Friendship is one relationship we all have in our lives. We all have experienced the awkwardness and hesitance while saying the first ‘Hi’ to someone who later became a vital part of our lives. That’s why when there are stories based on friendship, they seem relatable and fun to watch.
A Summer Story is a story of 4 people who show us very real moments we all live with our amigos. An Indian-American girl named Rachel meets Samar at Mumbai’s Marine Drive and from there the friendship saga starts. It’s all about helping strangers which is very common in Mumbai and that’s how some people become friends. Rachel and Samar become friends and when she faces difficulty to find a good hotel in Mumbai, she stays over at Samar’s place with his two roommates and friends – Varun and Raghav. With time, their bond and friendship grow which help them to understand each other’s lives, problems and also ways to resolve the same. After all, that’s what friends do, isn’t it?
The web series is a wonderful slice of life drama which covers a lot of aspect of the lives of people in their 20s. Samar’s character quits his routine 9-5 job to finally follow his passion for writing. Varun is a struggling actor who gives 50 auditions daily and sometimes he’s called only to pay the food bills of the casting manager. Raghav has a stable job but his life only revolves around work. Rachel is a photographer from the US and it’s her first trip to India. Her mother warns her to be beware of boys because it’s unsafe. But who thought that throughout her trip to Mumbai, she’ll be staying with 3 boys? That’s the beauty of this web series. It manages to break the stereotypes or the notion that women are always unsafe around men.
Throughout the series, the characters discuss a lot of issues adults face. For example, when Samar quits his job, Raghav isn’t pleased as he thinks it’s not a wise decision to take a break without a backup. That’s when Samar asks him, “Yeh kisne decide kiya ke bade logon ko vacation nahi chahiye? (Who decided grown-ups don’t need a vacation?)”
The characters also discuss how society is double-faced when the boys get questioned by the people in society for letting a girl stay over in their house. Raghav and Samar raise a valid point that people don’t focus on the real and disturbing issues happening around, but they are more concerned when couples decide to live-in or boys and girls hang out together.
What’s impressive and endearing about this web series how expressive the boys are; whether it’s happiness, heartbreak or sadness. How often do we see on the screen a guy hugging his friend and crying his heart out? Men do feel the pain and it’s very normal for them to have a breakdown due to setbacks in their personal or professional lives. A Summer Story has a lovely scene where Varun says he wishes he was gay when he hears Samar’s views on love and how one shouldn’t mislead anyone. It’s a good take on showing that today’s generation is accepting and open about sexuality and preferences without holding any prejudices.
Every episode of A Summer Story leaves a smile on your face. It doesn’t get preachy anywhere, in fact, makes you wanting more.
Written and directed by Shivam Jemini who also plays the role of Samar in it, the storytelling is smooth and perfect mix of love, laughter and humour.
The web series has no manpower and it’s shot by the star cast itself. Some scenes (Marine Drive, Bandra roads and Gateway of India shots) look quite picturesque that it doesn’t feel like there wasn’t a cinematographer.
The music of A Summer Story is mesmerising and every song will stay in your mind for longer. The makers have collaborated with good underrated talents like Abhishrut Tyagi & Augustine Joseph for the songs Won’t be so long and Dua, Bharat Chauhan for Ghar, Shajie for Sab Achha Hai and Aviral Kumar for Gumshuda. My personal favourite is Ghar and Dua.
Arya Singhal as Rachel plays her part smoothly. She looks calm on screen and very empathetic towards people around her.
Shivam Jemini as Samar is a person who is a living mystery, but a good one. He’s kind, friendly and understanding and it’s always a delight to see men like this.
Pourush Singh as Varun is funny and will remind you of Joey from FRIENDS. He’s like an idiot who is also adorable and we all have one such friend in our group.
Rohit Raghavendra plays Raghav and he convincingly portrays the busy bee. You’ll like the actor but you’d wish to never have a life entirely engulfed by work like his.
Overall, A Summer Story is a feel-good web series. It has a lot of emotions, joyful moments, eye-opening and woke talks and it’s high on relatability factor. The performances are brilliant but we wished we could get to know and understand Rachel more as a person. But the way the series end, there is a chance of another season and we can hope that we get more insight into Rachel’s life and personality.
This wonderful web series gets FOUR STARS from me!