BOTTOM LINE: A Partly Entertaining Coming-Of-Age Tale
|Platform: ZEE5/ALTBalaji||Genre: Drama|
Skin and swear: Contains several lovemaking sequences and instances with strong language
What Is the Story About?
Tidda, an 18-year-old trying to deal with his romantic misadventures, is curious about the dramatic events leading to his birth. His father Soggy goes back in time to recall his mischievous younger days and his unlucky love life with the likes of Sonia and Mehek. Soggy, who owned a CD parlour many years ago, also uses the opportunity to tell his son about how his grandfather Prem Singh (who moved on after his wife’s death and) found his soulmate. Some missteps, many ambiguities and a few disappointments later, it’s inevitable that the father-son tale is bound to have a happily-ever-after ending.
In a welcome instance of anti-stereotyping, Rahul Bose taps his comic bone to his advantage. In contrast to his film appearances, he may appear slightly sober here but comes up with one of the most measured performances in his career as a loving father, who’s trying to rediscover life after the early death of his wife. The show-stealer in Who’s Your Daddy is still the grandma Biji essayed with excellent spontaneity by Nirmal Rishi. She never fails to liven up the screen with her witty dialogue delivery – her crankiness, old-world wisdom is filled with warmth.
Popular Youtuber Harsh Beniwal is at his comic best as the 20s something guy who knows to find his way out of his many notorious activities. Nikhil Bhambri is a good fit in the shoes of an ever-curious, enthusiastic teenager, eager to know his family’s past. Divinaa Thackur, Anveshi Jain, Lizaa Malik, Kasturi Banerjee and Samarth Shandilya have moments where they shine, though their characters aren’t well-established.
It’s refreshing to know that concerns of the middle-aged are finding a showcase in web shows rather innovatively. For those looking for a reference point to understand ZEE5-AltBalaji’s latest show Who’s Your Daddy, Maa Nannaku Pelli (Telugu) and Mere Baap Pehle Aap (Hindi) are the films that immediately come to your mind in terms of thematic similarity, though the treatment of this show remains vastly different. Amid all the romantic escapades of its various characters, the show is only suggesting that people deserve a second chance at life. The intention is indeed welcoming, though it could have conveyed the same with lesser distraction.
This is a show that a 90s kid would also be slightly embarrassed about – it takes them to a time where porn content was consumed through DVDs in video parlours whose labels had regular movie titles and reminds them of the many gestures, tricks used by the costumers to hint they are here for the ‘18+’ content. It’s also nostalgic on a certain level, especially while it captures the joy of being able to send an SMS for a couple in love.
The show isn’t afraid to broach the topic of the sexless lives of many middle-aged couples – it discusses the idea of toyboys, the need for physical pleasure among elder women without any apprehension. Who’s Your Daddy is extremely entertaining when the narrative traces the journey of a 40s-something Prem Singh is trying to find love for the second time in his life. It reminds that the middle-ages can also be a relieving phase where an individual can lead a life without compromises, be more composed, have nothing to prove or hide from one another. It does this on a very hilarious note.
However, in the part where the 20s-something protagonist Soggy tries every trick in the book to impress his lady love Mehek, the show traverses in a predictable terrain and lacks the spunk that livened up the show in the remaining portions. His transformation from a wayward youngster to an empathetic son isn’t all that organic. It would be unfair to say that its director Chirag Arora doesn’t have a knack for comedy – he knows well to construct sequences and build an atmosphere that’s conducive with humour. The writing on a few occasions doesn’t help his cause. Who’s Your Daddy is a mixed ride at the end of the day – edgy, surprisingly mature at places but not arresting enough to warrant your attention completely either.
Music and Other Departments?
The music is surprisingly soothing and pleasant – it’s a welcome break from the loud madcap comedy in the show. The visuals remain peppy and lively as per the mood of the situation and impressively enough, the show doesn’t have many dull moments (in fact the makers could have toned down the pitch of the series). The story, though well-intended, is let down by an inconsistent, redundant screenplay. Provided the makers had taken enough care to prune the show by an episode or two, the result would have been more engaging.
Rahul Bose, Nirmal Rishi’s performances
Intermittently humorous sequences
Did I Enjoy It?
Only in parts
Will You Recommend It?
Only to those who wouldn’t mind a ‘leave your brains aside’ slapstick fare
Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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