“Aarya,” the Disney+Hotstar series, returns with its third season, continuing the captivating story of a mother’s transformation into a don for the sake of her children. This show has been one of Indian streaming’s most consistent offerings, blending compelling storytelling with visual and auditory artistry. While it may not be groundbreaking, it flawlessly adapts a sitcom sensibility into the realm of long-form storytelling, making it stylishly watchable.
In this season, we find Aarya, portrayed brilliantly by Sushmita Sen, embracing her role as a criminal mastermind, orchestrating drug deals and dealing with Russian mobs while facing generational threats. The fallout from the previous season’s events continues to haunt her children, as her son Sooraj seeks revenge for his wife’s death. ACP Khan remains a constant threat, creating personal and professional rivalries.
The third season of Aarya feels somewhat rushed, with a survival thriller’s pace, leaving little room for reflection. The narrative unfolds rapidly, resulting in a relentless sequence of events. While there is a sense of intimacy within the family’s battles, the show could have allowed Aarya more character development beyond her role as a protector. Subplots, like Aarya’s son Veer’s transformation, suffer due to this pacing.
Directed by Ram Madhvani, Aarya’s first two seasons set a high standard for the show. However, the third season lacks the same sense of place, opting for a closed-doors format reminiscent of a sitcom rather than a literary marathon. This shift sacrifices the show’s unique atmosphere, leaving it somewhat directionless.
Nevertheless, Aarya remains a sensorial experience that stands out stylistically in the streaming space. It may not excel in intricate writing, but its self-serious presentation lends it a unique authority and originality. The use of yogic chants, exposition-heavy dialogue, and gloomy visuals create a world unafraid of exploring dark and gloomy themes. Despite its struggle to expand its narrative, Aarya remains engaging, largely due to its distinct style.
Sushmita Sen’s portrayal of Aarya is a casting choice that perfectly fits the character’s demands. Her character’s transformation from suave mother to a hardened criminal is convincing. The show’s aura of sophistication is disrupted whenever violence erupts, but the series manages to maintain an air of suspense as long as it refrains from overusing gunfire.
In conclusion, “Aarya” Season 3 may not reach the heights of its predecessors, but it still offers a compelling story of a mother’s desperation and determination. While the pacing and narrative direction may have room for improvement, Sushmita Sen’s performance and the show’s unique stylistic elements make it worth watching. Ram Madhvani has created a unique voice in the world of Indian streaming, one that we hope continues to evolve in future seasons.