This is probably the finest coming-out series/film you will see in this country for a very long time. I for one was bowled by the maturity displayed in much of the writing. Suparn Verma puts a delicate sensitive punctuation mark to almost every episode in this very difficult situation.
A man after 20 years of a seemingly happy marriage, and two children comes out of the closet. It’s a situation that begs for maturity and adult wisdom. As I sat watching the complex triangle unravel itself, I prayed for the writer and director to not mess up.
They didn’t. His Storyy moves like a well-oiled machine. It is smooth-cruising most of the way, though the gay relationship that breaks the marriage is a little too picture-pretty. And, the finale left me very dissatisfied, as it is probably meant to. Apart from a couple of chaste furtive kisses between the gay couple, director Prashant Bhagia keeps the proceedings sanitized. Which is for the best. Considering the times we are living through.
A lot of the credit for the series’ scent of authenticity goes to the actors. Satyadeep Mishra and Priyamani as the married couple who find their dream world crumble to the ground all of a sudden, are such skilled actors they can breathe life into a dead project. This one is anything but. It is a plot woven around the theme of disintegrating relationships, not just Sakshi (Priymani) and Kunal (Satydeep Mishra) but also their friends, all well played by actors who understand the inner workings of a relationship and just how much effort, sacrifice and compromise it takes to keep up the façade of a happy marriage.
Some of the scenes between the couple and their children(nicely played by Nikhil Bhatia and Mikhial Gandhi, the older a full-blown homophobic, the younger kind gentle , not necessarily gay) are so beautifully played out I was pleasantly surprised. Ekta Kapoor is finally coming of age.
Among all the dexterously executed parent-child sequences, my favourite is between Loveleen (Parinitaa Seth), married to a full-blown toxic creep(played brilliantly by Rajiv Kumar) and her gentle sensitive poetic probably-gay son Ved (played by prized find Anmol Amir Kajani). Mom shares her son’s anguish and ends the conversation jauntily with the hope that Ved finds a man better than his father.
This is a series that will surprise you with its tonal veracity and its penetrating gaze at the hypocrisy of a seemingly perfect urban marriages. It’s a very good-looking series shot in posh hotels and luxurious bedrooms with well-groomed characters who probably don’t care who Kanhaiya Kumar is. It is also the story of a largely homophobic society where sensitivity, overt emotions, and gay couples are , in the words of bohemian teenage girl, “out of syllabus”
Most of all, this is the story of Sakshi coming to terms with the sudden realization that her marriage of twenty years has been a sham. Her shock confusion and eventual acceptance are vividly mapped by Priyamani. Initially, she is in denial about the “perversion” in her husband and in confusion she kisses her best friend Rafia(Charu Shankar) to see if she feels anything, just to get even with her husband.
Such moments supplant a deep sense of empathy in the plot, imbuing a feeling of tremendous credibility even to some of the less plausible incidents that prop up towards the ….err… fag end.
No matter how you look at it His Storyy is a game-changer for same-sex celluloid stories in India. It shows its layered characters, played with rock-star assurance by the cast that knows its job, making some tough choices in life and standing by them. For this alone His Storyy must be seen at your earliest.
Image Source - Alt Balaji