Pawan & Pooja Review: What happens when the idea behind a show is pure and moving but the execution lacks the precision? Pawan & Pooja. Starring Mahesh Manjarekar, Deepti Naval, Sharman Joshi, Gul Panag, Natasha Bharadwaj and Taaruk Raina, the MX Player Original series explores love in generations and what happens when it is put in situations that are not normal. Backed by Shaad Ali and Siddharth Malhotra, I am sad to inform you that the series did not create the impact I expected from the duo.
What’s Pawan & Pooja About?
Treated like an anthology where the worlds collide time and again, Pawan & Pooja follows three couples from three different generations. Where the men are named Pawan and women Pooja (well now begins the confusing part of explaining the Pawans and Poojas, I am gonna try, be with me).
So the first story is about Mahesh Manjarekar (Pawan) and Deepti Naval (Pooja) a senior couple who seem to be retired and are now looking for things to do. Even after so many years of marriage and having kids, their love is still intact, but Pooja holds some secrets. What impact will it have is the story.
The second is about Sharman Joshi (Pawan!) And Gul Panag (Pooja!) who are mid-aged. The two belong to the film industry at different levels. While for the world it’s a perfect marriage, Pooja! feels they have lost the spark and she wants them to find it outside the marriage. Will that be a good idea?
The third and my least favourite out of all is about Taaruk Raina (PAWAN!) and Natasha Bharadwaj (POOJA!) who are a young couple who endorse the love from today’s time. Following their social media success, the two are pitched for a show where they are made to go in life in a relationship in a house with cameras everywhere (For real guys).
Let’s do the opposite and begin from the second half of the show because that is where all the good that is lies. While we all know how good an actress Deepti Naval is, the second half of the show sees Geetika Ohlyan entering the show as Mehak and the two lifting it up with their actions. The part happens to be the best written out of all and the only that somewhere had the Shaad Ali touch that I was craving for all the time.
Considering the series as a whole, the only story that kept me hooked was Deepti and Mahesh’s. An elderly couple after achieving all the life responsibilities, setting out to fulfil all their guilty pleasures is such a good storyline, to begin with. They even make the respective regret lists that they want to fulfil and even mention things like being a police officer for a day or pickpocketing once in life and it is adorable.
That is the thing with Pawan & Pooja, the idea of exploring love in different generations setting all three in the same time frame is something I will put my money on. And with Ali associated with it, the expectations of the dynamic or the execution of interpersonal relationships was high. But what we get on screen is a half baked brownie that too without any sugar in it. About that later.
Acting performances by all the actors is what is expected of them but as mentioned above Deepti, Mahesh and Geetika in her small part stand out and have my heart. There was a point when I had forgotten that the other two storylines exist and was invested in only this story.
Special mention to Taaruk for playing a stereotyped part with conviction and still be convincing.
What Doesn’t Work?
Long list. To begin with, whoever thinks that us millennials use social media like Natasha and her universe uses in the show, you have gotten us drastically wrong bro. Plus why will Kylie Jenner approach an Indian Brand Manager based in India to up her social media game? Like for real, a character V played by Ayaz Khan claims that Kylie approached him to up her game and sadly it is not a punchline in the plot. It doesn’t end there, he promises Natasha that he will make her the next Kylie (imagine the shocking GIF here).
Let’s explore Gul and Sharman’s life. I understand that there are a couple living in relationships without any past, there are also who swing as Gul and Sharma do. But why does it become a problem for this two when it happens. I still cannot connect dots. A story that could have had its conclusion just with a conversation, takes 10 longs episodes to explain. Plus how unrealistic intimate scenes can someone direct.
That brings me to the runtime. The series could have been way shorter and crisper than the end product. 10 episode with an average runtime of 40 minutes is jarring.
Shaad Ali is the man who has Rani Mukerji and Vivek Oberoi starrer Sathiya, failed to impress me with this one.
The Last Word:
Pawan & Pooja is a good idea with an obvious execution and will hook only a few to create any impact. If you have any other option this week go for that, Pawan & Pooja can definitely wait.
Pawan & Pooja Review Star Rating: 2 Stars