BOTTOM LINE: A Mini-Series That Feels Like an Extended Commercial
|Platform: Youtube/ Girliyapa||Genre: Comedy|
What Is the Story About?
The Guptas, Sanju and Madhu, despite their incessant fights and arguments, care for each other deeply. They are obsessed with the interiors of their new house and find a new way to boast about it to their friends and beloved in every alternate conversation. The series takes its viewers past some of their sweet-little nothings – a conflict with a laundry inspector, the husband’s reaction while he meets his wife’s ex, the desperation of the wife to make her presence worthy on a family Whatsapp group, the discomfort of the guy to open up in front of his wife’s father and the many efforts that the husband makes to keep her wife in good spirits.
Nidhi Bisht has always lent her roles an infectious enthusiasm and spontaneity, and Mr and Mrs offers good scope for her to explore her comic timing well. Some of the more humourous sequences in the series work a lot also because of the chemistry she shares with her co-actor Biswapati Sarkar – the balancing of energies is near perfect. Sharat Saxena lasts only for a single episode and yet proves his worth with the various dimensions of his acting repertoire – the exaggeration, particularly, is done just right. Shabnam Vadhera as the mother-in-law may not have dominated the proceedings, but she certainly makes her presence felt with her subtle humour and witty dialogue delivery. Srishti Srivastava’s presence in the first episode remains largely forgettable.
Mr and Mrs Season 2’s strength is its crisp packaging and witty writing – the show finishes by the time you would want to check your mobile again. But as it happens with the second season of every popular show, there are glaring compromises in the writing. Though the conflicts and conversations between the couple are reasonably quirky, funny and relatable to a certain extent, it feels like the season was made to please its sponsor as many times and in as many ways as possible. Even if a character asks the other, “How are you doing?”, the reply is often, “You shouldn’t forget checking out this interior-décor brand.”
If and when you find some breathing space beyond the brand-plugging, there is a silver lining to show too. The husband’s conversation with his wife’s ex is one of the funniest episodes of this season – there’s no awkwardness between the men. The husband instead is more curious about why a woman would have to break up with such a good-looking man and instead settle with a guy with average looks like him. The situation may have sounded edgy on paper, but it’s handled with a deft comic touch. The next episode gets even better. The superb dialogues smartly expose the truths universal to every family Whatsapp group – the efforts of the female protagonist to be an ‘adarsh Whatsapp bahu’ and her sarcastic conversations with the family members of her husband are a delight to watch.
Another potentially awkward situation like the one where the husband forgets to check the door before heading to the bathroom is written cheekily – definitely as not as crude as it sounds. The uncomfortable silences between the people involved in the ‘situation’ while also discussing the inhibitions that a father-in-law and son-in-law have in breaking the ice, their cricketing conversations give the show some of its thoroughly entertaining moments. The other two episodes – the one involving a DCP (dry cleaner Prasad- sigh!) and the climactic episode where the wife nearly wins an award for her blog – are not at all in a similar league. It doesn’t augur too well for a show that its beginning and ending falter big time.
Mr and Mrs’ second season may not have possibly been made without its tie-up brands, yes, but what if the director was given more liberty to explore two very interesting characters minus the creative compromises? It’s not great news that brands are increasingly coming in the way of creative freedom and are making digital shows feel like extended advertisements. Mr and Mrs may have many interesting ideas and some fine performances – but you only end up remembering the brand more. One only hopes production houses and brands find a finer balance between commerce and storytelling in the future.
Music and Other Departments?
The scope for a composer to shine in a bunch of mini webisodes is very minimal. The best you could say about the background score is that it represents the tone and the vibe of the series aptly. The visuals persistently focus on the interior décor, sometimes even more than its characters, probably to please the brand that show is associated with. The writing by Biswapati Sarkar sparkles only momentarily.
A couple of interesting episodes
Indulgent brand plugging
Many creative compromises
Did I Enjoy It?
Only in parts
Will You Recommend It?
Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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