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"Saare galat aadtein to aapne lagayi hai, baaki tabah hone me is haveli ne sath diya. Yahan bure kaam karne ki latt lag jati hai," when Mahie Gill's Madhavi Devi quips these words to Jimmy Shergill's Raja Aditya Pratap Singh, the tension simmering between these two characters in Tigmanshu Dhulia's Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 piques your interest levels. Sadly, the balloon of your expectations burst soon when it is pricked with the needle of a mediocre screenplay.
Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 brings back Jimmy Shergill and Mahie Gill at their twisted best with Sanjay Dutt and Chitrangda Singh joining the cast. The film begins in London with a hoodie-clad Uday (Sanjay Dutt) entering his club named House of Lords and playing the game of Russian Roulette. And guess what! There's a background song which has lyrics like 'He's the baba, Le aaya tera baap', most of the time when Sanju walks into the frame. Meanwhile, 'baba' is head over heels in love with his mistress Suhani (Chitrangda Singh), whose favourite past-time is talking about 'chand aur suraj'.
In the parallel track, Saheb, aka Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Shergill), is still in the prison after being falsely implicated for a murder. In his absence, his second wife Madhavi (Mahie Gill) is enjoying her new-found political power and her share of 'one-night stands'. Despite devising various crooked plans to keep Saheb in jail, he manages to make it scot-free, thus becoming a threat to Madhavi's lust for power. As a counter game, she tries to pit Saheb against Uday trying all the tricks from her book. Will Saheb see through her game? Will Uday fall for her charmingly manipulative ways? The rest of the fim revolves around what happens next.
Unlike the previous two installments in the franchise, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 lacks the zing. Tigmanshu Dhulia spends most of his time in the first half of the film, trying to build up the characters. But none except Aditya Pratap and Madhavi manage to charm you for long. The film stands on a wafer-thin plot, which barely stays afloat. Thankfully, the dark-humour infused dialogues save the day and give you some intriguing moments. Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 fails to match its predecessors with its lethargic writing and lacklustre direction.
Speaking about the performances, Jimmy Shergill, as the power-hungry aristocrat who feels the pinch when he sees his wife enjoying the public adulation and would resort to any means to gain it back, is impressive to the core. Mahie Gill's seductive and manipulative charm leaves you asking for more. Her scenes with Jimmy are an absolute delight to watch.
On the flipside, Sanjay Dutt looks awkwardly uncomfortable in the romantic sequences. His chemistry with Chitrangda Singh is as 'thanda' as ice. His act comes across more as a 'misfire' when it comes to resurrection of his career. Sanjay is largely outshadowed by Jimmy and Mahi. Chitrangda Singh looks pretty but barely gets a chance to showcase her acting chops.
Kabir Bedi looks like he has donned some horrendous mask, which might just come off and the veteran actor suffers from poor-sketched role. Nafisa Ali too doesn't get much scope to display her acting skills. Deepak Tijori is okay in his role.
Amadendu Chaudhary's cinematography is average but the VFX is poor at places. In fact, in one of the scenes, the colour correction changes mid-way, leaving you baffled. Pravin Agre's editing has nothing new to offer on the table.
The music of Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 is a disappointing fare, and the songs look forcefully inserted into the narrative. Barring Kesariya Jugni and Lag Ja Gale, there's nothing to impress.
At one point, Sanjay Dutt's character says, "Zindagi ka maza humne bahut kam liya hai, ab vapas lauta hoon zindagi bhar ka maza loonga". Unfortunately, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 doesn't give him a chance to do so! In a nutshell, there are very few things in this flick which holds your attention in the chaos. I am going with two stars.