempt on Aarya’s life and ends with it too, but the big reveal of the killer happened way too late, and it fizzled quickly as well. Before the revelation is processed, the season concludes. There was also the frenemy situation between Aarya and Nalini Sahiba, but again, their business relationship comes across as awkward in the screenplay.
The subplot involving ACP Younus Khan going after Aarya Sareen got repetitive at this point, and his character ended up feeling one note. His obsession became borderline tiring, and there was hardly any mention of his relationship with his partner. The showmakers conveniently forgot to mention certain characters. Aarya’s father, Zorawar Rathore, was a key character in the first two seasons, but he was hardly mentioned in this season.
Another major issue with the narrative which projects mothers as perfect parent figures. Aarya Sareen is shown fighting tooth and nail against the law and her business rivals to make sure her family is not harmed. The narrative paints a woman as a figure of strength who will never lose her mind or patience while trying to juggle multiple jobs on the business and personal front. Mothers need to be treated like humans, not as people who would go to any extent at the cost of their lives. Aarya does make mistakes, and instead of showing them as an error of judgment, they are glorified as an act of sacrifice for her family. Aarya’s actions against the world are part of a vague narrative that only becomes exhausting. The approach taken by the writers is particularly dramatic, especially in the climax.
The dialogues, performances, cinematography, music, and direction were the only aspects that kept the last four episodes of the third season engaging. All of these add layers of emotion to a story and screenplay that could have been a lot more engrossing were it not for the surface-level narrative. Some predictable deaths felt like they were added more for shock value than the demands of the screenplay. The arc given to Aarya’s mother was very much in the background as a person who has been in denial about a lot that is happening in the family. She is reduced to a grandmother taking care of Aarya’s kids, and the screenplay did not give her character enough depth. The background score adds another layer of emotions, and it is rousing to hear Indian chants from scriptures being used throughout the three seasons. The placement of the background score needs to be appreciated as well.
This season, Kavya Sharma’s cinematography gives the show an atmosphere of deceit. Ram Madhvani in this season does a stellar job with the direction, even though the narrative is a bit shaky. There is no shift in continuity or the overall tone of the show, which allows Aarya to remain connected with the first two seasons, and that is the beauty of good direction in this show. The costumes in this show are just impeccable, and it is a joy to watch Aarya carry off moral ambiguity with so much panache.
The performances take the show towards a crescendo. Sushmita Sen’s character might be deeply flawed, but her struggle to keep it all calm before everything crashes down like a house of cards becomes real because of the actress’ performance. There is pain and anger in her voice, which is hard not to notice. Sushmita is a force to be reckoned with. Vikas Kumar as ACP Younus Khan is excellent, but his role as a narcotics police officer who is obsessed with arresting Aarya Sareen has become repetitive and is exhausting.
Ila Arun is an excellent addition to a show based in Rajasthan. Sikander Kher as Daulat had nothing much to offer as a character who suddenly reappeared with zero mention of where he was all this time. The child actors are excellent and add depth to their roles as children having a tough time dealing with their current circumstances. Aarushi Bajaj as Arundhati Sareen, Viren Vazirani as Veer, and Pratyaksh Panwar as Aditya Sareen are excellent as Aarya’s children, who are facing the brunt of her actions. Season Three ends on a cliffhanger, which makes us believe there could be another season on the way that would further take Aarya Sareen’s life story towards a conclusion. The second part of season three is a powerful watch, despite its flaws.