The biggest stumbling block for any single boy or girl in the city of Mumbai is finding a roof over their heads. And this is the main storyline of new MX Player's web series, Only For Singles. Lead girl, RJ (Deepti Divyesh Sati), does not want to commit to her call-center working guy, Mickey (Vivaan Shah), hence he leaves her. After fours years, RJ decides to try one more time to hook up with Mickey, and what better way to entice him than by letting him and his four friends crash rent-free in an apartment owned by her father KRK. (Mohan Kapur). She just informs them that she owns the flat and not the entire building, which is stuck in a legal quagmire.
Bengali lawyer Appu (Pooja Banerjee) is Mickey’s new gal. Rapchik (Shirin Sewani) is an online jockey who loves to mess around with the queen’s language. Testosterone-heavy dimwit Harman (Gulshan Nain) completes the foursome. In web series, men provide equal eye candy and here, Gulshan does the honours. In keeping with Indian culture, they show the boys and girls bunking in separate rooms (C’mon, on the web they could have had Appu and Mickey sharing a bed).
The jokes centering around the sharing of toothbrushes, loos and clothes washing duties was fun, and several PG guys and gals will identify with them. Soon, the cleavage-showing landlady, RJ makes her move, crashing in Mickey’s room, obviously making Appu uncomfortable. In a bid to make it look natural, she removes her padded bra before dozing off. Having said that, they later show her running around with it – an attempt to win eyeballs?
As it happens with several graveyard shift workers, when Mickey returns, he just sleeps without seeing that someone else is around. He later gets a huge scare seeing his ex-gal on waking up. In the meantime, RJ also lets chef Riyaz (Aman Uppal) stay free, as being a Muslim, he does not get a place to stay. But when he enters, Harman, suspecting him to be someone sent to evict them, pounces on him. In a bid to create shock value, this scene was aired first, before all the introductions happened.
RJ then decides to have a party. In a bid to add spice, Rapchik decides to buy dope and takes Riyaz along for protection. His joke on knowing all his 6 billion co-religionists was fun. The dope carried a picture of. Donald Trump – don’t ask why. To be honest, web series makers need to stop making drug use cool. Agree kids often smoke joints, but then also shows its downside, at least in passing.
In a drunken stupor, Riyaz and Harman kiss, leading to the entire gay moment. Harman temporarily breaks down. Riyaz’s talk with his imaginary dad (Deepak Qazir) further brings out the rampant homophobia. By then, the neighbour Subbu (Kannan Arunachalam) complains to the cops about loud music and all four are herded off to the police station. Rapchik’s joke asking whether jail has Wi-Fi was a real takedown of today’s youth’s net addiction. As part of her profession, Pooja question the cops for arresting a lady post-sundown.
Next morning, RJ’s dad lands up to bail them out. He also asks his old. enemy Subbu to lay off. Then the gang comes to know that RJ or Rachita’s dad owns the building. To be honest, the name of the building in her name should have made them see 2+2 a long time back.
RJ is determined to join her dad’s business, but he thinks she is not cut out for it like her brother. In a fit of rage, she challenges KRK that she will earn 10 lacs. Later, realizing how tough it is to make so much moolah, she asks the roomies to cough the money as a rent deposit. Ironically, this idea is first mooted by none other Riyaz, who conveniently forgets that he too lives there rent-free.
This, in a nutshell, is how the story pans out. There are many more interesting subplots. Harman gets an audition call for an underwear ad. The one big requirement is a big…. “package”. Rapchik too is tricked into shooting a porno. Singles have multiple issues, several of which have been dealt with here in good measure.
Naseeruddin Shah’s son Vivaan is good as Mickey. But to be honest, they could have him debate internally about choosing between Appu and RJ. Any true blue guy will at least think twice if his hot ex-gal comes back. Just telling RJ to move on does not really cut ice.
Deepti is swell as RJ. She seems to have got the lion’s share of work, in terms of playing with different emotions, while the others only have set character briefs. Pooja fits the prototype bong. We would have loved to see her in a more glamorous look though. Shirin, Gulshan, and Aman impressed us equally.
Singles Only is the first digital attempt as Producers for Sudhir Sharma’s banner Sunshine Productions. Having been in the creative field as writers and as Producers for a long time now, the series has been shot well. Kudos to MX Player for not reducing this into a sex fest.
All said and done, Samar Iqbal’s directorial effort does tickle your funny bone. We had a nice laugh. Do check it out and let us know how you felt.
We give them 3 out of 5 stars.Read More