Ria and Varun seem to live in a bubble where they hardly have any friends and are never seen doing what normal young people do like just hanging out with the gang.
There’s a lot of kissing, but hardly any real conversations, observes Deepa Gahlot.
Only in India would a young couple get their parents’ permission to live together. And only in a web series trying to get Gen Z attention would conservative parents agree.
The first season of minus one was a romantic comedy in which Ria (Aisha Ahmed) and Varun (Ayush Mehra) fell in love, moved in together, broke up and continued to live as friends in this beautiful bungalow in Delhi.
Not a very plausible scenario in which two people whose torrid sex is obviously the main reason they are together suddenly become chaste to one another.
Minus one: next chapter is more the same but with a lot of crying and shedding of fear.
The show, directed by Shubham Yogi, who also co-wrote it with Gauri Pandit, is about a privileged class who can give up well-paying jobs to take on gigs like photography or dream of becoming a pilot.
This season, Ria and Varun seem to live in a bubble where they hardly have any friends and are never seen doing things normal young people do, like just hanging out with the gang on the weekends.
There’s a lot of kissing, but hardly any real conversation.
Today’s generation lives with ideas of independence and sexual freedom that they have adopted from the West, but also surrounded by media and advertising that sell them the idea of marriage and parenthood. Hardly anyone has the luxury of falling in love.
It’s a possibility, of course, but a less flimsy reason is usually required for a breakup or divorce.
The structure that goes back and forth before and after the breakup is clever and difficult to pull off. That and the use of split screens to show the distance between the two even when they’re in the room is a nice device, but doesn’t make it easier for the viewer to understand the characters better.
That’s a disadvantage considering they hang out a lot and their interactions with others – parents, co-workers, friends – are kept to a minimum.
As much as the viewer sympathizes with the decline and end of their relationship, the two also come across as self-centered and immature.
And why should the only sticking points in a modern relationship be as cliche as a parent’s pregnancy and illness?
Lionsgate Play is probably trying to attract a young viewership with Indian content made for them – which seems similar to Netflix Little things — and marketed the show with front-page ads in mainstream newspapers.
Aisha Ahmed and Ayush Mehra are talented, attractive and uninhibited which is a plus for the series.
Minus one: next chapter works in fits and starts, but more often than not it’s just an over-the-top retelling of a couple’s romantic struggles that aren’t worth rooting for. Even if they were married, the graphics wouldn’t have been all that different.
And by the way, millennials didn’t invent cohabitation or open relationships, boomers did decades ago.
Minus one: next chapter Stream on Lionsgate Play.
Minus one: next chapter Review Rediff rating: