Starring Madhavan, Surveen Chawla
Created and Written by Manu Joseph
Directed by Hardik Mehta
Decoupled(Netflix): Early on in this hugely enjoyable wildly irreverent tongue-in-shriek romp into the bowels of political incorrectness, the magnificent Madhavan who plays a no-filter pulp-fiction writer, meets a fan who squeals she was reading his novel when she spotted him in person.
“It’s like meeting the animal in your meat,” Arya Iyer drawls back,confusing the poor fan out of her wits.
Arya does this all the time. He is the kind of middle aged party pooper you wouldn’t want as your neighbour, let alone your neighbour at a restaurant. Rest assured, if Arya Iyer is around , a situation of embarrassment is bound to be created. Huge embarrassment.
Somewhere towards end of the series Arya’s wife(serenely played by Surveen Chawla), eager for a divorce(or is she?) wonders aloud, “Can we not have at least one evening without you creating a scene?”
The thing about the Arya Iyers of the world(rare birds as they are) is that they tell the truth which civil behaviour disallows and blocks out completely from the range of social conduct. Madhavan’s Arya is an oddball, a freak who is ruinously forthright. Calling a spade a spade,and an asshole an asshole, he takes us from one fiercely brutally honest encounter to another.The encounters are devastating in their impunity.
This excursion from one level of insouciant insolence to another, could have rendered the series jerkily episodic…you know, like Aryan Meets Chetan Bhagat in the Loo, Aryan Gets Caught Naked In The Locker Room, Aryan Refuses To Shake Hands With Pubescent Fan(arguing that the boy most probably doesn’t wash his hand after masturbating), Aryan Tells Father-in-Law To Have Protected Sex(to prevent ma-in-law from repeated urinary tract infection), Aryan Tells His Loyal Driver To Stop Farting In The Car, etc etc.
All of the above really and truly happen in the course of the 8-episode dramedy. The sheer inappropriateness of the situations that crop up routinely in Arya’s life,are a joy to witness. Rest assured, you have never seen anything like Decoupled before, not in this country where only the foolhardy attack the sacred cows.
Writer Manu Joseph lets his acid tongue loose all over the plot.The sarcastic quips flow in a tireless torrent , so much so that you are likely to miss some of the less conspicuous barbs. For instance an old girlfriend calls Arya and she is surprised he remembers her name.
“A gentleman never forgets his girlfriend’s name,” Arya tries to play the gallant -ex.
“That’s why I am surprised,” she replies softly.
In the land of the brash and unkind there lives a mysterious ogre that enjoys gloating at the squirmy discomfort of the inhibited. Decoupled provides us with a strange stirring aphrodisiacal pleasure that comes from knowing that nothing is sacred anymore.At least not for a while.Homosexuals, feminists, the elderly and the intellectual are all insulted. Chetan Bhagat’s novels and the globally acclaimed Korean film Parasites are demolished with devilish delight.
The barbs never stop, and that’s where the pleasure spots lie. Writer Many Joseph presses hard on the pleasure spots , eliciting a kind of wolfwhistle pleasure from us the viewers that we haven’t experienced since Seinfeld stormed into our sensory perception.
Not all of it works equally well, though. But that’s the beauty of the acerbic writing. It’s not meant to work uniformly well. For every occasion that Arya Iyer makes his mordant point on the hypocrisy of urbane lifestyles,there is always the other side when the his frankness hits a wall.
Ouch to that. Even when Arya falls, we wait for his next strike. He never disappoints in this comedy of ill manners.
While Madhavan carries the burden of causticity with an appealing aplomb he gets sturdy support from the supporting cast, particularly Surveen Chawla as his eternally exasperated soon-to-be-ex-wife , Atul Kumar as a digital-age guru who thinks for man there is escape from sex, and Akaash Khurrana as Madhavan’s father-in-law who asks a gay couple at a party how they do it.
Decoupled is the raunchy roughneck romcom that Netflix always wanted to do , but didn’t know where to find. Well,look no more.