Name: Taj Mahal 1989
Release Date: February 14, 2020
Available on: Netflix
Director: Pushpendra Nath Mishra
Cast: Neeraj Kabi, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Anud Singh Dhaka, Shirin Sewani, Paras Priyadarshan, Anshul Chauhan, Danish Hussain, Sheeba Chaddha
About the story:
Set against the backdrop of a Lucknow of 1989, the series displays romance in the age before technology intervened. The plot revolves around four couples belonging to different age groups yet interrelated to one another. Each dealing with different aspects of love and enjoying their distinct experiences.
Here’s the trailer of the series:
The first couple is that of Akhtar (Neeraj Kabi) and Sarita Baig (Geetanjali Kulkarni), professors of the Lucknow University. Knowing each other for twenty-two years, the married couple cannot find love between them anymore. Their constant verbal spats make them consider a divorce. The next duo is the friends of the Baigs, Sudhakar (Danish Hussain) and Mumtaz (Sheeba Chaddha). The middle-aged couple, much to the disgust of the society, love each other but haven’t given a name to their relationship through marriage.
Coming to the younger generation, we have students from the same university, Dharam ( Paras Priyadarshan) and Rashmi (Anshul Chauhan), who are in a relationship with each other. However, Angad (Anud Singh Dhaka), their close friend, has a little crush on Rashmi. Angad is a cynical character who justifies his need for sex more than platonic love. However, he gets swept off his senses when he meets Mamta (Shirin Sewani).
Image Source: Google
The poetic and philosophical rendition of love between different generations is successful in questioning the audience about love, where has it originated from? How do people fall in love?. Is it when we meet a person who ticks all the boxes made in our minds? Is it about sex? Does it mean a lifelong commitment or does it mean making each other the best versions of ourselves? The writer has played along with verses from Urdu poetries recited by Akhtar Baig. Several instances shot under sepia-tone further invokes imagery of the 80s era among the audience. Further, few scenes are shot where the characters interact with the viewers looking at the camera, hence establishing a connection between the two. The captivating storyline, commendable performances, mainly by Hussain and Kabi, and a soulful background score make Taj Mahal 1989 a sumptuous treat for the romantics as well as the realists.
Image Source: Google
What works: Concept, Cinematography, and Music
What doesn’t work: Frequent gaps in between the storyline
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