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Out Of Love Fails To Recreate The Original’s Magic

Out Of Love

Out Of Love(Hostar,5 Episodes)

Starring Rasika Duggal, Purab Kohli

Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, Aijaz Khan

Rating: ** ½ (two and a  half stars)

 For a  large part of its playing time  Out Of Love  looks like  a banal take on infidelity. Except that here,the  suspicious wife  Meera won’t take the betrayal lying down. As played by  the very talented Rasika  Duggal, Meera epitomizes the mythic hell of a  woman  scorned. So intense is her abhorrence  of her husband’s  infidelity that she descends  into a kind of vendetta that seems increasingly  ridiculous and cheap.

 It came  as a surprise to know that this hysterical  series  is adapted from BBC’s Dr Foster. I  decided to watch some of that.And  here is  the  fundamental difference  between the two that makes  all the difference. In Dr Foster , the wife’s  suspicion and revenge  are  placed in a cultural and geographical  perspective where her actions seem  guided by  an environment that  fosters an aggressive  protest against domestic  treachery.

In  the desi adaptation, Meera’s grievance against  her husband Akarsh seems unconvincing from  the outset. For one, the setting  Coonoor seems  like the  kind of place where everyone knows everyone else. The  narrative deliberately chooses  to belittle Meera’s  suspicion by perceiving  it as paranoia and then twisting it around  in a cheesy  way  to trounce  the  viewers’  expectations. The  plot gets  mired  in absurdities  from the start. In the  first episode itself  a drug seller’s  girlfriend is recruited by Meera to  spy on her  husband.And  when  Meera marches into  a drug dealer’s den and  threatens  him with  a knife, I  felt embarrassed for her, though  I am  not sure that’s what we are  supposed to feel.

The  buildup towards  Meera’s revenge is  scarcely  fodder for a  solid suspense  story. Not that the  series  is bereft  of  all  merit. The  two principal performers try hard to anchor  the  unbelievable   goings-on(at  one point in  the plot Meera sleeps with  a family friend just to get  even with her husband). Both  Rasika Duggal and  Purab Kohli are  actors who  bloom  in  delicacy. The sledgehammer  drama of  Out of Love  leaves the players out of breath. Rasika is particularly wheezy when  made  to  perform melodramatic  scenes.

Sadly those  are the need  of the hour. While the talented Soni Razdan is wasted  in a role that  needs her to look  as distressed as one would be after binge-watching this series, Anjan Shrivastav’s return as  a disgraced drunken doctor is the highlight of show that  begins promisingly but quickly plummets  into a perverse theatrical treatment of  infidelity and  revenge.

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