When we think of the world of mafias, crime, and murder, we only think of daunting men posing as fearful Dons. It’s rare to spot a woman taking the lead in the world of Indian crime series or movies. But Disney+ Hotstar’s Aarya breaks that stigma through Sushmita Sen‘s transition from a mother to a powerful Don. Within the last two seasons of the show, Sushmita Sen has proved her mettle with her powerhouse performance as Aarya Sareen – a woman forced to navigate the treacherous drug world after her husband’s death due to his involvement in illicit activities.

With the third instalment of the show out now, it promises to catapult viewers into a world of crime, intrigue, and family dynamics yet again. Sen, as usual, commands the screen with her enigmatic portrayal of Aarya. With its taut narrative and stellar ensemble cast, “Aarya” has not only garnered critical acclaim but has also captivated audiences, cementing its place as a trailblazer in the realm of Indian web series. The third season of Aarya witnesses a complicated dance of power and personal vendettas, with Sushmita Sen shining throughout.

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The Fearless Sherni

In 2021, season two of the series had left Aarya at a juncture where she reluctantly took over the illegal family business. She is now a don, orchestrating drug deals, getting into bed with Russian mobs and standing her ground to protect her family from Sooraj (played by Indraneil Sengupta) and Nalini Saiba (played by Ila Arun). Talk about being a total badass! Aarya 3 strongly emphasizes female empowerment. The new season begins with Sushmita Sen getting shot but it soon rewinds to the flashback. She expands her drug business while fighting Sooraj who has only one mission- to kill Aarya to seek revenge for his dead wife.

sushmita sen aarya 3

A Fierce Mom

We learned from the two seasons that Aarya’s family has wronged her throughout the entire time, and the people she believed to be her family are actually her mortal enemies. She is a doting mother who will go to any lengths to protect her children, and for that, she has become the new don who smokes opium, threatens those who don’t obey their orders, and makes her mind work in such a way that she can fool anyone in a jiffy.

The Writer’s POV

Aarya 3 writer Anu Singh Choudhary says Sushmita Sen-led show’s biggest win is creating a strong woman don, who resonates with the male and female audience. Sushmita is synonymous with strength, fear, resilience and vulnerability. Her dialogue delivery is impeccable, with her lioness-like body language and that unmatched aura, Sen is in top form. Furthermore, director Ram Madhvani has supported her lead actress with an able cast. 

Season on season, leading lady Sen only elevates the crime drama that has its roots in the Dutch show, Penoza. Choudhary praises her, saying, “I have been on the set a couple of times since the first season, and to see her transform into the character was amazing. She lifted the material with her strength and confidence. The written words were elevated to a level that the [dialogues] didn’t matter after a while; only her imbibing them did.”

Loved By Men & Women Alike

What is heartwarming is that the Disney+ Hotstar series, centred on a woman compelled to rule the drug world while protecting her kids fiercely, is embraced by women and men alike. “Aarya is one of those rare shows that is led by a woman, but has everybody excited. Men watch it with as much involvement. It’s the story of a homemaker, who becomes a don. She is surviving in a man’s world with her head held high, and will kill if need be. For a platform and producers to have the courage to back this story is rare.

The Verdict

The show deserves to be binged all thanks to the best female don to grace the OTT screens: Sushmita Sen! No one else could have shouldered the series the way she did. Her sense of aura and her presence of taking no nonsense anymore from anyone are so tantalising to watch that she makes you fixated on the screen without blinking. We are yet to see her hold the sword and roar at her enemies, as the story has not ended yet. And honestly, we can’t get enough of the Sherni!