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3Cs review: An amateurish, half-baked crime comedy

Sampath Kumar Thota’s show has a reasonably engaging premise but never capitalises on it due to poor, stereotypical writing

1.5/5rating
3Cs review: An amateurish, half-baked crime comedy
3Cs review
  • Srivathsan Nadadhur

Last Updated: 04.45 AM, Jan 06, 2023

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Story:

Chandrika, Catherine and Chaitra are three inseparable friends leading contrasting lives in Hyderabad. While Chaitra is always concerned about not disappointing her parents, Chandrika is a pampered girl, who lives life queen-size, in the absence of her parents. Catherine, an event manager, is yet to heal from the wounds of her dysfunctional upbringing. Days before Chaitra’s marriage, the trio meets at a bar but mysteriously lands in Andaman the next morning. What’s in store for the girl gang?

Review:

3Cs has all the ingredients of a decent madcap comedy. Three 20s-something women, one wild night, a no man’s island, sucked into a world of gangsters, sex-trade, multi-crore deals and no ray of hope. The premise is apt for a web show; there’s immense scope to establish a wide range of oddball, eccentric characters with good potential for dark humour too. However, beyond its basic plot, 3Cs has nothing going for it, be it the performances, conviction in the writing or the execution.

A show like 3Cs is bound to work only when the characters pique your curiosity. The three leads come with over-simplistic, one-note characterisation; they’re mere extensions of labels like pampered, practical and submissive. There’s no mystery to them though the scenarios they’re placed amidst, warrant your attention. The events and the backdrops are smartly ideated - an Andaman cruise, a prostitution racket, a stolen car, a diamond hidden in a rudraksh and it had all the ammunition to go berserk.

The issue with the show is partly the writing and mostly, the execution. The writer, director Sampath Kumar Thota struggles to give an original identity to his characters. Right from their internal conflicts to mannerisms to body language and even their language, the characters lack meat, are stereotypical and appear derived from a handful of popular gangster films. The staging too is utterly unimaginative and it’s hard to buy that the lead characters are in danger at any point.

3Cs doesn’t take its Andaman backdrop seriously, to begin with. Several characters conveniently speak Bengali, Telugu and the setup comprising cops, small-time goons and gangsters isn’t believable either. It’s baffling how the entire bunch flies from Andaman to Mumbai with relative ease. There are too many cinematic liberties involved and comedy is certainly not among the creator’s strengths. The oddity of the situations elicits humour though most of the one-liners, verbal banters are painfully amateurish.

Even with the crime angle, the world around corrupt cops, underworld gangs, chases, betrayals and shoot-outs appears so done to death that it’s a struggle to invest in the story. Once the backdrop shifts from Andaman to Mumbai, the overdose of characters contribute to the confusion and the conflicts are resolved too easily. Understandably, a show featuring relative newcomers may not have the luxury of a huge budget, but what’s disappointing here is the absence of an effort to create anything original.

Nitya Shetty’s Chandrika is a classic example of how not to write a female character. Yes, her antics weren’t meant to be taken seriously but it’s hard not to sulk when she has a conversation with a gangster about a rooster and a hen mating in the middle of a life-and-death situation. The actor’s over-the-top performance adds insult to injury. Spandana Palli and Gnaneswari Kandregula are passable though they can’t rise above their poorly-written characters.

Among the rest, Ram Nitin makes a mark within the limited scope of his part. Sanjay Rao has some distance to go with his expressions and dialogue delivery. Sundip Ved’s hammy, over-enthusiastic performance is a major letdown while the likes of Viren Thambidorai, Shantanu and Appaji barely have anything meaty. Abhiraj Nair’s flashy cinematography and aesthetic sense fit the mood of this madcap world and Sunil Kashyap’s background score passes muster.

Verdict:

For a crime comedy, 3Cs is largely funny while the crime backdrop is bereft of any nuance. The characters are poorly written and there’re hardly any standout performances. The show misses the thin line between being funny and bizarre. The scenarios are intriguing but writer-director Sampath Kumar Thota struggles to build on them.

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