Name of the series - Mentalhood
Platform – ZEE5/ AltBalaji
Number of episodes – 10 (25 minutes approx..)
Director – Karishma Kohli
Cast – Karishma Kapoor, Dino Morea, Sandhya Mridul, Tillotama Shome, Shruti Seth, Shilpa Shukla, and Sanjay Suri.
Rating – 3 1/2out of 5 (Three and a half out of five)
Story “It takes a village to raise a child!” this quote strongly resonates the woes of a millennial mother, who is caught between fulfilling her professional and social commitments. ‘Mentalhood' underlines the nuanced and ever-changing role of a millennial mom who is caught between her work, social responsibilities, and making it to becoming the ideal mother. In the series ‘Mentalhood', five mothers and one father-cum-mother, come together to resolve the deep-set woes of genX. Some of these issues include, gender bias, sexism, health and nutrition, school homework and project pressures, bullying and, last but not the least, molestation and drugs.
Review Karisma Kapoor essays the role of ‘Meira'. She's made a terrific comeback after a long break! She also marks her debut in the digital space, playing the part of a high-end mommy and an anonymous blogger! She's caught between trying to find herself and battling with the sea of change in her life. This pretty much puts her marriage with ‘Anmol' (Sanjay Suri) at stake. But, if you observe closely, her lines lack the candid element. Everything she speaks seems rehearsed, lacking the required pace, pitch and power. Considering the fact, she is backed by years of experience, and has gone through so much personally; it should've surfaced in her performance as well. The nuanced flavours would've rendered the required edge to Karishma's role. There are times that the grey areas in her persona just begin to surface, but the director has lopped the part off before the role could reach a point of maturity. We do see the invested efforts Karishma, but be fearless and let go!
One cannot imagine that ‘AJO' (Sandhya Mridul), has never been a mother. She seems to have picked up from what she's observed around her, and made AJO that dogmatic mother, who everyone would fear. Interestingly, she could've scared the daylights out of any child standing in front of her! She has got every layer of role she's play right. She absolutely dots all the I's and crosses all the ‘T's'. ‘Namrata Dalmia' (Shilpa Shukla) is a natural with the corporate flavour and looking all so businesslike. Her persona is strong, but when she crumbles down like a pack of cards at the thought of loosing her daughter it shows evidently. The practical side takes an absolute back-seat, and she is stages the part of a mother brilliantly. The two women ‘AJo' and ‘Namrata', are childhood friends. But when it comes to their kids, you can actually witness the ‘Clash of the titans'! There's a certain spontaneity in their incessant rebuttals with one another which cannot be overlooked! These little arguments are packed with power comprising of liberal bouts of humour all the same. The comic timing is well maintained by the two, keeping emotions at equilibrium.
‘Preeti' (Tillotama Shome) character is very defining indeed! She hails from a nouve riche family. The new money has simply gotten to their heads, and such attributes fast penetrate into the younger generation. Preeti strives very hard to show tough love emerge as the perfect mother. One can see the push and pull behind raising complete brats.
‘Disha Shah' (Shruti Sheth) is a yoga instructor, who's calm and composed ways can win you over. She is one with nature. But the moment she gets a call from her husband, she becomes a train-wreck taking to the avatar of goddess ‘Kaali'. It is interesting to see how her persona transforms so seamlessly in a matter of seconds. ‘Mentalhood' has really given Shruti the platform to up her game! The grey areas in her character are flawlessly executed.
‘Aakash' (Dino Morea) is a very chilled out single parent. Accidents and experiences teach him how to be a good mother and father simultaneously. These wonderful people come together to raise a bunch of brats who do little to keep out of trouble. Inspite of the roles being brilliantly essayed by the talent, there is a shortcoming in the narrative, that doesn't do justice to this ‘could've been brilliant!' series. The direction throws light on the perks of a high-end life. The concept of play-dates, helicopter mothers, and girl's night out, are wonderfully woven into the plot! But these little doings rob the series of its essence. The editing skills are very rudimentary, and some parts are distinctly eliminated at an opportune moment. This could've been worked upon. But not a bad show overall. It serves as a perfect pass time on a holiday with family and friends.