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ZEE5’s Forbidden Love: Evocative, Dark, Unconventionally Brilliant

Four-film anthology Forbidden Love is streaming on ZEE5. Reveals the dark side of human desire in a brilliant way. 

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BrandStudio
3 min read
Forbidden Love is streaming on ZEE5.
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The remaining two films of ZEE5’s four-film anthology Forbidden Love release today. They are Mahesh Manjrekar’s Diagnosis Of Love (starring Raima Sen, Mahesh Manjrekar, Rannvijay Singh, and Vaibhav Tatwawaadi) and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Rules Of The Game (starring Aahana Kumra, Chandan Roy Sanyal, and Anindita Bose).

Like the previous two films, these edgy love stories too explore the dark side of desire and complexities that arise out of it.

Here’s what we thought of Diagnosis Of Love and Rules Of The Game.

Diagnosis Of Love

Mahesh Manjrekar has not only directed Diagnosis Of Love, but he also plays a role in the film. Sudha (Raima Sen) runs a huge hospital in Goa and is married to Vaibhav (Mahesh Manjrekar). From what we see, Sudha leads the charge when it comes to taking key decisions for the hospital and one such decision is to employ Dr Harsh (Vaibhav Tatwawaadi).

Sudha is absolutely confident about getting Harsh on board, despite his chequered past. He was a prime suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, but was ultimately proven innocent. He not only joins the hospital, but also ends up causing disturbances in Sudha’s marital life. As Harsh and Sudha get closer, Vaibhav enslists the services of a cop named Aditya (Rannvijay Singh) to spy on his wife. As you see, Diagnosis Of Love is a complex web of relationships and Manjrekar beautifully handles the subject, while keeping the viewer guessing on what’s going to happen next.

Diagnosis Of Love benefits from Mahesh Manjrekar’s direction.
Diagnosis Of Love benefits from Mahesh Manjrekar’s direction.
(Photo: ZEE5)
In Diagnosis Of Love, nothing is what it seems. Mysterious crimes, extramarital affairs and ulterior motives - this film has all the ingredients of a romantic thriller.

In what appears to be a common thread that binds all the films in this anthology, this one too ends on an unexpected note. That’s why as a viewer, you’re invested for the entire duration of 40 minutes.

The film sees some great performances. Raima Sen is in fine form as Sudha, a woman who listens to her heart and is ready to deal with the consequences of doing so. Vaibhav Tatwawaadi is first-rate as Harsh, someone who has left his dark past behind him and is determined to make new beginnings. They are ably supported by Mahesh Manjrekar and Rannvijay Singh, despite their limited screen time.

Rules Of The Game

In Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Rules Of The Game, Priya (Aahana Kumra) and Gaurav (Chandan Roy Sanyal) are a married Mumbai couple. Their marriage has run out of excitement and both of them are consumed by their individual lives. We also meet Priya’s friend Nisha (Anindita Bose) who has it worse - she’s in an abusive marriage.

Priya takes a cue from a street gambling game she occasionally indulges in and decides that the only way to liven up her dull marriage is to add some spice to it. Gaurav agrees and things reach a stage where they decide to engage in roleplay, and this is where the story ventures into a territory you hadn’t imagined it would.

Aahana Kumra is in terrific form in Rules Of The Game.
Aahana Kumra is in terrific form in Rules Of The Game.
(Photo: ZEE5)
The best part about Rules Of The Game is its unpredictability. For a 44-minute film, it manages to surprise you quite a few times, and much of the credit for this goes to director Roy Chowdhury.

Aahana Kumra is terrific as a woman who loves playing games, literally and figuratively. It’s hard to gauge what’s going on in her mind and you don’t know what her next move will be. Chandan Roy Sanyal wonderfully channelises the emotions of a sincere husband who’s willing to go the extra mile to infuse excitement in his marriage. Anindita Bose is convincing as a domestic abuse victim who has accepted her life the way it is.

Verdict

While we were impressed with Anamika and Arranged Marriage, the first 2 stories of Forbidden Love, Diagnosis Of Love and Rules Of The Game take things several notches higher. This four-part anthology experiment clearly pays off. It’s 4 out of 5 stars from our side.

Forbidden Love is streaming now on ZEE5.

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