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Dr Arora Review: Show on Sexologist Has Promise But Suffers From Choppy Plot
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Dr Arora Review: Show on Sexologist Has Promise But Suffers From Choppy Plot

Dr Arora is directed by Imtiaz Ali and directed by Sajid Ali and Archit Kumar.

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Movie Reviews
3 min read

Dr. Arora

Dr Arora Review: Show on Sexologist Has Promise But Suffers From Choppy Plot

"You know what the problem of Indian husbands is after marriage?", a woman questions in SonyLiv's new web show Dr Arora: Gupt Rog Visheshagya. She herself answers, "They become brotherly soon after".

The protagonist of this web series, Dr Arora (Kumud Mishra), is a sex doctor who helps his patients overcome a string of bedroom problems. Arora's unflinching empathy while listening to his patients open up about erectile dysfunction, nightfall and nightly disasters wins them over. We also get a backstory involving Arora's ex-wife Vaishali (Vidya Malavade) that prompted him to take up this profession.

A still from Dr Arora.

(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

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The eight-episode series sees events unfolding in small towns in 1999, where the concept of a gynaecologist is absolutely alien. This helps Dr Arora become the most sought-after sex doctor. His patients are varied.

There's the Superintendent of Police Tomar (Ajitesh Gupta), whose name itself sends shivers down the spine of dacoits. However, when it comes to 'performing' in the bedroom, he leaves his wife Mithu (Sandeepa Dhar) disappointed. The muscly Devendra (Gaurav Parajuli) is struggling to accept that he has erectile dysfunction. Then there's the hilarious godman Firangi Baba (Raj Arjun), whose unidentifiable accent and sermons have won him a large female fan-following. The women wait for hours outside his house for a 'special darshan'.

A still from Dr Arora.

(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

If that's not enough, we have the hormonally-charged son of the local newspaper editor Dinkar (Vivek Mishran), and Payal (Anushka Luhar), a sex worker who is extremely vulnerable to disease.

Created by Imtiaz Ali and directed by Sajid Ali and Archit Kumar, 'Dr Arora' has an interesting premise. But the series hardly does justice when it comes to exploring the psychological effects of problems that are so stigmatised that there is a massive hesitancy to speak about them openly.

Mishra plays a character who suppresses a rage behind his calm exterior. For someone who has been brought up in a conservative, patriarchal society, he is trying to get over his conditioning, but one particular scene is jarring. When Payal comes to Arora for a check-up, she is diagnosed with gonorrhoea. Arora's friendly demeanour immediately undergoes a change as he launches a series of invasive questions in a disgusted tone. He straight-up vilifies the woman for having multiple partners (a very common occurrence in our country), but then has a change of heart out of the blue in episode seven.

Also, in a bizarre turn of events, this same Mishra turns into a creepy stalker when he chances upon Vaishali years later. A fiery and independent woman when she was young, Vaishali is now a submissive housewife. She even questions leaving Arora when she absolutely had her reasons to do so.

'Dr Arora' is mostly about the joys of sexual unions, but it just focuses its attention on men and their desires. In the waiting room, we don't see any woman speaking about her unsatisfactory sex life and trying to deal with it.

In the latter half of the series, the otherwise understanding doctor is shown to be a loser who tries to teach his former wife a lesson just because she exercised her right to reject him. We hope that the second season redeems itself from this misguided notion.

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Kumud Mishra is a delight to watch. His commanding presence, coupled with the antics of his patients, somewhat lift the uneven narrative.

The topic of sex therapists cannot be discussed without raised eyebrows and questioning glances. Remember Khandaani Shafakhana, the 2019 film about a woman who inherits a sex consultancy? The countless perils of this profession need a sensitive treatment. Despite being endearing in parts, Dr Arora as a whole falls short.

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Topics:  Dr. Arora   Imtiaz Ali   Kumud Mishra 

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