Cast: Saie Tamhankar, Lalit Prabhakar, Rushi Manohar & ensemble.
Creator: Dnyanesh Zoting.
Director: Dnyanesh Zoting.
Streaming On: SonyLIV
Language: Marathi (with subtitles).
Runtime: 6 Episodes Around 40 Minutes Each.
Pet Puraan Review: What’s It About:
Just like many other couples living in the maximum city, Aditi (Saie) and Atul (Lalit) are trying to live their life on their own terms. But the extra sweet families, want them to have kids. Even a distant uncle gets to taunt the two for not conceiving even after 3 years of marriage. So the frustration of the constant pestering leads to them deciding to adopt a pet. But they end up adopting 2. How that turns out and many things more is the show.
Pet Puraan Review: What Works:
Once in a while some shows touch your heart, and it isn’t necessary that the world understands or likes them like you do. Pet Puraan definitely falls in that category. When we discuss that lack of slice-of-life stories on OTT, we forget to mention ‘with depth’ and the Saie Tamhankar starrer is an perfect example of how you make it. There is a story, heart, soul, a concrete conflict and no forced messaging to make you cringe even a bit. Marathi content is moving in the right direction and that makes me so happy.
Created, written and directed by Dnyanesh Zoting, Pet Puraan finds its soul in the tug of war between the society and a couple who want to live their life as they want. Of course, the product is being sold as a drama about a couple adopting pets and all the cutesy stuff. But would you be hooked to the promotions if they told you this is about two individuals rising about the conditioning they were forced to be in? Well, the show incorporates that so beautifully that at no point it becomes an out-of-body experience.
Pet Puraan opens to a banquet full of people at a baby shower irritating Aditi and Atul to have their own kids. Someone says they were fast enough to elope and get married. And you are suddenly pulled back and made to realise not all in the crowd are caring for them. Some are merely entertaining themselves. Zoting who does a whole lot of work in this 6-episode show knows how to layer his world. He creates a character that has been conditioned to behave a certain way. When he/she breaks free, they aim exactly what they were refrained from doing.
Isn’t that almost all of us? There is patriarchy at play here. A patriarch called Nana is sitting far away but still casually criticising his well settled son Atul for his life choices. He makes fun of him for becoming a chef. He isn’t even allowed to keep a dog. Every time someone blesses Aditi and Atul for a child they talk about Diva (lamp) of the house, which means a boy. Zoting does a notable job of not making this preachy at any point.
I know one must be confused why no mentions of the adorable pets? But you know how that turns out, but the show is much deeper than that. Consider that a ticket to a world nicely edged out. Zoting comments at the infrastructure of the city. Lack of amenities, but massive rents. The exploitation of tenants and the injustice towards them. Immigrants trying to make this city their home. The brutal animal (pet) market that lies in the heart of the city (Crawford). This isn’t all made up but our reality, that you and me live in. Dnyanesh captures that while keeping his humour alive all the time.
The creator also makes sure he doesn’t take his home audience for granted. He plants core Marathi Easter eggs around. A boy whose thread ceremony is recently conducted. A conflict between Pune and Marathwada. The internal caste politics. Everything is mentioned without over simplifying it, which is good.
Pet Puraan Review: Star Performance:
Dnyanesh writes Aditi (Saie) and Atul (Lalit) with care. In his attempt to give you an outlook of patriarchy and gender politics, he swaps the characteristics. Now the man is in the kitchen and the one who believes in peace and is a bit soft hearted, while the wife is the warrior who with her boiling blood can kill one for the tiniest reason.
Saie Tamhankar has a character she can cake walk through. We have seen her do this. The actor manages to bring her A game on and build a believable chemistry with Lalit Prabhakar.
Talking of Lalit, if you have met the man for real, you will know Atul is far from his real self. A guy with a tattoo of an inverted cake, Lalit actually puts a lot of efforts into creating Atul. The mannerism, accent and even the quirky traits, he pulls it all off well.
Special mentions for Baku and Vyanku (the pets). How adorable are they
Pet Puraan Review: What Doesn’t Work:
There is a portion where the script talks about animal adoption and tries to educate people to not buy. It does get preachy there. The makers could have probably developed the Nana angle more, giving the show a fulfilling plot.
While the struggles at Atul’s professional front are given weightage, Aditi’s workplace looks inconsequential to the story.
Pet Puraan Review: Last Words:
Pet Puraan is cute, moving and educating at the same time. Switch to Sony LIV this weekend and surrender yourself to the cuteness of the adorbs and the talent of Saie and Lalit.
Want to watch more slice-of-life content? Read our Gullak Season 3 Review here.