Story: It’s the third edition of Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster series where it’s survival of the wittiest and the wealthiest. Will the royal couple Madhavi Devi and Aditya Pratap Singh live to tell the tale of relentless plotting, scheming and backstabbing?
Review: An incarcerated saheb. A politically powerful biwi and a London based gangster, who makes a killing playing the dangerous game of Russian roulette. Director and co-writer Tigmanshu Dhulia wastes no time in setting the stage for a confrontational drama of power-hungry men and women who will stop at nothing to get what they want. The narrative of this edition begins on a fresh note, and takes an unpredictable route to unravelling newer facets of its multi-layered characters.
Leading them all is Queen Madhavi Devi (Mahie Gill), who pulls off a complex character with such ease and congeniality, leaving you wanting for more, despite her having the lion’s share of the script. Coming in a close second is his highness Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Sheirgill) who does a fine job of balancing the dream of capturing his lost love and glory. As Kabir aka Baba, Sanjay Dutt is not quite the gangster but more of a sophisticated outlaw, who has a heart and a temper that always spells trouble. He is apt for the role, although he looks a tad bit tired and less royal. But while these three have their tasks cut out, the same cannot be said for the other two ladies in the film. Chitrangada Singh as Suhani looks breathtakingly beautiful but barring her introduction scene, does little more than slowing down the pace. Soha Ali Khan as Saheb’s biwi no.2 Ranjana is wasted, literally and figuratively. Rest of the supporting cast – Kabir Bedi, Nafisa Ali and Deepak Tijori are adequately cast as the royal family of Boondigarh.
With so many characters there is often a problem of plenty, but with taut writing and an unpredictable narrative, writers Sanjay Chouhan and Tigmanshu Dhulia manage to stay ahead of the curve. Of course, Dhulia falls prey to usual pitfalls of a forgettable item number and a totally avoidable love song, but what redeems him are the crisp punch-packed dialogues, which are less dramatic and more effective. Overall, with a screenplay that surprises and performances to match, SBG3 successfully takes the legacy forward with minor bumps on the way.