Review Marathi

Adhantari review: Short, sweet, succinct play of the journey of a relationship during lockdown

Release Date: 25 Aug 2021

Cinestaan Rating

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Shriram Iyengar

Directed by Jeet Ashok, Adhantari is a sweet, entertaining romance that is a different take on the lockdown experience.

The pandemic has proved to be a creative period for many filmmakers, writers and artistes as much as it has been a challenging time for them and for everyone else. After all, creativity thrives in volatile situations.

Jeet Ashok's Adhantari is a web-series born in a similar situation but it is transformed into a more lighthearted, enjoyable experience. Tracking the evolution of a relationship that is accelerated by the lockdown, it captures the struggles, joys and progress with a light touch and humour.

Mugdha (Parna Pethe) from Mumbai and Mukul (Siddharth Chandekar) from Pune set out to spend the weekend in Lonavala when the bomb of the countrywide pandemic lockdown drops. With no way back home, Mugdha and Mukul are forced to confront the idea of living together for 21 days. Their budding long-distance relationship of eight months is transformed willy-nilly into a live-in relationship. The retreat was their little escape from home, work, and other pressures. Now it is confinement.

Jeet Ashok's web-series is cut into crisp 20 minute episodes which are easy to watch, concise, and filled with just the right amount of lightness and complexity. The series does not dive into very serious, complex issues; the time frame does not allow space for such reflection. What it does well is capture the struggles of two individuals feeling their way through the minefield of building a serious, stable relationship. With few characters intruding into this storyline, it helps to keep the plot focused.

Pethe and Chandekar display an easy camaraderie and chemistry that works well with the story. The language, equations and movement of their emotions feel authentic. The series does lag a bit in the middle, but that does not dilute the experience. The presence of a serene and sometimes lovely score helps. Worth mentioning is the fascinating inclusion of 'Norwegian Wood' by The Beatles in the beginning. It is a rare one for fans of the iconic band.

There are moments when the web-series feels a bit flippant about the social outcome of the pandemic and the lockdown. Apart from some key scenes which deal with the questions of death and solitude, the bigger questions are avoided and the focus is kept squarely on the lead characters, making for a fairly enjoyable short series.

Jeet Ashok manages to get the most out of Mugdha and Mukul's enjoyable story and brings out the crux of the challenge that relationships in the pandemic faced.

Adhantari (Season 1) is now available on Hungama Play and MX Player.


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