Time and again I have said that my college days were the golden days of my life. When life was less complicated and I was just about finding my way into the big bad world, those were the best days of my life. It is often in college that you make the best friends of your life, learn many life lessons while completing many assignments and basically begin a life that is starkly different from the one that you have been living till then. And so moving on to the next release of the weekend and I have just finished watching the new Hindi series Campus Diaries on MX Player. Its trailer seemed promising, is the series as good, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Campus Diaries follows the story of a group of friends as they navigate through the different stages of their lives while being in college. The story has a strong TVF vibe to it(though this isn’t produced by them) minus the glamour. I believe this is slightly more in your face kind of drama, a little more edgy and something that is a little closer to reality(ofcourse with a few creative liberties). The screenplay is well written but I’ll get to the negative aspect of it first. The series is far too long with 12 episodes of roughly 40 odd minutes to its name. The college dramas usually do not extend for more than 7 episodes that that is where TVF generally scores. Their dramas are taut and to the point. But here it seemed like content worth two seasons are crammed into one. Perhaps the OTT platform could have released it as a part 1 and part 2(like they did with Ashram). What that transpires into is that certain sequences drag in the middle and at times get repetitive too.
Now coming to the good part. The screenplay is definitely relatable as it traverses through different topics. The college romance and breakups are handled in quite an organic manner. The different topics even related to education holds relevance and are handled quite well. The roller coaster of emotions that are brought out through different dynamics of various characters is quite refreshing although not very novel. The concepts of one-sided love and the pain that it brings with it is quite relatable(and I am sure to many). The proceedings are interesting and one reason for that is well fleshed out characters that you wish to know more about. The drama does manage to keep you glued until the end. The entire sequence of college politics is expertly shown and again quite grounded to reality. Maybe the portions involving paying for s** was a bit far fetched and could have been avoided. But the season ends on an emotional note with the dynamics between the characters changing which leaves a lot of scope for season 2. Overall, quite a relatable screenplay which is well penned.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are filled with expletives although they did not seem to bother me and went well with the lingo of today’s youth. But other than that the dialogues are engaging and manage to hold your attention. The music is fabulous and another element that did give a strong TVF vibe. The placement of songs at key junctures in the screenplay just adds a layer of freshness. The BGM is pretty good and blends well with the setting. Director Prem Mistry does a fabulous job here engaging the audience throughout. Even though the series is long, it doesn’t bore you for most parts and that is definitely an achievement. The direction is good here.
The performances are excellent here. Shubham Gaur is wonderful in a one scene cameo. Rajesh Yadav as Sandy(you may know him from Men’s XP) shines in an extended cameo. Ranjan Raj, Pooja Pathak and Udita Bhalla are good as well. Gulshan Nain as Gulshan has a towering personality and manages to impress. Manoj Joshi as the College Principal is first rate. Meherzan Mazda as Nikhil makes a late entry in the series but he is quite affable as the awkward TA. Kushagre Dua as Aditya will make your blood boil. His character is outright toxic but he is absolutely brilliant. This was one character that is truly intimidating and ruthless and he is outstanding here. Anastasiya as Chloe is such a natural in front of the camera, it is an absolute joy to watch her. Abhinav Sharma as Raghav has the best character arc according to me and he delivers an impactful performance as a teen who is confused. He is sure to take you on a roller coaster of a ride where you as an audience would have conflicting emotions for him. Saloni Gaur as Priyanka is confident and makes for an impactful presence despite a slightly underwritten role. Salonie Patel as Sushmita looks stunning and has a towering personality. She does a wonderful job here. Ritvik Sahore as Abhilash is one character that I found most relatable(minus some of the antics in the middle) and his character resembles the one from Indori Ishq. He adds a lot of emotions and pain here that is brilliant to watch. Srishti Ganguli Rindani as Sanya is the best written character for me. She has a balanced graph and a good head on her shoulders but at the same time is a bit vulnerable. This is brilliantly pulled off by Srishti, this is one character that stays with you after the series ends. Harsh Beniwal as Sudheer is the surprise package for me. The guy has an insanely accurate timing for comedy and his accent is sure to make you chuckle. I was very impressed with his acting.
Campus Diaries is an ode to the good old days of college. This would have garnered a higher rating had the series been a little shorter. But still a very good watch. Available on MX Player.