Finally the weekend has arrived and it is a blockbuster weekend with as many as 7 new releases lined up. It is definitely going to be a stretch for us but we are up for the challenge. With as many as 4 new webseries releasing on the same weekend, this is a bit of a record and I thought we will begin with one of them. And so I finished watching the new Hindi series Sutliyan on Zee5. Offlate, there have been a lot of coming of age content that evoke that sense of nostalgia in you. It was TVF who may well be the trendsetters in the OTT space for relatable content but others have caught on now. And I thoroughly enjoy this genre as it exudes of warmth and happiness like no other and is a welcome relief from the usual thrill genre. That said, is Sutliyan worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Sutliyan follows the story of a homecoming of three siblings for the first time since their father’s death. The story is heartfelt and a bit layered as well. There are some level of secrets, mostly predictable which are revealed during the course of the drama but they do connect with you at most places. The screenplay begins on a slight wobbly note with only a moment or two which is heartwarming. This was in contrast to what I was expecting. And it takes a while for you to settle into the drama. At the second episode I thought that I was sold down the river. This until episode 3 began. When I looked at the series in its entirety, I realised that the connection which was absent in the beginning was deliberately done to give you a feel of how the characters were going through. Be it the guilt of missing out on their father funeral or otherwise, the awkwardness was evident and was reflective of the minds of the characters. But as the story progressss, you start to feel the warmth and the closeness between characters.
Through a string of events, the family bond becomes stronger. The challenges thrown in are simple yet relatable(some of it) and extremely heartfelt. While the drama is simple and predictable and at times stretched, it is engaging and constantly wants you to hold onto the proceedings. Some concepts of unfulfilled romance and the sexuality of an individual are nicely tapped upon and they leave a lasting impression. The best bit is that this is a quick watch with 8 episodes of barely 25 minutes each which means the drama doesn’t overstay its welcome. The drama ends on a heartwarming note which tops up a nicely written screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational and I was able to resonate with most of them. I just wish they are nipped out the gimmicky factors like a character speaking in half english, half hindi in the name of comedy which honestly was irritating. The music is beautiful with its title track staying with you after the series is over. The BGM is decent. The cinematography is pretty good here. Director Shree Narayan Singh does understand the strings of a small town and does well to weave a story around it. The key here was to make the drama relatable which would hit home differently and he does so prettt well.
The performances are quite good here. Sahil Chhabra as Sharad is endearing. Vivek Mushran does a good job as the father whom we see glimpses of in a flashback. Pooja Kandare as Sapna really leaves a lasting impression despite her limited screen time. The Son-papdi scene was just so well performed. Nikhil Nagpal does a good job here and he has his moments to shine as does Swastik Tiwari. Inayat Sood as TJ is first rate in a nice little role where she commands your attention. Niharika Lyra Dutt as Di delivers a heartfelt performance. In one of my favourite scenes, she breaks down towards the end which really touched me. Disha Arora as Rajan’s wife has a good screen presence and she does a pretty good job. Shiv Panditt as Rajan has an interesting conflict to his character and this was a very dignified performance by him. Vivaan Shah as Raman is extremely affable although his character bottles up a lot of emotions. He was quite fantastic here and a character which spoke to you in a very different manner. Plabita Borthakur as Ramni is just so brilliant. She is effortless to the core and she also demands your attention while she is onscreen. Ayesha Raza Mishra who essays the role of the mother is brilliant in a heartwarming role. There is this connection to the webseries primarily due to how her character was written and she does a fabulous job.
Sutliyan is a simple, sweet and heartwarming tale of togetherness. Available on Zee5.