Netflix’s Anthology Of Six Meet-Cute Stories Have A Few Endearing Moments But Mostly Feels Sickly-Sweet

Since Netflix, it appears, has vowed to launch anthologies each few months, we get one other one — after Lust Stories, Ghost Stories, Paava Kadhaigal, Pitta Kathalu and others — within the type of Feels Like Ishq.

It is a compilation of 5 boy-meets-girl (plus one girl-meets-girl) tales, every lasting roughly half an hour. Unlike Lust Stories (which additionally handled relationships), the shorts on this anthology are light-hearted. The transient for the writers and filmmakers, it appears, was to give you a “sweet love story” that might give the target market — teenagers and 20-somethings — that quintessential “warm, fuzzy” feeling.

The writers and administrators — Monisha Thyagarajan and Ruchir Arun (Save The Da(y)te); Gazal Dhaliwal and Tahira Kashyap Khurrana (Quaranteen Crush); Sulagna Chatterjee and Danish Aslam (She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not); Saurabh George Swamy and Anand Tiwari (Star Host); Arati Rawal and Sachin Kundalkar (Interview); Shubhra Chatterjee and Jaydeep Sarkar (Ishq Mastana) — have sincerely tried to make their tales candy. But after binging the shorts, as a substitute of heat and fuzzy, one feels the nausea of overeating desserts.

Sachin’s The Interview and Danish’s She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not stand out among the many lot.

The Interview is the one movie set exterior the higher/upper-middle class milieu. Shahana (Zayn Marie Khan) and Rajeev (Neeraj Madhav), belonging to completely different states and faiths, meet at an interview for a salesman place at an digital retailer in Mumbai. She is an enterprising younger girl and he, a Malayali newcomer to the large metropolis, who struggles together with his language and confidence. Neeraj’s (Moosa in Family Man) efficiency shines essentially the most within the anthology. His character, at one level, confesses to Shahana, “I am Mohanlal in my village. But coming here… my Hindi… Nervous. Fully flop.” With his Malayalam-laced Hindi, shy smiles, and some mannerisms (like adjusting his wristwatch and clasping the shoulder straps of his backpack), he brings alive a small-town man looking for his ft in a metropolis. Interview can be the least contrived movie within the sequence.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not introduces a unusual, fourth-wall-breaking protagonist, Muskaan (Sanjeeta Bhattacharya), asking “What is love?” to a customer support agent of a courting app that she plans to delete on her twenty third birthday after looking by means of profiles of some guys. Muskaan falls for her cock-sure colleague, Tarasha (Saba Azad), however is conflicted about revealing her love. Queer romance on this movie, fortunately, is neither handled as a gimmick nor overemphasised. The quick additionally exhibits one in every of its essential characters going by means of an anxiousness assault, one thing that hasn’t been seen in mainstream movies. Like Muskaan tells Tarasha at one level, “In any case, Bollywood wouldn’t get this love story.”

The remainder of the movies within the sequence, nevertheless, fall in steadfast Bollywood territory.

Tahira’s Quaranteen Crush is simply possibly an exception. It explores the nascent romance of a school-going boy in Chandigarh, Maninder (Mihir Ahuja). He likes a lady, Nimmi (Kajol Chugh), who has briefly moved in subsequent door to quarantine. He befriends her on the pretext of delivering meals. He texts her from his mother’s telephone (he doesn’t have one), pretending to be his mother. From his home windows, he zooms into her room by means of the telephone digital camera. But his innocence is established (there’s a humorous scene whereby he expresses awkwardness when his father —a bra salesman — explains the different sorts and sizes of his merchandise). Then, when he reads a information article a couple of man arrested for stalking his neighbour, he questions his actions. Mihir is convincing as a schoolboy conflicted with these emotions. But this battle will get resolved too quickly and a cheerful ending awaits.

Probably because of the lesser-than-usual screentime, plots and characters appear unnatural or undercooked. It’s extra evident in the remainder of the three movies.

Save The Da(y)te has a bridesmaid (Avni performed by Radhika Madan) and a marriage planner (Jay performed by Amol Parashar) looking for the runaway bride, who develops chilly ft on the eve of her marriage ceremony. The author and maker maybe needed to speak concerning the professionals and cons of marriage by means of their protagonists. So, in what’s purported to be a high-tense state of affairs whereas they seek for a lacking bride, we get traces like, “Marriage is like a mutual fund. High risks lead to high rewards, ” and “…they balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Communication is the key. Running away isn’t the solution.” There’s a little bit of Geet-Adi (Jab We Met) vibe between the protagonists ,however most frequently they communicate like characters from a script relatively than individuals in real-life.

If Save The Da(y)te merely references Zoya Akthar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Anand Tiwari’s Star Host does a hat-tip (deliberately or in any other case) by making one in every of its protagonists overcome worry and expertise a profoundly life-altering second by doing an adventure-tourism exercise. Like Hrithik’s character in ZNMD, Tara (Simran Jehani) additionally finds love (Aditya performed by Rohit Saraf) throughout a trip.

The closing quick, Ishq Mastana, is ready within the milieu of protests. The woman (Mehr performed by Tanya Maniktala) here’s a insurgent with a trigger and the man (Kabir performed by Skand Thakur) is self-centred. Through the movie, we get songs by Kabir Das, discussions on faith, and features like, “I don’t [fight for a cause] to change the world. I do it for me. So, that this world doesn’t change me.” No line sticks with us, no character stick with us. They all appear superficial.

Enough, Netflix, you in all probability have to take a break from anthologies. Oh, wait a minute… (realises Navarasa in Tamil is releasing in two weeks).


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