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Bobby Deol get offers 10 parts: Aashram 3

Bobby Deol and Chandan Roy lead rename itself Ek Badnaam Aashram.

In 2020 the first two seasons of ‘Aashram’, which take time a few weeks of each other. This third season has taken two years. About the only difference this time around is in its name: it has replaced into ‘Ek Badnaam Aashram’, therefore, there is hesitation in our minds that this ashram is a bad place, run by an evil baba, and his equally evil cohorts, but we already knew that. So, what’s new?

We have been a witness to the ‘kali kartoots’ (black deeds) of Baba Nirala (Bobby Deol) and his faithful sidekick Bhopa (Chandan Roy Sanyal), which included deflowering young virgins, castrating young faithfuls in the name of ‘shuddhikaran’ (purification), lacing laddoos with intoxicants, and meddling in the politics of the place where this very Dera Sachcha Sauda-like ashram exists.

Watch Aashram season 3 trailer:

 

Esha Gupta acts a hip-hop brand manager, who decides to burn baba’s image, and take it to the world — Baba will become Bhagwan! She doesn’t forget to bung in an item number while she’s at it, but the writers forget that falling back on such a tired filmi device in a web series is never good news. And it doesn’t help that both Deol and Sanyal are given lovey-dovey scenes to parade about in: how many times can you watch their bond smirks and feel a shiver?

Sanyal is a great duo, and Deol’s smarminess was effective the first time we saw it, but the challenge of building on their character traits through this third season has been roundly flubbed.

The most interesting character in the series, Pammi Pehelwan (Aaditi Pohankar), a Dalit young lady who adores to become a boxing champion, and whose rebellious streak was shaping to give the baba a run for his prohibited money, has been bended into a sobbing, simpering thing. The other characters who had something to do before this, are left to fend for themselves.

The series had abandoned its caste-and-class sharpness, director Prakash Jha’s forte, by the second season. That’s what kept us watching in the first place, as it went about exploring the world of self-proclaimed godmen, the kind that wield so much power in spheres which affect us, without our knowledge. This time around, it’s just ten episodes of tedium.

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