What: Modern Love Mumbai - Heartwarming anthology forms an evocative portrait of the Mumbai City while exploring the multiple facets of love.
OTT web series Modern Love Mumbai synopsis
During the last minutes in the final episode of this charming 6-episode anthology, one of the characters asserts that the city of Mumbai, irrespective of its positives and shortfalls, always gives her hope.
With this foundation, a team of six prolific directors carve fascinating stories rooted in love - the most essential and ephemeral human emotion.
Based on the hugely popular and original US Anthology series (made by John Cartney) produced under Pritish Nandy Communications, Modern Love Mumbai is an intimate exploration of the different facets of love where the protagonist, who are from diverse backgrounds, in each of the episodes traverse the path of self-discovery, self- realization and liberation.
Loving oneself emerges as the prominent theme in My Beautiful Wrinkles directed by Alankrita Srivastava (of Lipstick under my Burkha fame) where Dilbar, played immaculately by Sarika, a 60-year independent and lonely woman overcomes her guilt and embarassment by confessing about her fantasies linked to a guy who is 30 years younger than her.
In the Hansal Mehta directed Baai, Manzu played by Pratik Gandhi, a Goa based singer, is consumed by the melancholy of the past and yearns for acceptance of his reality about his sexual orientation from society and more importantly his parents ( played by Talat Aziz and Mansi Joshi) who are in a state of denial.
His relationship with a NY based chef (Ranveer Brar) flourishes over delectable dishes and sublime passion. Brar echoes the same philosophy as that of Manzu's granny, Baai(Tanuja) - that the mystery behind tasty food is not the spices but 'Love'.
In 'I love Thane' , Saiba (played by Masaba Gupta) a 34-year old landscape designer bonds with Parth (Ritwick Bhowmik) to overcome her loneliness and fulfils her desire to be with someone. Thane pretty much becomes a character in his charming story helmed by Dhruv Sehgal.
A fading Chinese community in Andheri forms the backdrop of 'Mumbai Dragon' made by Vishal Bhardwaj, who observes a veg vs non-veg scuffle with an emphatic gaze. Meiyang Chang plays an Indian boy of Chinese origin who is in love with Wamiqa Gabbi , referred as a 'vegetarian witch' by his fastidious and stubborn mother, convincingly played by the Malaysian - Singaporean actor, Yeo Yann Yann. Naseeruddin Shah plays a Sardar here.
Hope, optimism and self-love characterize the Shonali Bose directed Raatrani where Fatima Sana Shaikh pitches in with a zesty and convincing performance. She is dumped by her husband but ultimately gathers courage and confidence in the maximum city to march on her own and lead an independent life.
The Raatrani is the Kawa drink she makes and sells it to the public on the street during the night and that gains popularity like the fragrance of the Jasmine flower.
Nupur Asthana's Cutting Chai incisively spotlights a married couple, played by Chitrangada Singh and Arshad Warsi, where the former plays a regretful writer unable to complete her novel and blames it on her unending house chores. She gets into retrospections but ultimately discovers that real happiness lies in the current state. Beautifully textured, the tale spans the local train to the cutting chai.
The heartwarming stories are rendered through simplistic approach and explore love in the myriad vignettes of life. Performances brim with nuances and emotions are nurtured with moody and mellifluous music. They touch your soul and tug in your heartstrings. The best part is the last 10 minutes - don't miss it ! It leaves you with a deep sense of euphoria.
I go with 4 stars out of 5 for Modern Love Mumbai. The 6-part series is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.