BOTTOM LINE: Intriguing Stories, Bumpy Execution
Rating: 5 /10
Skin N Swear: Several Instances of on-Screen Intimacy and Strong Language
|Platform: ALT Balaji, Zee5||Genre: Drama|
What Is the Story About?
Hai Taubba – Chapter 2 is an anthology of four stories about relationships that don’t conform to societal norms. The first episode, Pink, revolves around a group of friends going through a rough patch in their relationships while an annual get-together only worsens their ties beyond repair. The next episode, White, explores the life of a social media influencer Taniya, who’s even ready to get laid in her bid to enhance her popularity.
The penultimate story, Silver, is centered around two budding filmmakers Shlok and Pooja who find themselves in an awkward situation when their cast doesn’t meet their expectations during the filming of a project. The final episode, Blue, is about the deep friendship that two closeted homosexuals, a caterer Arjan and a marketing person Trilok, forge in a Goan hotel.
There aren’t any recognisable faces in the show and the acting standards aren’t upto the mark. Of the ensemble cast across the four episodes, some of the names that impress include Siddhant Mahajan, Kashish Rai, Bibriti Chatterjee, Poorti Arya, Nishank Verma, and Ankita Chakraborty. Most of the actors have fit bods, terrific fashion sense though the same cannot be said about their (lack of) acting mettle.
Hai Taubba, the first season of AltBalaji’s show about relationships that defy societal conventions, was among the better-filmed projects to have released on the platform a few weeks ago. Though the stories weren’t pathbreaking, there was considerable improvement in the visual treatment and a concerted effort to minimize crassness. And surprisingly enough, the second chapter of the show continues this momentum. The four stories are as diverse as chalk and cheese while the conflicts in the episodes are solid at the same time.
Pink, the weakest of the four stories, is about a relationship that destroys many equations within a group. A couple in the gang is going through a divorce, another woman struggles to move on from her ex, a 20s something man is endlessly waiting to propose to his childhood sweetheart while a gay man is yet to meet the partner of his dreams. Though the conflict in the story around messy relationships is built well, the ending is abrupt. While the filmmaker may have had the idea to leave the episode open-ended, the result is only vague/ambiguous.
White is a strange story, nevertheless entertaining and is very today in its ideas about fame and the perils of modern-day relationships. While the focus of this episode may have been about the need for consent in relationships, the hilarious treatment of a Tinder hookup-gone-wrong keeps you invested in the narrative. Silver, the penultimate episode, is intriguingly written and ties up many pertinent issues including the objectification of women, the taboos surrounding homosexuality and the pressures of the film world.
The finale, Blue, is the best of the lot, revolving around two closeted homosexuals and beautifully emphasising the significance of love over gender in relationships. It also tells the importance of self-acceptance, including one’s sexuality and the frivolity about living in denial. The ending has a poetic touch and takes the gender aspect a little too far, but the many devices the filmmaker uses to discuss unexpressed love haunts you. Hai Taubba Chapter 2 is a step in the right direction for AltBalaji. The storytelling and the craft may be far from perfect, but the sincerity in the intentions deserves applause.
Music and Other Departments?
Sneha Bose, Mohit Sharma, and Muskaan Tomar’s score is anything but out of the box, rehashing a handful of yesteryear numbers that would’ve been better if left untouched. The scenic landscapes make for enticing, compelling visual backdrops for the stories. The lovemaking sequences are intentionally titillating and this is something that AltBalaji should avoid capitalising on repeatedly, show after show. The dialogues are laughable – sample something so random like ‘finding love is like finding a dream job, it marks an end to all your worries.’ The crisp 40-minute length for every episode ensures that no story is stretched beyond necessity.
Unique bunch of stories
Finds entertaining ways to address taboo issues
Normalises LGBTQ relationships
Partly titillating treatment
Lacks well-etched characters
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Only if You Have the Appetite to Watch LGBTQ Dramas
Hai Taubba Chapter 2 Web Series Review by Binged Bureau
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