Faadu – A Love Story Review: Pavail Gulati, Saiyami Kher-starrer is astutely mounted and packed with emotional tropes

Highly recommended to those who are die-hard romantics

Troy RibeiroUpdated: Friday, December 09, 2022, 11:03 AM IST
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A still from Faadu – A Love Story | Pic: Instagram/saiyami

Title: Faadu – A Love Story 

Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Cast: Pavail Gulati, Saiyami Kher, Abhilash Thapliyal, Deepak Sampat, Girish Oak, and others

Streaming on: SonyLIV

Rating: ***1/2

This eleven-episode series is a love story of an odd couple. She is a simple girl from Konkan, and he is a dare-devil from the slums of Mumbai who dreams of making it big in life someday. 

This oft-heard premise, narrated in a non-linear format, is the tale of Manjari (Saiyami Kher) and Abhay Dubey (Pavail Gulati). While she is a lady of letters, he is an ambitious ideas guy whose imagination draws him to be determinedly analytical and entrepreneurial to climb the social ladder. 

He is often heard saying, “Mein bada hokar paisewala, powerful aadmi bankar dikhaunga. Poverty ka murder karoonga.” And, she is the balancing factor in their lives. 

Packed with emotional tropes, the focus of the series is more on the rag-to-riches narrative. It takes us through the rise of Abhay from a Mr Nobody to a Mr Somebody, and how he works his way to make it big, forms the bulk of the tale. 

Abhay is too clever for his own good and has a serious tragic flaw that always propels his happiness just out of his reach. This is evident in the second episode when we hear, “Gareebi ne tumhari maa cheen li, aur ameeri tumhari biwi cheen li.”

The plot has a stylistic, and balanced point of view that emphasises social inequalities. It’s an endless roller coaster ride of discontent and despair, and I mean that in a good way. It feels relentless, sometimes exhausting. It is a slow-burn, character-driven plot, but at the core of it, it is also about leaving a legacy.

The first two episodes breeze through. Episode three gets stuck in the poverty rut and meanders without propelling the tale forward. But fatigue starts setting in from episode nine, and by episode 10, the dialogues and scenes get repeated, and then a feeling of déjà vu sets in. 

Each character is well-etched, and every actor gets into the skin of their character effortlessly. They deliver an astutely intense performance making them relatable and identifiable. Topping the list is Pavail, who essays the role of Abhay with natural ease. 

Saiyami effortlessly portrays Manjari, the ever-supportive “Duniya ki best wife,” role.

The duo is aptly supported by Abhilash Thapliyal, as Abhay’s older brother Roxy, Deepak Sampat as the policeman Tukaram, Girish Oak as Manjari’s dad, and the rest of the cast in supporting roles. Every actor has their moment of on-screen glory, and they don’t disappoint. 

While the series is astutely mounted with ace production values, it is the writing that stumbles. What is a boy who is interested in numbers doing in literature class? This thought keeps lingering, and while the focus is on literature, not a word is mentioned about commerce.  

Also, while the dialogues are rustic and apt for the milieu, the characters at times unwittingly break into English. This sudden switch is incongruous with the character and the flow of the telling. 

Similar is the case with the English background score.  

Despite these minor issues, this series is highly recommended to those who are die-hard romantics. 

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