Starring: Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Adarsh Gourav, Kalki Koechlin, Rohan Gurbaxani, Anya Singh
Director: Arjun Varain Singh
Films penned by the award-winning duo Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti have had quite a winning streak in 2023. So, can their latest yearend outing on Netflix match up?
Ahana Singh (Panday) is a canny marketing professional working in an agency where her line manager has been blatantly taking credit for all her hard work. In a long-term and seemingly secure relationship with Rohan (Gurbaxani), Ahana is happy to overlook these work irritants while out having fun with her childhood friends – stand-up comic Imaad Ali (Chaturvedi) and fitness fanatic Neil Pereira (Gourav).
But she is compelled to reassess her choices when Rohan abruptly calls it quits on their life together. Meanwhile, flatmate Imaad is forced to face up to his commitment phobia and addictive online dating following an intense encounter with photographer Simran Kohli (Koechlin), who manages to break through his emotional barriers. The carefree fun-packed lives of these inseparable friends are soon headed for a crash as Neil also confronts the fact that he has been fooling himself over his influencer girlfriend Lala’s (Singh) loyalty.
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A promising project involving Imaad investing in Neil’s dream gym project based on Ahana’s cracking business plan inevitably hits a road bump that threatens the very core of their die-hard friendship. Will these lifelong friends overcome the harsh realities of their intense lifestyles or will the demands of a world dominated by social media prove beyond their control?
This emotional roller-coaster of a film most certainly carries on the Akhtar-Kagti winning streak with its many astute observations on life and relationships in modern day India. While the story follows three Gen-Zs battling their individual demons in a world where Insta posts seem to rule the world, this perceptive tale has a distinctly cross-generational appeal.
That relationships are a minefield to be navigated will resonate with a broad range of audiences, as will the notion of keeping traumatic experiences deeply locked away until they resurface with some disastrous consequences on one’s mental health. The commentary on online trolling and living a filter-free life is handled subtly and with care.
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