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Ishq Next Door review: Abhay Mahajan, Natasha Bharadwaj, Mrinal Dutt, Purav Jha row their way to set ashore this average rom-com

The Akhilesh Vats directorial may just struggle to find its resonance in metro cities like Mumbai

Ishq Next Door review: Abhay Mahajan, Natasha Bharadwaj, Mrinal Dutt, Purav Jha row their way to set ashore this average rom-com
Ishq Next Door

Last Updated: 05.03 PM, Jul 16, 2023


Story: Ishq Next Door is the story about three young people and the path they choose to oar the boat of their lives. This series (which consists of ten episodes) mirrors the life and the lifestyle of these three youngsters who are based out of a small-town colony called Rajat Vihar in Delhi.

Review: The series starts off with the ‘introduction’ of Delhi’s Rajat Vihar. The introduction is done through a voice over which states that, ‘Rajat Vihar, a place which hasn’t been painted in years, but the characters here are very colourful’. This is followed by the introduction of the show’s leading characters. They are Dev Kumar Mishra who is a relationship manager in a bank, the ‘vulnerable-turned-savage’ Meher Kaur Sikka who runs a small boutique but plans to go to Italy to study fashion furthermore and Ashwin whose claim to fame is he is Meher’s ex-boyfriend and teh very guy who had bid adieu to their relationship because of long distance as he had shifted abroad. The present-day status is that he is back in India (Delhi, to be more specific) and is wanting to make up for his mistake of having lost Meher.

Writer duo Shaharyar Farooqui and Akhilesh Vats try their level best to come up with a unique love story, but, the sad part is that they fail to come up with an original concept. The love triangle concept and the break up due to long distance romance is something that we all have seen in many shows and films. That’s why, one doesn’t feel the presence of any novelty factor in this show. It’s very apparent that the show’s writers have been struggling to come up with one-liners, which could become the national catchphrase. Here again, they fail and the resultant are the cheesy one liners like, “I can judge a kundali by its cover”, “Shaadi byaah samosa ki tarah hota hai, waqt rehte khaa liye toh kurkura rehta hai, warna peela pad jaata hai” and many more.

As for the series' direction, there was nothing that Akhilesh Vats could do extra as a director, because the show’s narrative acts as a cripple. In the show spanning ten episodes, the director had the liberty of bandwidth and time to establish the characters very strongly, which just could not happen. The narrative, at times, seems very forced in order to maintain the momentum and the flow of the script. But, Akhilesh Vats does show promise as a director. If given the right script, this man has the potential to shine and how!

As for the performances, the series hovers primarily around four characters Abhay Mahajan, Natasha Bharadwaj, Mrinal Dutt and Purav Jha. While Abhay Mahajan tries his level best to deliver a believable performance, there are places where he starts struggling with his character. Even though it’s a Delhi based show, there were only few places wherein he tried to get his hand over Delhi accent. The show’s makers need to understand that the usage of ‘Delhi words’ and conversing in ‘Delhi accent’ are two different things altogether. Had Abhay Mahajan been just shown as the responsible eldest son who is not trying to be a father to his brother (Chhuttan), he could have done a much better job.

Natasha Bharadwaj is definitely a delight to watch. There are many places wherein she shows immense potential as an actress, but, sadly, she isn’t able to raise herself to the crescendo because of the limitations of her character. Blessed with an unbeatable combo of good looks and acting talent, Natasha Bharadwaj is definitely the name to watch out for, if she chooses her future scripts wisely.

Mrinal Dutt is definitely the pick of the lot. Right from the time he enters the screen till the last shot, this young man rises above the script. His onscreen presence is simply amazing. Following him closely is Purav Jha, who too has a commendable screen presence and is super convincing in the role of Chuttan.

As for the music, even though the music is good, the songs seemed to be forced in order to do justice to the narrative. The camera work seems a bit amateurish at times. Adding furthermore to being amateurish is the series' editing, which could have been defintely more watertight.

Despite having (mostly) all the ingredients required of a youthful drama, the show ‘Ishq Next Door’ may find a bit difficult to find resonance in metro cities besides Delhi. What can definitely work in the show’s favour is word of mouth. Given the fact that the series is streaming on JioCinema, which is presently, available for free, can just prove to be a factor which can work in the show’s favour.


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