Modern Love Mumbai web series review: Amazon Prime’s anthology is a mixed bag that hits the right heartbeats more than it skips them

Web Series: Modern Love Mumbai
Modern Love Mumbai Cast: Arshad Warsi, Chitrangda Singh, Sarika, Tanvi Azmi, Danesh Razvi, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Meiyang Chang, Wamiqa Gabbi, Yeo Yann Yann, Naseeruddin Shah, Tanuja, Pratik Gandhi, Ranveer Brar, Masaba Gupta
Modern Love Mumbai Directors: Vishal Bhardwaj, Hansal Mehta, Shonali Bose, Alankrita Shrivastava
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Review by: Russel D’Silva Also Read – Priyanka Chopra is on a mission to change the perception of India; mom Madhu reveals, ‘She wants to educate them’

It looks like anthologies are the new go-to thing for Indian web series, and truth be told, they’re missing the mark more than getting it right. Fortunately, Modern Love Mumbai just about squeezes in with the better bunch, of which there’s precious few as is. Also, full disclosure, I haven’t watched the original American Modern Love, and so, went in for Modern Love Mumbai with a clean slate and that’s why it may have worked out for me. Or did it? We’ll never know, but what we do know is that I’ve been mildly surprised in a pleasant way with this. Also Read – Anupamaa: Anu and Anuj’s chemistry during Haldi ceremony sets the internet on fire; MaAn fans say, ‘Maryada lines are slowly fading away’

So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Modern Love Mumbai is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Modern Love Mumbai web series reviewAlso Read – Filmy Friday: When Anushka Sharma hit Ranveer Singh for his ‘Want your a** pinched?’ comment on national TV

What’s it about

Six romantic tales, starring celebrated actors like Arshad Warsi, Chitrangda Singh, Tanuja, Pratik Gandhi and more, helmed by respected names like Vishal Bhardwaj, Hansal Mehta and others, which capture varying emotions of that funny thing called love against varying backdrops of magnificent Mumbai.

Watch the Modern Love Mumbai trailer below:

What’s hot

Raat Rani
Fatima Sana Shaikh nails the Kashmiri accent to the T and the plight of immigrants is well played out, but that’s about it.

Baai
A nice sensitive portrayal of gay relationships against the backdrop of a hostile familial discord and the uncertainty of coming out to your loved ones. Pratik Gandhi and veteran Tanuja are both in fine form, well supported by Ranveer Brar. And there’s a lovely, heartwarming twists at the end.

Mumbai Dragon
Arguably the best of the anthology, particularly due to its old-world charm and how well Director Vishal Bhardwaj balances what could be a done-to-death story about friction between a future mother-in-law and son-in-law with dollops of humor and no shortage of empathy. It also pays that Meiyang Chang, Wamiqa Gabbi and Yeo Yann Yann – possibly the find of the entire show – are all perfectly cast. Most of all, this one is so enjoyable because how Bhardwaj proves that timeless tropes never go out of fashion when executed with freshness.

My Beautiful Wrinkles
Sarika again displays how underutilised her talent has been and the climax, which ends with a mature touch and sense of self-discovery are welcome, but that’s about it. It’s also good to see Navneet Nishan after ages even in a very small role. Tanvi Azmi, too, shines in a cameo.

I Love Thane
Masaba Gupta tries her best, but neither is her best good enough for such dreary material nor is she so dexterous an actress to rise above the material.

Cutting Chai
Probably the second best after Mumbai Dragon, beautifully capturing the spirit of the city and its changing landscape against the backdrop of a marriage that’s seen and continues to see its ups and downs but remains nevertheless rock solid. Arshad Warsi and Chitrangda Singh are the icing on the cake and how all the characters from all the episodes seamlessly merge at the end is in the cherry on top.

What’s not

Raat Rani
Despite nailing that accent, Fatima Sana Shaikh is just too loud and no less annoying to the point of being borderline neurotic. In fact, the way Director Shonali Bose presents her make you lose all sympathy for her plight. Also, it’s not necessary to force women empowerment into everything as when the plot suddenly takes a detour into that zone to make a point, it ironically completely loses the plot. Make no mistake, I’m all for female-centric stories, but coercing it out of nowhere seems like misusing an imperative subject.

Baai
The middle portion lags quite a bit. Drab is not the right way to go to convey a love story, especially when you want to warm up the non-believers to what they feel is a taboo topic. Also, Director Hansal Mehta could’ve really avoided depicting a gay marriage – as much as your heart is in the right place, you also need to depict reality in the face of a real setting.

Mumbai Dragon
Honestly, not much to crib about here except perhaps the pointlessness of Naseeruddin Shah’s character to the plot.

My Beautiful Wrinkles
A tried-and-tested formula of a younger man developing feelings for an older woman narrated in a tried-and-tested way by Director Alankrita Shrivastava. Moreover, Danesh Razvi is very mediocre in his part and gets horribly exposed in his parts opposite Sarika.

I Love Thane
Definitely the most monotonous, soporific and motionless of the lot, bogged down by endless verbosity. It’s not that the point being made is meaningless, it’s just that it’s so disinteresting that I could care less where it led to. Also, the Thane depicted isn’t the Thane lived in by the majority of inhabitants, including yours truly.

Cutting Chai
The episode could’ve done with a bit more depth and definitely some more of Arshad and his impeccable comic timing, but those are the only minor gripes.

BL Verdict

Modern Love Mumbai on Amazon Prime may be a mixed bag, but that bag has more items you’d like to try than avoid. Episodes 3 and 6 are highly recommended, the second episode is also hard to not warm up to and the fourth one manages to make the cut. You can even just watch these four and pass on the first and fifth episodes for a better viewing experience. I’m going with 3 out of 5 stars.

Rating : 3 out of 53 Star Rating

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