Prime Video’s Inside Edge returns for a season 3 to provide a deeper insight into the intense dark business of illegal betting and spot-fixing in Indian cricket which disgraces not only the pure love and enthusiasm for the sport but also wrecks the lives of rising talents and acknowledged athletes.
The last season ended with Bhaisaab a.k.a Yashvardhan Patil (Aamir Bashir) framing Zarina Malik (Richa Chadda) and his daughter, Mantra Patil (Sapna Pabbi), the owners of the Mumbai Mavericks team in the betting scandal to maintain his dignity and control on the sport. Zarina participates in a private meeting with Vikrant Dhawan (Vivek Oberoi) scheming a plot to take down Bhaisaab after being bailed out.
While she speaks against him, the latter’s daughter rejects both her and her father’s involvement in the crime during their hearing. The Roy Commission looks into all the developments in the case and takes in statements from players and members associated with the Mavericks team. With no solid evidence to pick out a criminal, Mantra and Zarina are set free.
The Roy Commission also proposes an age restriction to hold any position at the Indian Cricket Board (ICB) which takes away Bhaisaab’s opportunity to remain The President of ICB. Vikrant takes this opportunity to place Zarina as his puppet on the seat.
With the imminent India-Pakistan Test series, we also see a prominent hostility between the new and the former captain, Vayu Raghavan (Tanuj Virwani) and Rohit Shanbagh (Akshay Oberoi) respectively. The lack of cooperation between them leads to significant chaos in the initial matches of the series. The games see several instances of spot-fixing still occurring conducted by internal people to craft the sport their way.
Amidst this pressing situation, we see the rise of new talent, Imaad Akbar (Sidhant Gupta), a Kashmiri boy who dislodges the entire Pakistan team with his fabulous bowling streak.
While Vayu focuses on the series, Rohini (Sayani Gupta), his sister and team analyst dives deeper into knowing more about their parents. She becomes aware of her father, Vijay Subramaniam, a former Indian cricketer whose name was associated with a major spot-fixing scandal. Her urge to know more puts the duo into a tenacious situation but their discovery is worthwhile. Will Vayu and Rohini’s trick to hunting down the real criminal prove useful?
Amir Bashir as Bhaisaab has an exquisite aura to him. His demeanour and controlled emotions thoroughly prove his vast experience and range. The softness of the otherwise rugged character has been gracefully represented through his pure emotions towards his daughter Mantra.
Vivek Oberoi as Vikrant Dhawan engages the viewers once again with his smartness and delivery. His character development from an excited entrepreneur to a vengeful man and then to an emotional wreck of a person who only seeks a caring hand takes us through his intense struggles. Vivek Oberoi has donned it all.
Richa Chadda continues to amaze with her marvellous portrayal of Zarina, the only character with a sense of righteousness and inner calling. Chadda has been exceptional throughout. Zarina, an absolute feminist has developed more and more strength to survive in this world of evil. She has become one of them with a desire for power and authority.
The intense performances from the likes of Tanuj Virwani, Amit Sial, Sayani Gupta among others make this series so enthralling to watch. The character sketches being superficial and completely devoid of any emotions is a pressing reality. The hunger for money and backstabbing to enjoy authority is the main theme and the whole cast does an exceptional job to keep this feeling intact.
The screenplay is good with eventful suspense and twists at proper intervals. The sports-centric series has outlined the India-Pakistan test series and does a great job in capturing the tension and the enthusiasm within the nation when the two teams challenge each other.
It takes a dig into the prevalent bullying scenarios present in different sectors that are done through directing racial slurs and regional discrimination.
The series has spoken freely and embraced homosexuality showing the struggles of a dual life that people are bound to lead due to the prevailing stereotypes. Akshay Oberoi as Rohit Shanbagh clearly depicts the struggle and perfectly executes his role.
There are certain issues with the whole season and the most notable one would be the subplots. A variety of subplots are included to support the main one and most proved to be time-consuming. Editing out a few scenes would have added to the pace and engaged interest.
Despite an gripping introduction, the narrative slows down in the middle with numerous unnecessary deviations. It could have been well wrapped in fewer episodes.
Few characters do find enough screen presence but have the least amount of dialogues which doesn’t help the pace. Many characters are seen doing a tad bit on the profession they pursue and just striving to support the underlying narrative.
The cricket matches shown could have been a bit more realistic and not just supporting the narrative. The only efficient players in the country’s national team being Vayu, Rohit and Imaad feels nonsensical.
Setting aside the negatives, the third season is obviously worth it as it provides a detailed account of incidents after a dramatic end to the last season. The stellar performances will keep you hooked to the story with a good amount of plot twists. This season also has an intriguing end which hints at a new chapter.