I'mMature Review: Hopeless Adolescence Inspires Humour in this MX Player Sit-Com
MX Player's 'I'mMature' is its first collaboration with The Viral Fever, a high school-based sit-com and a Canneseries official selection.
Director: Prem Mistry
Cast: Rashmi Agdekar, Omkar Kulkarni, Chinmay Chandraunshuh, Visshesh Tiwari
TVF has been largely successful in marking the coming-of-age popular content that firstly, spotlights millennial lives, and secondly, manages to evoke mawkish sentimentality in the grown-ups, who may want to call on them to indulge in a few distracted moments of guilt free nostalgia. Now, the creators of type content have found a partner in MX Player, a video app-turned-streaming platform, all game for TVF’s persistence on a fresh vision for capturing the zeitgeist of Indian youths. Their first collaboration is in the form of a high school-based sit-com I'mMature, a Canneseries official selection.
Created by Sameer Saxena (Yeh Meri Family, Permanent Roomates), the mini-series follows the budding relationship of Dhruv (Omkar Kulkarni), a reluctant and shy lover boy, and Chhavi (Rashmi Agdekar), Sacred Heart’s no-cares-given kind popular girl. Dhruv’s pursuit of his first romantic association travels through the whole rigmarole of innocent and distant infatuation to stubbornly awkward ways at securing what he thinks he needs (cue the Triple H rule).
The series takes off with the self-assured voice-over of Dhruv claiming, “If one wants to acknowledge the real force of tomorrow, they must take a look at the school kids of today.” Not funny, except that it is, since Dhruv, and his friends are a long way from being the to- be-reckoned-with sort of guys, at least at this point.
Dhruv has two friends to arm-twist him into believing that what they are thinking, or seemingly imposing on him, is indeed the best for him. Kabir (Chinmay Chandraunshuh) has a crush on Chhavi’s best friend Natasha (Himika Bose) and imagines that if Dhruv hits it off, the likelihood of Kabir getting hitched soon afterwards is decent. Thus, his sole purpose is to rush up the process of growing up, so that Dhruv owns up to the pressure of being a man.
Master Susu (Visshesh Tiwari) is unconsciously aware of the crooked duo that Kabir and Dhruv make up for, but does not really mind as long as he has companionship. Susu is certain to be caught up in some mess with them, but if he is never alone, how does it really matter!
Chhavi herself is quite the rebel. She bunks school and goes to movies, dates guys elder to her and is playfully mischievous at times, but to begin with, she is not purposeless and absent-minded like Dhruv, Kabir and Susu are. But she too is caught up in the dilemma of whether to hold on to what she knows she wants or just let it go. In crisis, however, she comes into her own.
The makers have effectively limited themselves to painting a target on frivolous boys, who eventually end up having their way. But in that there is a stark absence of a character that stands counter to the flippant story line. A point does come in the form of Shantanu (Nikhil Vijay), Chhavi’s ex-boyfriend, who teaches poor kids, feeds them and respects elders, but the trio of friends parody him, not much to their own peril, and Chhavi herself finds his philanthropic ways to be boring. He is on the fringe of the immature plot that is the centre of this mini-series.
Performances of the lead actors are funny up to a point that it does not go overboard and the director, Prem Mistry, has to be credited with doing the balancing act with the script at hand and delivery. The writers have taken liberty with the use of abusive language but it passes off under the garb of the increasing frustration of school kids. Add to that the fact that the Indian audience is not very mindful, or new, to the use of crass language for generating situational humour.
Standout performance is that of Susu, who has somehow managed to master the art of quaint rebuttal to generate rib-tickling humour in this 5-part, 25 minutes each, series. A long list of TVF old-timers like Jitendra Kumar, Sameer Saxena, Nidhi Singh, Biswapati Sarkar, Badri Chavan and Gopal Dutt feature in cameo appearances and Jitendra as the faltering-in-spoken-English-drama-teacher and Dutt as the deadpanning vice-principal shine in their respective roles.
Unlike, Netflix or Hotstar, MX Player offers streaming at zero cost. In I'mMature, they are collaborating with experts in the genre, and hence have little scope of calling the shots, I suppose. It will be nice to see how they take it from here. Watch I'mMature for performances. I'mMature is streaming on MX Player.
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