Gullak 2 Old Battle Filled With A New Wine

Gullak Season 2(SonyLIV,5Episode)

Rating: ***

Thank God for the Indian middleclass and its  jugaadu optimism. There isn’t a problem that that can’t be “managed”  with some  amount of resourcefulness and a great deal of  resilience. Normally webshows  about low-income families in  small North Indian towns are about glumness grime or crime or all three. This one  is  upbeat and filled with sunshine, and  the optimism is  not imposed on the plot.It is an  old battle  filled with a  new whine.

To anyone  who  lives  in a  North India the Mishra parivar is eminently relatable.They are  talkative  and  annoying but also likeable for their lack of affectations.They are at once  Every-family and yet unique  in their  quirks and  conflicts. Episode 2  of Season 2 is  my favourite . This is where Papa  and his two sons take  over the kitchen for Mummy’s kitty party. The  gentle  digs at  gender stereotypes  accompanied by the guffaws  of the ladies who can’t help  being tickled  by  watching the Mishra  men sweat it out at  the  gas stove—“Mishraji what is this combination  of  dahi vada and  tea?”–is evidence of  the sharp-witted writing that has gone  into the series.

Papa Mishra and his two sons  get a solid dressing-down from Mama Mishra at the  end  of  the episode 2  where  she reminds  them not too gently of how much she has  invested  into  her family.This family doesn’t believe in bottling it in. Taunts and jeers are openly exchanged and shared. The two sons  respect their  parents but also poke merciless fun at their  hypocrisy.

 In Episode 3 Mishraji flares up when a wedding invitation is sent through his elder son. The ego, you see, is always  agile  and alive.And  though this  a caring family it is also deeply selfservingknowing that at the end  of the day, it is each  to his own.

This is  as good a  place as any to say the monstrously  talented Gitanjali Kulkarni and JameelKhan are  perfectly cast in roles that  require them  to be convincing  as individuals, a  married couple  and  a collective team representing every  wage-earning North  Indian middleclass family. On all the three  levels, the  two actors are  admirably  in-charge.

 From the rest of cast , only Sunita Rajwar as an aunt  provides a thoroughly entertaining caricature  of  the talkative meddlesome  busybody. By the way, why is the  younger son played as some kind of a mentally challenged overgrown kid? Was this  subconsciously done? Or did it just happen? Also the drama of what Tolstoy once described the “unhappy family”  is missing. The Mishras  may be unhappy about not being able to afford an LD television.  But they aren’t sulking about it.

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