Web series: Pawan & Pooja (Season 1)
Cast: Mahesh Manjrekar, Deepti Naval, Gul Panag, Sharman Joshi, Taaruk Raina and Natasha Bharadwaj
Directors: Shaad Ali & Ajay Bhuyan
Is love really a happy emotion? Well, MX Player’s new series that premiered on Valentine’s Day brings the emotion in all its glory and ignominy, full up-front, through stories of three couples coincidentally named Pawan and Pooja – who go through their ‘coupled’ lives with different measures of love. We don’t see the emotion only as that which brings out the best in people, it also hurts, can be malicious, predatory and unkind.
The selling point for this new series constituting 10 episodes of 42 minutes each is that love is not only just unconditional, unbreakable and unquestionable – it can also destroy and forge new bonds, forage through radical arrangements, break and be reborn.
This series developed by Siddharth P Malhotra and Shaad Ali, while exploring the signature lives of two celebrity (of varying degrees and ages) couples and one younger influencer arrangement stage-managed for a reality TV show, takes us through their thoughts, emotions and libidos while at different stages of their lives.
Awesome girl Pooja Maheshwari (Natasha) is the social media influencer equivalent and Popo Pranks Pawan (Taaruk), her rival while Chandrajit Ranavide makes his entry here as an aging filmmaker Barve, who succumbs to a heart attack at a celeb party that all the couples featured here, attend. That incident becomes the catalyst for the featured couples to take a reality check on their lives and love.
Veteran actors Mahesh Manjrekar – Deepti Naval who play the older couple, the Kalras, share an interesting vibe that shows through their interactions with each other, Sharman Joshi-Gul Panag, the Mehras, the other couple in the equation, make us believe in their dull unhappening togetherness before embarking on new adventures on the side while the young heartthrobs Taaruk Raina-Natasha Bharadwaj play out their burgeoning hate-love-affection for all to see on social media and elsewhere.
The series treads an explorative path allowing the couples to exploit their hidden desires, stretching them to the extreme ends of their endurance before bringing them back from the brink. These are trends of love that are believable and immediately relatable. This series is sure to keep you interested and is the most appropriate Valentine’s Day watch.