Half Pants Full Pants
Onto the final release of the weekend(still have a couple leftovers which I will get to soon) and I finished watching the new Hindi series Half Pants Full Pants which is streaming on Amazon Prime. This did seem like a very last minute release by the OTT giant given that it was released virtually with zero promotion. To give you a perspective, its trailer was out only a couple of days prior to its release. And though I was skeptical, I still did wish to give a voice to this series given our set culture at Popcorn Reviewss that does like to give a platform to independent filmmakers and the production houses. So without knowing anything about the series(No, I hadn’t watched its trailer), I decided to watch and review the series Half Pants Full Pants. Is it worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Based on a novel by the same name by Anand Suspi, Half Pants Full Pants follows the story of a young boy and the episodes in his life filled with curiosity that shapes up a part of his childhood. The story definitely will manage to put a smile on your face due to its simplicity, a period were technology was non-existent. In fact, the drama did remind me of the good ol’ Malgudi Days that I had a lot of fun watching in my childhood. Those were the good old days for me personally too, free of tension and heartbreaks where the biggest problem was on why did I not get a bat while playing cricket. So there is an instant sense of nostalgia that did strike me while watching this beautiful drama. The screenplay standing at 8 episodes of just about 20 to 30 odd minutes each ensures that the drama is brisk and doesn’t overstay its welcome.
The tone of the drama is set by the voiceover that is powerful enough to transport you back to your childhood when mobile phones did not exist. The focus was on physical interaction with the people around you as opposed to the virtual one as it stands today. The drama is coated with saccharine that will light up your day with the right amount of sweetness. The conflicts are simplistic that reflects well on the curious minds of kids. I did like how each conflict was unique and simple with an even more simpler resolution. But the proceedings wern’t standalone or random. There was an underlying thread that linked every episode.
The drama is engaging and parts of it relatable too. The episode featuring the young protagonist saving up for his mother for her birthday did make me teary eyed. That episode was enough to make a grown up man like me cry. The vibe was so heartwarming and pure that it instantly did tug the strings of my heart. In another episode, the Bruce Lee fan craze was nicely explored as well where cinema slowly crept into the life of the protagonist. I was reminded of my childhood when I had watched the Salman Khan starrer Judwaa and after the film had ended I momentarily had started behaving like the character that Salman was essaying, ofcourse momentarily so😅. Good old days indeed!
On the slight downside, the writing does lose a bit of its innocence in a couple of episodes before the final act. I did feel that if the writing had continued to be simplistic, it would have been slightly more effective. But after the small detour(episode 6 and 7), the final episode had multiple feel good moments that did constitute a rather heartfelt drama. The message at the end was something that needs to be noted and implemented by all young parents, to ensure that their children do not lose their individuality, more so in times of social media. Overall, the writing is simple yet nostalgic and 3 hours of pure bliss.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are simple but they showcase the curious mindset of a child beautifully. And it did help that the entire drama was unfolding through the gaze of the child. The BGM has a charming old world vibe to it which will instantly be a factor contributing to nostalgia. The cinematography does capture the simplistic life rather effectively. The editing was slightly loose and it could have been sharper. Director VK Prakash has kept things simple but it is really effective. I had a smile on my face while watching the drama start to finish and the direction deserves a share of the accolades here.
The performances are quite good here. Sonali Kulkarni as Padma has a sense of sweetness to her role along with a very warm vibe that is engrained in her character. And she does a terrific job here. Ashish Vidyarthi as Subbarao is a man of few words here yet his stoic presence was laced with a sense of restraint. He is subtly brilliant here. Prakarsh Gupta as Vishakh is first rate and has his moments to shine. Adivya Gupta as Ashwini is such a natural onscreen and brilliant to watch. Ashwanth Ashok Kumar as Anand, the lite boy is such a natural to the core. It seemed he was just reacting to different situations in the drama. He reeked of innocence and was quite brilliant in the entire show. All other characters were well essayed.
Half Pants Full Pants is pure bliss and reminiscent of Malgudi Days that was a part of our good ol’ days of childhood. Available on Amazon Prime.