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Good Bad Girl

Farhad Dalal
By-
Farhad Dalal
Rating
3 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi series Good Bad Girl streaming on SonyLiv. Now SonyLiv has been one of the OTT platforms which has been able to strike a fine balance between the masses and the classes. They have always had a good eye for stories and more or less there is a certain guarantee regarding the quality of the content which is streaming on their platform. And one such content which was premiering this week was Good Bad Girl which promised to be a quirky ride from its first look, teaser and the trailer that followed. So then is Good Bad Girl on SonyLiv worth your time, stay tuned.

Story & Screenplay

Good Bad Girl follows the story of a young woman who treads a fine line between truth and lies in her daily routine and her work place. How it all comes to bite her back forms the rest of the story. The story is quirky right from the onset and it really made for a ride filled with dark humour and ecstacy. But it is the screenplay which is a bit of a mixed bag here. Standing at 9 episodes of roughly 30 odd minutes each it does make for a brisk watch nevertheless there are some issues to be addressed.

The show kicks off on an absolute high. The thing that it does well is get the world building right. So you are instantly sucked into the drama with its quirky and dark humour through the gaze of the protagonist who is an interesting character in herself. The story is divided into three parts – one where the protagonist is a child, two when the protagonist is in college and three when she is in a law firm. And all three tracks deals with her conflict with truth and lies and how her decisions come back to haunt her(or not). The screenplay also weaves a dark comedy around breast cancer. Now I had been reading a couple of reviews who did show that dissent towards it. Now that I have watched the show, all I have to say is that the criticism is not entirely unfair. And here is where the issue lies in its writing. After a spectacular start wherein the protagonist does lie about her having breast cancer, only to balloon and become an overnight internet sensation, I thought the descent in the story would be towards her realisation on how wrong she was in the first place. But the slide begins exactly from this point.

The screenplay starts to run too thin with importance being given to a couple of subplots which quite honestly could never have been your core. While I did enjoy the quirky humour of her journey into being an overnight sensation, the writing does get overindulgent instead of bringing it to a point of self realisation(maybe by showing the protagonist to have contracted the disease). Now one could argue that this is the character trait but I always maintain that every action does need to be justified onscreen. To be fair, the writers did try a small angle towards the backend but it was quite honestly half-hearted.

Having said that, there are also many moments that did put a smile on my face. I particularly enjoyed the moments featuring the child protagonist who was often caught in a dilemma between right and wrong. The one upmanship at the firm between two protagonists also did make for an entertaining viewing. The weak link was the portions at the college which didn’t quite have enough meat up until the cliffhanger at the end that promises a better season 2(not before it gets muddled in the second half of the series as the humour dries out). But overall, the screenplay is decently penned but it could have most definitely been better written.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are quirky and will put a smile on your face. The BGM is peppy and goes perfectly with the ongoing drama. The cinematography is edgy in a good way and adds a lot of flavour to the drama through its lighting and shades. The editing is pretty good as well. Director Abhishek Sengupta does a good job in adding a fair amount of madness to the drama. Credit must be given to the director here for constantly trying to keep the audience invested even when things turn slightly messy and thin. The direction is pretty good here.

Performances

The performances are really good here. Salonie Patel as Amaira, Monica Chaudhary as Heena and Amy Aela as Aanchal have their moments to shine. Sankalp Joshi as Aggu is pretty good. Zain Khan Durrani as Prithvi has such a lovely baritone and it adds wonderfully to his performance. Soham Majumdar as Dr. Punit is wonderfully restrained and I really wished his character wasn’t underwritten. Rajendra Sethi and Sheeba Chadha as Maya’s parents are wonderful to watch. Aradhya Ajana as the young Maya is a firecracker that oozes of innocence. She is terrific with her expressions that often tell a tale or two. Namrata Sheth aa Jhilmil looks pretty and does a fine job. Her character would be at the centre of all the action in season 2. Ishitta Arun as Dipica delivers a very dignified performance.

Gul Panag as Zaina is outstanding and again very well pulled off by her. Vaibhav Raj Gupta as Sahil has a tremendous persona onscreen and he puts it to full use. But his character sketch did not allow him to blossom completely. Samridhi Dewan as Maya is the find of the show for me. She is excellent in every scene and totally kills it in her performance. Even when the writing was a bit off, she was holding one end up and made the series decently watchable.

Conclusion

Despite its shortcomings, Good Bad Girl is quirky with good performances that can be watched once. Available on SonyLiv.

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