Gullak Season 3 Is Heartwarming
Gullak Season 3
Rating: *** 1/2
It is now time for the third season of the much-loved series which relies on no extraneous props to pump up its visibility value. The hallmark of good writing was never props and accessories. Gullak takes you back to the basics of good storytelling .
This is a family of 4, father Santosh Mishra(Jameel Khan) , mother Shanti(Gitanjali Kulkarni) and their two teenaged sons.That’s it. All the drama, if one may call it that, unravels through the day-to-day domestic drudgery of an average family in an unnamed North Indian town.
I adore the anonymity of the location: this could be any small town in the North Indian heartland, Jameel Khan and Gitanjali Kulkarni are the kind of faceless actors( and I mean that as the highest compliment for an actor) who can blend and merge into any culture .
It is the ordinariness of the characters in Gullak that makes them so extraordinary. The characters sparkle in their mundaneness. The drabness of their lives accentuates their resilience.This is the middleclass at its sugar-free best.No sweetening of the bitter truth but no over-dramatizing for effect either. Gullak is the opposite of the poverty-porn of Slumdog Millionaires.
It is like the kalakands that Santosh Mishra decides to bring home one day for his family in Season 3. While the two sons devour the treat wife Gitanjali frowns, “Sugar-free laate toh main bhi kha leti.”
No matter how precious and rare the moments of celebration, there is always that feeling of destiny stealing up on the Mishra family to diminish the joy of the moment.
But that doesn’t stop them from eking out the elixir of pleasure from the pain.
The writing by Durgesh Singh is easygoing and bouncy,never letting the clouds eclipse the sunshine. This is original writing recalling the austere simplicity of Doordarshan’s halcyon days of Humlog, Buniyaad and Khaandaan. The canvas is stripped of all vanity, the actors are not the least interested in promoting themselves.
The last time I saw the aspirations of the fringe families of the Indian middleclass so astutely represented was in Applause Entertainment’s Scam 1992. In that epoch-defining series, the aspirational domesticity of an average middleclass family was turned inside out.
In Gullak the mood of unchanging frugality is held steady from season to season.Palash Vaswani’s direction is minimalistic to the point of supreme selfeffacement.
Nothing is going to change for the Mishras. That’s what makes them so special. This is the other end of the RRR universe in the Indian entertainment industry.