Ahead Of Modern Love Season 2, Here's Looking At Two OTT Stand-Out Romances On Amazon Prime Video You Probably Missed

Modern Love season 2 is all set to release! Ahead of season 2, check out two stand-out romances on Amazon Prime Video that you probably missed

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Ahead Of Modern Love Season 2, Here's Looking At Two OTT Stand-Out Romances On  Amazon Prime Video You Probably Missed
Modern  Love Season 1 (8 episodes, Amazon Prime): Easily the best  series I’ve seen on the OTT platform; Modern Love is an ambrosial  anthology  of eight episodes portraying love in all its splendour, sometimes slender, sometimes hard, but always tender and revealing. Each episode has  the stand-alone emotional strength of being a full-length feature film. And the  perk,  if  one may call it that, is  the  city of New  York  looming  unobtrusively  over the stories like  a silent  narrator, hovering gently over the fate  of anxious characters  who are so relatable (thanks  to  the exquisite performances) they  rejuvenate the entire romantic genre of filmmaking.

How do I pick my favourite from this beautiful of bouquet of romance? Well, if you  insist  it would have  to be the  first story  “When The  Doorman  Is Your  Main Man”  where a young  single privileged  girl (Cristin Milioti) in a posh high-rise of NY is parentally protected by the building’s doorman (brilliantly  ‘played’ by  Laurentiu Possa). This is the most epic story in the omnibus. It says so much about the intrinsically indefinable nature of human bonding while keeping the core relationship unconditionally free of innuendos. This is the story that moved me to tears.

The least moving  of the stories, though no  less articulate, is ‘So  He Looked Like Dad , It Was  Just Dinner, Right?’ Where Shia Wigham and Julia  Garner does a  Lolita-redux with less than satisfying results. Ms Garner’s own hormonal and emotional confusions do  not help the plot to  get to remain on its feet. Everything, from the exchanges between father-figure and  Lolita-remixed to the final outcome of  the sordid liaison, rings a little untrue. But  then, maybe that’s in comparison with the supremely poised caliber of the series. No actor ‘plays’ a character. The word is an insult to what the actors  do here. The stunning Anne Hathaway is exceptional as a bi-polar in “Take Me As  I  Am, Whoever I am”. This is a one-woman show and Hathaway gives a career-defining performing showing the character’s periodic descent into hell with heart-stopping tangibility. Hathaway is Oscar-worthy.

In “At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity" two young people who have  just met  end up spending the night together at the hospital after the  guy is  injured in a freak accident. The strength  of this episode is not its performances (though Sofia Boutella, John Gallagher Jr are in full control of their characters) but in the conversation which shows how social media affects modern romantic relationships. This story opts for a dispassionate tone to reflect on the artificiality of  ‘Instagram’ portraits of real relationships.

In  "Hers Was a World of One" a gay couple (Andrew Scott, Brandon Kyle Goodman)  deal with the wild nomadic mother of their  child Olivia Kate Goodman). This episode is unconditionally charming. Stand-out performances  by  Scott and  Goodman and  a bedrock of unquestionable humanism that  runs through  all the stories, defines the excellence of the presentation. In comparison I  found  the episode “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive" dry  and  cold, perhaps  consciously so,  as a wife trapped (Tina Fey) trapped in  a stagnant marriage to a wry entertainment executive (John Slatterly) de-freezes  her  cold marriage with some serious therapy(therapist  Sarita Chowdhary  is one of  the two  Indian actors in  the series) and  casual soul-searching. This story of a failing marriage offers no  fresh insights  as the narrative  lumbered across repeated games  of tennis. Some of the  scenes in New York restaurants featuring intrusive characters seemed  pointless.

Dev Patel as an entrepreneur who misses the love bus in “When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist" is seen trying too hard to look love-stricken. The story has banal representations of  scenes from a sterile marriage that look like out-takes from Steep-De Niro’s Falling In Love. What works  here is that  most of the story is shot on NY’s Central Park which serves as a stabilizing if not a motivating propulsive character.

Finally the story “The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap" about two autumnal  strangers  played wonderfully  by Jane Alexander and James Saito, who rediscover love at a late age. The story fills the frames with sunshine  and reminds us  of how easy it is to  find love if you look with an open heart. Sure, the stories have their flaws. Isn’t that how life is? There is nothing like the perfect relationship in today’s times. Modern Love serves up lessons in  finding love during times of compromise and cynicism. Not to be missed. I can’t wait for Season  2.

Sufiyum Sujatayum (Malayalam, Amazon Prime Video): Imagine if Sanjay Leela Bhansali was all about just epic visuals. It would be wrong to say that  Sufiyum Sujatayum has no soul. It strives hard to tap into a volatile and sensitive subject  of forbidden  love between a Sufi Mullah and a mute Hindu danseuse with  eyes that melt each  time she looks at  her  Sufi beloved.

Thank God for Aditi Rao, a stunning beauty and a joy forever. She  gives her character Sujatha a stunning spin. The camera loves her beautiful face and well…she keeps on her toes throughout. Literally!  A lot of the bonding between the Muslim cleric and the Hindu romantic happens over  the Sufi dance form where the dancer balances on just one toe while twirling to the sound of a music that echoes the universe. In the latter half, the film becomes a replica of Sanjay Bhansali’s  Hum…Dil De Chuke Sanam with the kind compassionate husband (Jayasurya) escorting his wife back to her home town to see her lover one last time.

That look of unfathomable love in  Aditi Rao’s eyes stays with you. I was completely taken up with her obsessive love. But the film, so beautifully shot feels empty at heart.  There is a shot where the camera  follows a gravedigger on his bicycle in the pitch-dark with just one light beam as  a bunch of hopeful people watch him go. Very often one feels the director straining for visual resplendence at the  cost of credibility. This is true specially of the climax where a corpse plays a pivotal part.

Love is a grave matter in Sufiyum Sujatayum. The characters die in love. Others choose to live saddened for a lifetime.

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