Decoupled on Netflix: Shines in parts but lacks continuity.
Madhavan has enjoyed his loyal fanbase for many years since his debut with Mani Ratnam’s Alaipayuthey (Sakhi). Although known for his romantic and light-hearted flicks, he was never confined to chocolate-boy roles and experimented with the parts in Kannathil Muthamittal, Yuva, and many more.
While I enjoyed his works, including the sensational Vikram Vedha, I was waiting for him to get back to the roles my parents’ generation enjoyed watching him in. Enter Manu Joseph. He wrote and created Decoupled, directed by Hardik Mehta.
Decoupled tells the story of a couple who aren’t happy with each other and want to separate but have a problem. They keep postponing to inform their decision of separation to their daughter. Their premise is, they think simple — stay under the same roof until they can tell their daughter and be good parents by co-parenting their daughter without any issues, but in reality, it seems not so easy as they think.
Now you got the plot; let’s look into the characters. Madhavan plays Arya Iyer, an author who graduated from BITS Pilani and is in professional competition with Chethan Bhagat, an IIT IIM alumnus. There are a couple of scenes between these two that look silly but work well. He takes aback when male teenagers ask for a handshake even if they are his fans, citing why they are not hygienic.
Arya is carefree, pessimistic, intervenes in every matter, and annoys the people surrounding him. He has an opinion on everything, and he can’t keep it to himself, which often leads him into a mess. You can see him in a brawl with people at regular intervals just because he opens his mouth. As he gets separated, he wishes to have an affair and spread love.
Surveen plays Shruti, an investment banker (I think) who has experience in scaling startups. She feels embarrassed while Arya is around since she knows, in her own words, “Everything Arya steps into becomes a disaster.” She has a knack for changing the maids frequently and looks for someone she can trust on not getting involved in a relationship with Arya.
Like Arya, she is open to having a relationship but hesitates to kiss her boss when they are having intimacy in a suite.
The series has a lot of sexual exposition, often discussed by Arya and his friends. Although it doesn’t bode well with everyone, quirky jokes and situational comedy partially worked for me.
There is a scene between Arya and his girlfriend Masha while they are having their time in the hotel suite, where Arya asks her if she has her Air Hostess dress, and he sets the hotel room as chairs arranged like in a flight.
I laughed out loud that the makers tried to write this scene and pulled it off brilliantly. This is purely a series to be watched only by adults.
The series is set in a society in Gurgaon called Tatva and reflects the life in those societies where affluent families live, how they treat their workers (maids/drivers) and the hypocrisy they develop as they grow.
Although it is short, with each episode not lasting more than 30 mins, the makers seem to deliberately want to keep it a rom-com and bring in the politics of life organically in the characters and situations.
I watched this for a slight deviation from the regular stuff and didn’t have any expectations on the series. In the end, I enjoyed watching the series. Though I don’t have many complaints, the camera shifts on zoom-in and zoom-out annoyed me. The series didn’t have continuity in many scenes, where it is left to the audience to extrapolate the aftermath of the scenes.
The series is carefully written, and it is evident from the title sequence of each episode reflecting the series’ title. I don’t think this series works well with everyone, but it worked for me, as I finished it in one go and didn’t have any expectations before. I didn’t even know when it got released until last week.
If I remember correctly, this is the second web series I watched in 2022, the first being The Squid Game. While watching this series, the trailer of Better Call Saul season 6 was released, and I am eagerly waiting for the series to release. I don’t think I will watch a new series in between.