Review: TVF Tripling and The ‘Other’ Love Story Strike A Chord
While one is about a sibling road trip, the other is a sensitive take on homosexual romance.
Mid-week blues getting to you? Or are you stuck in endless traffic jams? Don’t worry we have you covered with the latest from the exciting world of Indian fiction web series.
Siblings have often got a raw deal on the screen. Which is why The Viral Fever’s latest web series TVF Tripling impresses with its fresh premise. But does it deliver? Judging from the first episode, the answer is yes.
A road trip, with siblings. A road trip is often used as a metaphor for the transformative journey of a character (or a bunch of characters). The idea being that when you are in an enclosed space of a car, moving towards a destination, there is no space to run away from your problems. Or the people which cause them.
TVF Tripling seems aware of the metaphor, and the first episode sets the tone for an eventual epiphany for its three main protagonists, Chandan (Summet Vyas), Chanchal (Maanvi Gagroo) and Chitvan (Amol Parashar).
The Saraswatichandra reference apart, the three siblings are as different (or dysfunctional) as they come. In the premiere episode, Chitvan, a mediocre DJ forces Chandan to go on a road trip because he doesn’t have enough money to pay the installments for his car.
The two brothers are a study in contrast. Chandan believes in planning his life (and his road trips), but is blindsided when his wife cheats on him and he divorces her. As the two brothers drive to meet their sister, there is a moment when Chandan is berating Chitvan for his lack of purpose, when his younger brother quips, “You planned your life, right? What happened to you?”
The episode is peppered with humour and quirky situations, but the core of the show is still family (Think K3G?).
The first episode is tightly written with trademark TVF humour, and the banter between siblings hits home. Vyas impresses with his assured performance, Parashar portrays the familiar stoner-chiller stereotype with ease and there’s a hilarious glimpse of Kunaal Roy Kapoor as Chanchal’s royal husband.
Sponsored by TATA Tiago, the production quality of TVF Tripling is comparable to big-budget Bollywood films. And the promise of a rollicking journey apart, the show might just change the way web series in India are produced and marketed.
The ‘Other’ Love Story
The ‘Other’ Love Story directed by Roopa Rao is a love story. Between two women, set in Bangalore in the 90s.
Just like sibling films, love stories between women on-screen are filled with regressive stereotypes; sleazy sex scenes, garish production, references to a ‘sin’ and inevitably, killing one of the characters at the end as ‘punishment’, which is why the teasers of The ‘Other’ Love Story seemed like a breath of fresh air.
In many ways, the promise of a fresh approach to an unconventional story is evident in the first episode. The episode opens with Achal (Shweta Gupta) in 2000, on a railway station being escorted by her family to another city. She starts crying, but not because she will be away from her family, but because of Aadya (Spoorthi Gumaste.)
We then flashback to 1998 and see Aadya, a subdued, shy girl who feels suffocated in her home, a family that doesn’t understand her and her anxiety to express her thoughts. She goes on a long walk to think and clear her mind, where she bumps into Achal.
From the first episode, the series looks well shot, getting the tone of the time period mostly right. But, there are noticeable false notes in the way the characters converse with each other. The conversation between Aadya and Achal seems stilted, rather than the first signs of a blooming romance.
Diametrically different from TVF Tripling, The ‘Other’ Love Story was crowdfunded, since producers across the board rejected Rao’s initial pitch. Keeping in mind the scourge of realistic representations of same-sex relationships, The ‘Other’ Love Story may prove to be an interesting turning point in later episodes, if it delivers on its promise.
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