Mentalhood Review: Hindi Cinema has come a long way in portraying its mothers and Mentalhood would have been a huge step if was handled with a high dose of logic and 10 levels down melodrama. Starring Karisma Kapoor in the lead, Mentalhood tells the story of the new age mother in the Ekta Kapoor way and passes the litmus test to be a daily soap but not a web series.
Cast: Karisma Kapoor, Dino Morea, Sandhya Mridul, Sameer Soni, Tillotama Shome, Shilpa Shukla and Shruti Seth.
Available on: ALTBalaji and Zee5
What’s Mentalhood About?
Mentalhood directed by Karishma Kohli talks about the modern mothers that are multitaskers and trying hard to make the ends meet to prove their child best by the end of the day. Five mothers Meira Sharma (Karisma) with an ‘i’ as she introduces herself, Deeksha Shah (Shruti), Preeti Khosla (Tillotama), Anuja Joshi (Sandhya), Namrata (Shilpa) and Aakash (Dino) are a part of a GI group in a school their kids go to. Every mother is in a race to win the best mother title, but get so engrossed that they end up messing up things to solve them by the last episode. Delving into topics such as body-shaming, Child abuse, mental pressure, health risks amongst children and so on, the show is the diary on Motherhood.
Well, THE IDEA. While the execution is highly flawed (about that later) the intent or the basics of this race were honest. As said earlier, the evolution of mothers in our cinema has been noteworthy and when someone tries to put the new age version of it on screen, it is a good idea.
While the struggle to understand your kids, their mind and what they go through at each stage of their lives has been showcased infinite times in films and well a bit in TV operas, the show talks about gender fluidity, child abuse and the flaws in mothers which is a new thing to watch.
The show that is not so strong in the acting department starring Karisma Kapoor in the lead, Mentalhood tells the story of the new age mother in the Ekta Kapoor way and passes the litmus test to be a daily soap but not a web series. The three actors who shine out, Shruti, Tillotama and Sameer with their calibre bring some life to their characters and stay with you. It is these three that I was invested with the most.
While there were 6 parallel storylines running parallel, the one that had me was Shruti Seth’s.
The show while on the surface was good as a daily soap, with ‘issue of the day’ handling. But as web series, I am sorry.
What’s Doesn’t Work:
(Can we have popcorn for this section) However honest your approach is, everything and I repeat EVERYTHING depends on the execution and how you translate your idea from paper to the screen. When you create mothers that are flawed, suffering yet putting up a happy face to hide the chinks in their armour, you better not write them one tone. And if for some, there is a change, stick to the script. Explaining.
Karisma Kapoor on whose comeback the show is vouched on, begins with the note of a lady who has come to the elite vicinity of South Bombay from Kanpur. Stereotyping the small-town women, she begins like one. Broken English, mixing Hindi with it at times, serving Chole Bhature in a school that is obsessed with a gluten-free diet. But this ‘small town’ layer is completely forgotten by the actress, as well as the director to be only be remembered in a few dialogues by the fellow cast. You are not even a witness to that transformation when she suddenly starts speaking fluent English.
The issues raised are for sure critical and important, but they are raised and solved so easily that not even one create a huge impact. The nuance needed to handle them is complete missing from the writing.
Also, is using cuss words still considered edgy? Or I have skipped some years and come ahead? And haven’t we come a long way from pushing in a LGBTQ angle just for the sake of it?
Karisma Kapoor’s comeback is not one I expected. For someone who is a fan of Zubeida, Fiza and well have seen Hum Saath Saath Hain almost 200 times (Thank you Zeecinema), I expected a mature calibre and nuanced performance. Also, the over the top direction that the characters follow is a melodrama that has too few takers.
The background score is another failure. There are scenes and many where the BGM gets so loud that I could hardly hear the dialogues.
A question to the team, whose brilliant (you get me) idea was it to make Karisma say “Mera Taimur” when her son in the show gets a modelling offer? You lost me at the point completely, my job bought me back.
Mentalhood Review: Last Words:
The show for sure has an Ekta Kapoor touch and you cannot deny. It falls flat when compared to the content that the digital space is flourishing with. Watch it only if you love melodrama or Karisma Kapoor. Else, feel free to skip.
Mentalhood Review: Star Rating: 2 stars!
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