In Prakash Jha’s popular series Aashram, the self-proclaimed godman Baba Nirala is back for ten more episodes in the third season. The series is now called Ek Badnaam…Aashram. This is probably done so as not to offend anyone. But changing the title doesn’t stop the show from insulting people’s intelligence. At its heart, Aashram is a slow-moving crime drama-comedy-thriller. The show is formulaic and corny, and some of the main cast members’ performances are the only things that keep it from being even worse. Read also: Aashram’s third season: Bobby Deol is back as the God-obsessed Baba, and Esha Gupta is out to get him to fall in love with her. Watch

In Aashram, Bobby Deol plays Baba Nirala, a godman and con artist who has built a political and criminal empire under the guise of a spiritual business. It picks up where the last season left off, when one of his followers, Pammi (Aaditi Pohankar), got away from him after he abused her sexually and is now out for revenge. In the background, there are a lot of characters and plot lines about the Baba’s desire for power and women and the changing political fortunes of the state where his aashram is.

The idea behind Aashram is strong. Shows about fake godmen and their cults have been praised by critics and well received by audiences all over the world. But Aashram doesn’t have the style of Waco, the first season of True Detective, or even Orphan Black. It doesn’t think that being subtle is an art. The drama is played up, the music is loud (we’ll talk more about that later), and the acting is over the top. There are no naked people or bad language, but the show can be titillating at times. At times, the tone reminds me of a 90s crime drama, but not one of the good Abbas-Mustan ones, but one of the corny Rajiv Rai ones with continuity mistakes.

The way Aashram treats its women is the thing I dislike the most about it. It’s too bad that the show comes from Prakash Jha, who gave Jai Gangaajal a strong female cop. But Aashram shows its women, even those in positions of power, through a sharply male perspective. It brings in Esha Gupta, who plays a publicist and brand consultant who is known all over the world. Aashram chooses to show her off with a dance sequence that is meant to be seductive. Some people might say that that part of the plot was necessary, but what it really does is turn a strong, successful female character into a sexual object who dances for a more powerful male character.

Even though Baba Nirala is the main character, it is clear from the show that he is not a good person. Even though it doesn’t show him in a good light, the crude tone makes that point moot. Each of the con man’s schemes is made more “enjoyable” by adding some cinematic “masala.” This makes the baba and his followers into some kind of anti-heroes. You know they are bad, but you root for them anyway. People don’t feel sorry for the people they scam, torture, and kill. Instead, they look like bumbling, naive fools. And because you don’t feel bad for them, you don’t hate the baba as much as you should.

The show is built around Bobby Deol, and he gives the best performance of his life. He is convincing as the smart and charming con artist, and he brings out the creepiness that was needed for the part. Chandan Roy Sanyal, who plays the Baba’s trusted lieutenant Bhopa Singh, does a great job as an actor. The story comes to life through Chandan’s performance. But the show doesn’t give Anupriya Goenka and Darshan Kumaar the credit they deserve for their skills. The doctor and the good cop are on a crusade against the aashram, but they don’t get as much screen time as in previous seasons, so their characters don’t have much room to grow. The characters have turned into stereotypes of themselves. When I realised that the plot wouldn’t have changed much if they hadn’t been in this season, I realised how unfair the script is to them. Even though Esha Gupta looks good as Sonia, the show doesn’t use her enough.

Even though the story is billed as a thriller, it moves at a snail’s pace. Episodes go by slowly, and the same problems keep coming up for the same characters. Every half an hour or so, the same cat-and-mouse game is repackaged and made again. And a slow burn doesn’t work either. Even though Aashram has a lot of interesting plots, it makes them so boring that it tends to be boring. The terrible randomness of the background music doesn’t help either.

Aashram tries very hard to be a smart show, but it doesn’t work because it’s not written well. The show takes ideas and events from the real world and puts them in a world where everything is fake and blown up. The way the court and investigation systems are shown is so bad that it’s funny. The show isn’t as real as it was when it started two years ago. In seasons one and two, Aashram was a hit because it was based on real life. At the end of Season 3, there is a preview for Season 4, which means that the show will continue. But I do hope that it either gets back on track or ends before it’s just a shadow of what it used to be. From June 3, you can watch the third season of Aashram on MX Player.

By Piya

i am a content writer with 5 years of experience in writing field i have written several Articles, Blogs, Webpages, product descriptions ,add content , social media posts as well as worked in creative writing field too and still exploring and learning more in same field.

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