‘Inside Edge’ 3 Web Review: Gritty, Gripping Saga of Game-fixing and Betrayal
Scene from “Inside Edge” season 3. (publicity photo)
By R.M. VIJAYAKAR/Special to India-West
Amazon Prime Video presents Excel Entertainment’s ‘Inside Edge 3’
Created by: Karan Anshuman
Produced by: Ritesh Sidhwani & Farhan Akhtar
Directed by: Kanishk Varma
Written by: Karan Anshuman, Saurav Dey, Ameya Sarda, Niren Bhatt, Sailesh Ramaswamy & others
Music: John Stewart Eduri
Starring: Vivek Anand Oberoi, Richa Chadha, Aamir Bashir, Sapna Pabbi, Tanuj Virwani, Amit Sial, Akshay Oberoi, Sidhant Gupta, Sayani Gupta, Flora Saini, Himanshi Choudhry, Ankur Rathee, Sunny Hinduja, Renuka Shahane Rana, Ankur Vikal, Dilip Tahil, Prasanna Ketkar & others.This is a series you can enjoy without having watched the first two seasons: I say this with certainty as I had not. When such a crisply written and deftly directed saga (the first won an Emmy nomination, not that any Indian series can be judged by Western parameters just like cinema!) “spins” around cricket, it “runs” well and can in theory “clean bowl” its viewer.
Technically very upscale, the series falls short only on one aspect: there is more of intrigue shown here than the game, but that would be a grouse for ardent cricket fans, not for me. There is another complaint again not applicable to me—there are long portions in English sans on-screen subtitles as translation, and that can upset the Hindi audiences as these phases come often in the (original) Hindi version.
The omnipresent profanities abound, especially the now-trendy “F” word, and so do the occasional sex scenes, but then without these elements, where would the series go globally and even among the Indian highbrows?
Having said that, the expected and unexpected twists-and-turns make for engrossing fare, especially because the “dialogues” are superlatively hard-hitting, trenchant and to-the-point, and the acting is of high level. The sport, when it is shown, is superbly shot and edited, and the result is a high-caliber series that I, for one, finished in three installments flat despite a running time of 10 episodes and over 450 minutes!
“Inside Edge” speaks of the politics and manipulations in cricket, using a fictitious main team of Mumbai Mavericks and the Powerplay league for T20 matches. Betrayals, involvement of politics and even the underworld, frequent flashbacks, humble origins of some characters, family struggles and intrigue—all are a part of this punch-packed saga. A detailed narration of the plot would be pointless here as it would be similar to many such political dramas, though the nuances make the difference in the impact.
Kanishk Verma (who recently directed the frenetic Vidyut Jammwal actioner “Sanak”) invests in an equally fast pace here, but there is much more by way of characters, situations and canvas to play with and so the impact is much more.
The performances are, as said earlier, of high caliber, and in terms of expectations, Aamir Bashir as Bhaisaab, Sapna Pabbi as his daughter Mantra, Ankur Rathee as the gay boyfriend and Sidhant Gupta as Imaad, the Kashmiri player, shine highest. The quiet and subtly manic Vikrant, portrayed brilliantly by Vivek Anand Oberoi steals the show when on screen. But everyone is effective—at least, if not more.
Whether you love cricket or not, this show is for you, and you will grow to love or hate the characters in the way they are written and presented.