Minus One (Season 2)
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and while the world was focused on the new Docuseries The Romantics, there was a quiet little release on Lionsgate Play too. With that I finished watching the new Hindi series, the second season of Minus One. The fact that it did release on the Lionsgate Play OTT App has resulted in it being a low key release. My direct question would be to the OTT Platform – if Lionsgate is serious with its original Indian content then they really need to put in a good amount of money on marketing the product too. It won’t help if people aren’t aware of the series, by limited publicity probably it would be a kind of a disservice to the content as well! So time to pull up your socks!
The first season of Minus One had originally released on Youtube even when the concept of a webseries was still pretty new. These days there is a plethora of content to be consumed which wasn’t the case some years ago. And like many other shows, Minus One too had a nice little concept that did play out across its 5-6 episodes, with its theme basically revolving around it being a Rom-Com. So characters did find themselves in different situations in a drama that did feel like a collection of sketches which was good for its time. So come the second season of Minus One, I was curious on what the series had to offer this time around. So then does the second season of Minus One manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
The second season of Minus One formulates a different template with the same theme of whether ex-lovers can be good flat-mates. And the story did take me by surprise! I was amazed at how articulate and organic the proceedings were. And to top it, there were no signs of comedy as the makers did seem to pivot this season from a Rom-Com to a pure take on modern day relationships. The screenplay standing at 6 episodes of 20 to 30 odd minutes each does make for a brisk watch wherein I was amazed at the detailing!
The drama does oscillate between two timelines with the tag ‘breakup’ being common to both of them. So one timeline unfolds in a period ‘before’ the breakup and the other in a period ‘after’ the breakup. This did formulate for an interesting watch which was a stark contrast between the two periods. We all have had our share of relationships and we do know that things are really smooth at the beginning. We do enjoy the company of one another, there is attraction, there is intimacy and life just seems to be perfect. But the real compatibility test does lie in the times ahead, be it related to finances or jobs or simple things like trust issues. If you sail past that period then it does translate into a relationship of a lifetime. But if it doesn’t then things do get complicated, even more so when your parents are involved. And the series does tackle the latter.
The proceedings are engaging and engrossing and just so organic in the treatment. This was perhaps the best drama following a ‘Happily Ever After’ that I have seen in recent times. The vibes between the two periods in the drama are so decisively different. And the good part here on the writing front is that there is no real catalyst in the screenplay. This basically means that there is nearly no other character that has a drastic impact on the relationship of the protagonists here. The slide does begin with a small conflict, only to snowball into something major. The drama is delicate in many ways, moving at a leisurely pace amidst some strongly written characters and a nice little colour contrast.
The most difficult thing in a relationship would be is to move on in life. There are often strings or baggage from the past that hold us back, even as we try to break free. And it doesn’t help when you do see your exes day in and day out. And this complexity of the relationship was beautifully showcased here. Even moments of togetherness do not feel the same, for a crack in a relationship would probably never heal. And towards the dying moments of the screenplay, when acceptance does set in, it makes for a heartfelt atmosphere. If anything, some elements are repetitive in the drama but taking nothing away from the journey which was beautifully woven. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the screenplay here which was just so well penned.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational and precisely for reason the drama does seem so believable and organic. The conversations are matured making the drama almost immersive in nature. The music is fabulous and expresses the different moods of the drama perfect. The BGM is subtle but moving and I did like how silence was used as a background sound in so many delicately poised sequences. The cinematography and art design are fabulous with the colour scheme slowly changing from being bright(not overtly) to tapering towards being grim. And some of the frames are beautifully captured here. The editing is crisp too. Director Shubham Yogi has done a terrific job here. It did seem to me that he does understand the crux and the dynamics of a modern day relationship. Therefore his treatment here is sedate, subtle and very grounded that does help you connect with the drama and its characters better.
The performances are wonderful here. Kusha Kapila does make her presence felt here. Noyrika as Esther and Sayandeep Sen as Adil are well restrained in their performances. Vidratri Bandi as Anisha is such a natural onscreen and she does a wonderful job. But the show does belong to Ayush Mehra as Varun and Aisha Ahmed as Riya. Both of them have such crackling chemistry between the two and they do a magnificent job. These were complex roles and Aisha does tremendously well with her expressions while Ayush is spot on with his mannerisms and his body language. Both of them create magic and how! Such nuanced and complex performances that have stayed with me long after the series has ended!
The second season of Minus One is subtle, matured and a layered take on modern day relationships. Available on Lionsgate Play and Highly Recommended!