Starring: Aadhi Pinisetty, Nithya Menen, Ritu Varma, Suhasini Maniratnam, Revathy, Naresh, Malavika Nair, Abhijeet Duddala, Naresh Agastya, Komalee Prasad, Ulka Gupta
Directors: Nagesh Kukunoor, Venkatesh Maha, Uday Gurrala, Devika Bahudhanam
This six-part Telugu series with English subtitles, streaming on Amazon Prime Video, resonates with the American original ‘Modern Love’ – capturing slice of life love stories based on ‘The New York Times’ column of the same name. This time the setting is the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, with romantic and familial tales that are an ode to the city known for the landmark Charminar.
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The opening tale entitled ‘My unlikely pandemic dream partner’ sets the tone for the stand-alone episodes to come as we meet an estranged mother and daughter [Revathy and Menen] reuniting after six years. The mother has decided to set aside her anger, albeit temporarily, to play nurse maid to her injured daughter who had married someone not of the same Muslim sect. When the duo finds themselves trapped with each other for longer than anticipated due to the sudden Covid lockdown in the city, the mum’s superior cooking skill is the only saving grace it would seem. Will the flavours prove magical enough to bring the twosome together again?
The other stories in the anthology are equally intertwined around love and family bonding, with the range of stories covering almost every hue of human emotions. There is the comic flavour of a young couple’s fledgling romance, emotional tugs of a hustler retracing his roots and a father’s over-protective monitoring of his daughter’s potential suitors.
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Each and every story has the common thread of love binding them together, with Hyderabad serving as a reassuring backdrop for these moving and engaging tales. The script and characters are well crafted, with the storytelling hitting the desired emotional notes. The added punch comes with some heavyweight acting from stalwarts such as Revathy.
Anyone who enjoys light-touch series that are able to capture some very common human emotions in a unique way, must add this to their watch-list.