That’s what turns out to be the core of Hello Mini 3, as the trilogy finally sees the unveiling of the mythical element of this suspense thriller with the eventual revelation of the stranger. It all begins and end with Xenopia though, the identity of which can of course not be spoken about here as it would lead to a spoiler. However what can be stated is that it all turns out to be a fitting closure to the turmoil that Mini (Anuja Joshi) was going through one season after another, only to conclude it all with a smile, bewitching as it may be.
One of the rare web series to have actually moved into three seasons (with more than just an hint thrown around how there may well be the fourth), Hello Mini – which is streaming at MX Player – is a journey that started in 2019, only to take a break in 2020 and then returning with two back to back seasons in 2021. To think of it, this story about a young woman being stalked by a hoody donning stranger started off as an erotic thriller. While Anuja made sure that her solid screen presence, credible act and glamorous physical appeal did the trick amongst the masses, the second season was a lot more dramatic as skeletons started falling from the closet with the hide-n-seek game of dare-defy.
However the third season (directed by Arjun Srivastava) gets a lot more complex with dramatic quotient taking over the erotica element. This time around there is a mysterious cult being run by a Godwoman (Suchitra Pillai) with a disciple (Nirisha Basnett) facilitating her dirty games through part-mystic-part-fooling ways. Even as they try to get Mini deeper into the world of fear and guilt along with her ex-boyfriend (Anshul Pandey), the girl at the epicentre realises soon enough that she is being taken for a ride and the solution is actually much closer ‘home’. Pun intended.
In the process, it also happens that her steady boyfriend (Mrinal Dutt, who has enjoyed a double bill this week with His Storyy also releasing) gets relegated to the background while a new corporate hit shot guy (Vibhab Roy) comes into the scene. While they do try to figure out what’s leading to the nightmares, hallucinations and even hypnotism, the world of Xenopia opens up.
As has always been the case with Hello Mini, a franchise put together by Applause Entertainment and Goldie Behl, this season too is quite fast paced with then background score adding on to the enhanced appeal. It looks rich and striking, which also makes it a quality outing.
That said, the whole cult element gets a lot more screen time during the 10 episodes than one would have bargained for. Also, the performances from the supporting actors who feature in the ‘Solace’ cult could have been better. As a result, while the scenes in the world outside hold a lot more attention, the drama isn’t as impactful when the scene shifts back in there. Also, I would have wanted to see more of Mrinal, while a very reliable Vineet Sharma (who played a cop very effectively in the first two seasons) has a mere cameo this time around.
That said, what works at the end of it all is Anuja Joshi whose measured act coupled with the right mix of good emotions and body beautiful ensures that Hello Mini 3 turns out to be a satisfying experience. With more than just a hint thrown around her returning with the next season as well, this time as a saviour instead of being a damsel in distress, one waits to see the plans that the team has next.