Dil Dosti Dilemma

Dil Dosti Dilemma
Dil Dosti Dilemma
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The teenage years are often marked by confusion, emotional turmoil, new dreams and self-doubt. That’s what Dil Dosti Dilemma — Prime Video’s latest original series — tries to capture. The protagonist of the show is a young girl named Asmara (Anushka Sen) — a typical teenager from an ultra-rich family whose world revolves around the approval of her best friends.

She sports trendy clothes, speaks in vogue, loves to shop and party, and is ashamed of any part of her reality that doesn’t fit into the image she has created for herself as a classy girl. She cringes at uncool gifts from her grandparents and can never seem to show her true feelings in front of her equally fake friends.

When her mother realizes that Asmara might grow up to be an entitled brat who has forgotten where she came from, she cancels her two-month trip to Canada and sends her instead to stay with her grandmother in a small town as punishment.

What follows is a formulaic sequence where the spoilt girl struggles with small-town life for a while before falling in love with it. The show is reminiscent of stories we have all heard or watched many times over. Don’t be surprised if it reminds you of moral tales from childhood; it is just as saccharine if not more so. Also, every time Shruti Seth appears on the screen playing Asmara’s mother in the series — whose acting skills still seem stuck in time — I can’t help but think about Shararat.

While it tries to touch upon these relationships superficially, the show hardly feels real at all when everyone turns out to be too loving and understanding — it often feels like the Sooraj Barjatya version of coming-of-age movies. It’s not HBO’s Euphoria dark yet! In this Toyland world where teenagers can become morality torchbearers easily and adults not only follow but also indulge in frenzied celebration of the person, it’s like it has been written by some teenager who wants to spread goodness in this world.

It does try to touch upon teenage relationships when it shows a boy trying to manipulate Asmara’s best friend Naina into thinking he likes her — only to use her as a way to get close to her father, who is a renowned tennis coach. But still, even though he pretends to be interested in her for his ulterior motives and gaslights her all along, the character is treated with saccharine sweetness.

The only thing that stands out about the show — if at all — is how honestly it tries this sense of self-doubt that creeps into teenagers’ hearts. It beautifully captures that sweet spot in adolescence where innocence and sinfulness coexist.

The problem with the series, though, is that it fails to stumble in other areas which it should tackle with equal attention; this results into a severe misrepresentation of Hindi speakers as being uncool and downright dumb. For instance, the character played by Vishakha Pandey appears to be nothing more than a noisy idiot who lacks any form of common sense, simply because she hails from some small town and tends to mix up her English words. In a similar fashion, Arjun Berry’s role is made fun of only on basis that he possesses vast knowledge about various Hindi terminologies due to his wealthy background; his language too becomes subject ridicule for few laughs that are never earned.

If what you seek after is something treating its subject matter with deserved seriousness and care then I suggest giving this one miss. However if what you want is something playing at the back while finishing pending assignments or attending to other duties around your house, then feel free tuning into such brainless series — or may be even if deeply deluded take on teenage utopia where happily ever after exists.

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