BOTTOM LINE: A Timely, Bitter-Sweet Pill About Life Amid Lockdown
|Platform: Hoichoi||Genre: Comedy|
Skin and Swear: Contains No Lovemaking Sequences/Instances With Strong Language
What Is the Story About?
Two lawyers, Mr Sen and Mr Das represent contrasting clients and support different viewpoints on life during the lockdown. Little do they know they would be a cause of unintentional humour for the judge as he sees them argue about human race and coronavirus, the need to avoid quirky masks inspired by pop culture, the challenges of working from home and office and the right of a human to eat anything of his/her choice. Most of the cases are either adjourned for a later date and the verdicts remain inconclusive.
Anirban Chakrabarti’s underplayed humour has always been his strength and this is a series that capitalises on the same effectively. His spontaneous reactions and dialogue delivery, laced with a hint of sarcasm while listening to the absurd arguments between the advocates, are an asset to the show. Parambrata Chattopadhyay, after a series of intense roles, proves he’s a good fit in the light-hearted space as well. He displays good control over the amount of exaggeration and composure the episode demands and never pushes himself too hard. Ankush Hazra is a good match to the former in terms of comic timing – their semi-heated exchanges over the stance they take in the case are funny despite the absurdity in the reasoning.
There’s no better example than Hoichoi’s Case Jaundice to suggest that a crisis could be a starting point for something extremely innovative. In a time where content creation has remained a challenge for digital platforms, the show is proof that creativity needn’t necessarily be obstructed by limitations. Case Jaundice is an amalgamation of the many thoughts one would have had while spending their time at home during the lockdown. Understandably, the show creators have chosen a light-hearted tone to discuss larger and supposedly serious issues – it is therapeutic and gives the viewer the space to ponder over his/her prejudices, armchair generalisation and beliefs on a deeper level. The sugarcoating, though generic at places, is a bitter-sweet pill to spring a thought in our minds.
The first two episodes don’t ensure the best possible start for the show. Though the arguments between the advocates representing humans and coronavirus (about their co-existence) and the debate about people wearing quirky masks inspired by pop-icons are funny to a certain extent, the humour feels juvenile and silly. However, the show comes into its element from the third episode. The ‘open versus closed community’ argument prompts the necessity to embrace many cultures and not let regional pride blind one’s idea of learning and societal survival. The ‘work from home versus office’ debate is a witty take on how we need to relook our very idea of family and workspace with all its pros and cons.
Expectedly, the final episode ‘Man versus wild’, wittily named after the popular television series is its best, where the case is about a person who allegedly consumes bats and is alienated from society. It uses the argument superbly to throw light on the fact that what’s ‘normal behaviour’ for someone can be abnormal for someone else, touching upon homosexuality, vegetarianism, the reverence we associated with certain animals.
Filmmaker Subhankar Chattopadhyay proves that length isn’t an obstruction to create a definitive impact on the viewer. The courtroom setting works as an ideal space for discussing contrasting beliefs. Though some episodes tend to digress from the topic, are even vague and inconclusive at places, Case Jaundice strikes a chord for its timeliness. With more technical fillip, ideas like these are bound to flourish.
Music and Other Departments?
There’s only so much that the background score could do to add value to this series – yet, the music plays its part in enhancing the appeal of the comic timing of the actors. The cast appears to have done a reasonable job with the cinematography despite the limitations of being part of a lockdown show. The writing touches upon many poignant and relevant issues, though the makers have prioritised on humour over logic.
The hilariously structured, thought-provoking debates
The comic timing of the actors
Juvenile to begin with
The inconclusive ending of each episode
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
To those up for a light-hearted take on issues in the pandemic era
Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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