It does 'Feel(s) Like Ishq' in this latest Netflix anthology
The latest anthology from Netflix, titled Feels Like Ishq, chronicles modern-day love stories of the young, targeted at the young. The characters, their stories, clothing, and lingo are everything you and I do, and hence easily welcoming. However, makers are clear about only gliding over tough situations or socio-political issues and not providing any resolution. Here's our review of this breezy series.
Radhika Madan and Amol Parashar play modified Geet and Aditya
Ruchir Arun's Save the Da(y)te short is the right mix of sweet, funny, and Gen Z to begin the anthology with. Talented actors Radhika Madan and Amol Parashar get together to play modified Geet and Aditya (you know, a self-obsessed chatty woman meets practical love-hating guy). It's followed by Tahira Kashyap Khurrana's Quaranteen Crush, which is the only entry that involves/mentions the COVID-19 pandemic.
Issues like stalking are handled, but emotionally
The second story's premise is simple: A teenager (Mihir Ahuja) starts liking his new neighbor (Kajol Chugh) and does sweet but creepy things to get her attention. The creepy part here was Maninder (Ahuja) pretending to be his mother and texting Chugh so that they can interact (!). The stalking aspect gets a resolution, but keeping with the theme, it's mushy, not pragmatic.
Anand Tiwari's 'Star Host' packs scenic beauty with simple love
It's from episode three that the anthology starts becoming more than distinct isolated clips. Short number three Star Host with Simran Jehani and Rohit Saraf is picturesque and director Anand Tiwari beautifully brings Mahabaleshwar into the story. My favorite story out of the lot would be Danish Aslam's She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not, featuring Saba Azad and Sanjeeta Bhattacharya.
Bhattacharya charms in this delicately crafted LGBTQIA+ love story
Stories featuring non-straight protagonists can easily feel like an obligatory inclusion if the heart isn't at the right place. But that doesn't happen in the fourth short. In one of the shortest episodes, Aslam packs in nuances of being bisexual, modern office culture, anxiety, and also abuse in queer relationships. It has been executed in a fourth-wall-breaking Fleabag-esque style. Also, Bhattacharya is a delight.
Neeraj 'Moosa' Madhav-starrer 'Interview' is the most layered story
Story-wise, Sachin Kundalkar's Interview (Zayn Marie Khan and Neeraj Madhav) is the most layered one. We experience a romance brewing, as an old one finds its completion. The time frame is utilized craftily. The sixth/final short, Jaydeep Sarkar-directorial Ishq Mastana, tries to pack a lot and ends up feeling a bit short. Even, Tanya Maniktala (Mehr) and Skand Thakur (Kabir) fail to uplift it.
Makers' consistency to commitment is praise-worthy, series gets 4/5
Although the ending isn't fully satisfactory, Kabir's Haman Hai Ishq Mastana stays with you. The look and feel of the anthology are polished and it says mostly about the middle-class, upper middle-class youth. The consistency to commitment is praise-worthy. Verdict: Overall, the series gets 4/5.