BOTTOM LINE: Our Medicos Deserve Better
|Platform: YouTube-Dice Media||Genre: Comedy|
What Is the Story About?
Three students Nishant, Sakshi and Huma, in the course of fulfilling their dreams to be future medicos, dealing their own set of conflicts, try to be each other’s support system. MBBS doesn’t promise to be an easy ride for the trio, but they make the most of the college-time forging a memorable friendship. In the process, they also give a direction to the career of the canteen owners son Akash, a medical aspirant, despite the reluctance of his father. The happy times at the canteen, classrooms and hostel are followed by a lull-phase where they cut off ties. However, the break only helps them realise the depth of the bond they share.
The lead actors Ayush Mehra, Anshul Chauhan and Sarah Hashmi share good on-screen camaraderie as thick buddies – but the loose writing and terrible characterisation don’t augur them well. Nearly every situation they’re in has no novelty and naturally, their expression and performance too have nothing new or extraordinary to offer. It’s a minor relief to spot Geethanjali Kulkarni in a brief role, yet that joy too is a short-lived one. Deepak Simwal has good screen presence in one of the only roles in the series that strikes an emotional chord.
Operation MBBS is the most basic, simplistic and sugarcoated portrayal of the travails of MBBS students ever seen in the Indian web space. The show is one among the many web originals that are only helpful in killing one’s time (may work during the era of social distancing) and can’t serve any purpose beyond that. The characters, their problems and the vibe of the show are only a rehash of every cliché that films have spoon-fed us time and again in different forms. There’s no trace of authenticity – the show is a Munnabhai MBBS-meets-3 Idiots premise minus their depth or wit, helmed with minor variations.
Nishant is a tweaking of Madhavan’s role in 3 Idiots (don’t expect much) – he’s the son of a doctor, academician who is least interested to pursue MBBS but is yet to find a direction to his life. He’s someone who imagines that he would be judged or ridiculed for being the son of the author of an MBBS-prescribed textbook. The love for a clichéd dysfunctional family backdrop in Hindi content continues in the form of Huma. Raised by her ambitious mother, she’s a girl who’s constantly traumatised by her exam scores, is fussed about the number-game and her rank in the class. Sakshi is the Rancho among the trio – easy-going, effortless and yet a topper.
The conflict in the series, well – is about the ranks Sakshi and Huma secure in their mid-term examinations. The humour in the series is either ‘inspired’ or in poor taste when it’s ‘original’. The dead body sequence in one of the earlier episodes rehashes the popular Munna Bhai MBBS scene in a different context. The urine test joke is a cheap excuse in the name of humour. The efforts to help the canteen owners son are a desperate attempt to sanitise the image of the three dull characters. It’s laughable that a mobile application alone would help a medical aspirant (who doesn’t go to college) clear NEET. (another case of a brand placement gone wrong – this time, it’s Unacademy).
The CPR that students perform on an aged man who suffers a cardiac arrest in the fifth episode is the final nail in the coffin – it’s the most exploited stereotype to heighten a medical student’s image as ‘life-savers’. While it’s an undisputed truth (especially during Covid19) that doctors are the unsung heroes of the society, they deserve better than screechy sermonising in a half-baked show about life during MBBS. Operation MBBS is a painful combination of stereotypes, poor acting and painful brand-placements strung together across five episodes. The ‘operation’ has failed after all. However, if there’s one thing that the show does well – it’s not forcing a romantic angle to a tale of male-female friendship.
Music and Other Departments?
In a show where mediocrity largely thrives, it’s relieving that the composer Adrija Gupta makes a genuine effort to come up with tracks and a background score matching the narrative’s breezy treatment aptly. The melodic music portions lend a feel-good vibe to the proceedings (even though the writing doesn’t create the same vibe). Within the budgetary limitations, the cinematographer doesn’t do a bad job with the visual appeal in the show at all. It’s the writing and the shallow execution that do the damage.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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