Riding the beast: The sex mustn’t matter
Taking forward Mira Verma’s story from her failed marriage in season 1, the next season of “It’s not that simple” is now streaming on Viacom18’s digital platform – Voot.
Season 2 traces the story of a feminist and a flawed woman – Mira Verma (played by Swara Bhaskar). Mira invites you to judge her all you want as you watch her being bold, intelligent, honest and relentless in pursuit of her dreams. She embarks on a journey to fulfil her career ambitions after 8 years of being a homemaker. She is here to prove a point and the not-so-innocent divorcee helps you ask pertinent questions on why women (especially the so-called career-oriented ones) are constantly put under the microscopic lens of high morality and harshly judged for their choices.
Her giving nature towards all men in her life and her role as a mother of a 10-year old make her real and fortunately, the writers have ensured that Mira doesn’t play up to the stereotypical career-oriented woman so often seen on movies and soaps alike.
Danish Aslam has a stellar ensemble cast to support the strong storyline. Dev is the alpha-male boss-turned-lover, desperately wanting control and Sumeet Vyas demonstrates his acting prowess with the grey shades of this character.
Vivan Bhathena plays Rajiv, the hot, sexy and interested-in-Mira childhood buddy; and Jayesh played by Karan Veer Mehra is the understanding, supportive and yet chauvinistic ex-husband. Purab Kohli plays Angad Shergill, an award-winning journalist with whom a chance meeting and a twitter war blossoms into a relationship many would yearn and envy.
All four male characters beautifully hold their own and manage to not overshadow the others; which makes the series all the more real and appealing.
Swara not only plays but transforms into Mira herself and as she says – “Life ek sher ki sawaari hai” and she does ride this beast with aplomb.
The editing is crisp, sharp, on-point and the directorial touches are remarkable as the show oscillates between the past and present seamlessly. The shots to show Mira alone at a beach, having a quiet moment by herself is especially relatable and bewitching.
While the dialogues are clean, with slight easy-going humour, it is the story line which has you engaged throughout the 7 episodes.
Also, special mention to Tani (played by Devika Vatsa) for her tongue-in-cheek dialogue delivery and to the strong, confident and the “proud-of-my-job” woman that Priya Yadav effortlessly plays as Shirley, who is constantly mocked by her boss – Shergill for the gossip columns she pens. She finally earns her well-deserved promotion and earns the viewer’s respect as well.
What’s doesn’t work:
While the story does passingly shed light upon the struggles of a working mother, it does not quite do justice and is left half-baked. Perhaps the makers could consider that angle for another season.
Furthermore, the lesbian relationship sub-plot between Anika, Rajiv’s fiancé and Natasha, Mira’s best friend and partner is extremely predictable and may have been done away with as it fails to add strength to both – the characters involved and the plot.
Also, Rajiv’s character could have been written better to fully bring out the realization and transformation the character goes through and his discovery of the meaning of love and emotions.
Indian cinema and soaps have been known for portraying regressive ideologies around women, especially since the 80’s – showcasing the abla-nari (translate: helpless) at best and objectifying them at worst and this story narrated by the female protagonist is refreshing and the need of the hour in many ways.
All in all, the web series is an honest effort and a step in the right direction for content-driven digital entertainment, and even more so for women-oriented stories.