There are two sides to a relationship – one that suffer yet continue to go through thick and thin, and the other who do call it off maybe internally, or through a party to let their near and dear ones know. We have seen the latter briefly in the Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer Love Aaj Kal. And with that I have finished watching the new English Netflix Series Decoupled starring Madhavan and Surveen Chawla. Offlate, I have been an observer of relationships and the tussle that they face. And I do know quite a few who have also called off their relationship. For me that is the sensible thing to do when you know you aren’t compatible with your partner. But what happens when you have a child? This is the theme that the series Decoupled tackles in a quirky form. Is the series worth your time, stay tuned!
Story & Screenplay
Decoupled follows the story of a married couple who aren’t happy with each other and are slowly coming to terms with their fate of a divorce. As you would know, that period would indeed be traumatic. But this series tackles it in a quirky way with a string of comic events. The story is a breathe of fresh air almost dismantling the stereotype and presented a relationship in a fresh new Avatar. The screenplay is also true to its nature. It is quirky, apolitical, unapologetic and unabashed. There are a string of sequences that will not only make you chuckle but also make you laugh hysterically. The writing is definitely fresh as you take a guilt trip with the two protagonists who are both obnoxious in their own ways. There is never a dull moment throughout as you enjoy the situations that are created and how the characters react to that. There isn’t much of melodrama which you would associate in such a series, instead a lot of the humour is dark in a way with loads of sexual innundoes. Some of you may find the humour cringy as well but that is the basic outline of the story. One issue that I had though wasn’t related to the writing and something that you will find in my next section. Overall, the writing is outstanding and entertaining and ensures you have a good time watching it.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are packed with one-liners that will make you chuckle and laugh hysterically. The BGM is pretty good and adds a fresh vibe to the drama. The production design is quite good as well. Which brings me to that one negative that stuck out like a sore thumb. The cinematography is a bit of a disappointment. The constant zoom in and zoom outs act as a deterrent and unsettle you a bit. This was a technique used to Call My Agent Bollywood and The first season of Illegal. A method that I don’t really approve of personally. Things could have been simpler and this very factor does have an impact on my overall rating(which honestly could have been much higher). Director Hardik Mehta who had directed one of my favourite films of 2020, Kaamyaab, does a fine job here. His direction reflects on the humour which he enjoys instead of worrying about the audience and that is what makes the series work. There aren’t any half measures as he goes all out and comes out with flying colours.
The performances are pretty good. Chetan Bhagat playing himself is fabulous and it was a genius decision to cast him. Srestha Banerjee is excellent in a cameo. You will see her in the last episode as the manager of the party and there is a hilarious scene where she is involved in. Freisha has her moment to shine as Pooja. Akash Khurana and Apara Mehta as Shruti’s parents are adorable with a great sense of humour. Atul Kumar as Agni and Aseem Hattangadi as Mayank are both excellent. Dilnaz Irani as Reema is outstanding and a total treat to watch. Mir Afsar Ali as Dr. Basu is hilarious and played so well too! Sonia Rathee as Masha looks very pretty and is natural to the core. But the stars of the show are the ‘decoupled’ couple Surveen Chawla and R Madhavan. Surveen Chawla as Shruti looks drop dead gorgeous and does a fantastic job. The subtle punches that she lets out is fascinating to watch in what is a very dignified and wonderfully restrained performance. And this is the side of R Madhavan that I did not know! As Arya he has an impeccable sense of comic timing. The humour which he extracts is an absolute joy to watch and the fact that he goes all out unapologetically is amazing to watch. And the duo share some crackling chemistry together!
Decoupled is one of quirkiest comedies of the year that will leave you in splits. Deserved a higher rating if not for the cinematography. Available on Netflix.