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Mismatched Review – Romantic Web Series

Young, privileged Indians are more often than not forced to look to the West for comparable content. With the exception of a few shows and films here and there, the Indian film industry continues to lack coming-of-age films. Mismatched, an Indian adaption of Sandhya Menon’s classic When Dimple Met Rishi, arrives on Netflix.

Mismatched Review
Mismatched Review

Dimple is played by YouTuber Prajakta Koli of Mostly Sane fame, and Rishi is played by Rohit Saraf, the perfect counterbalance to her small-town girl with huge goals.

The initial attraction between these teens is founded on a flawed notion. Rishi wants to marry young because his grandparents’ marriage was the only successful one he’s seen. His parents’ marriage has failed, and he believes it is because they married ‘late.’

Dimple, who lives in Ambala, aspires to be the next Bill Gates, but her mother prefers to post her daughter’s picture in shady marriage-making social media groups.

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Now, in the normal Indian household, this flagrant contempt for privacy is par for the course, but the lack of consequences or even the smallest frowning at teenage marriage negotiations is shocking.

Following the catastrophic portrayal of marriage in Indian Matchmaking, one would think Netflix would know better than to portray the “Indian arranged marriage” scene in this manner. However, alas! What follows makes one wonder if the marriage angle was even necessary in the first place.

Story of Web Series Mismatched

Rishi Singh Shekhawat (Rohit Saraf) is a die-hard romantic who believes in the conventional method of dating: meeting in person, being intoxicated on love, and so on.

Dimple Ahuja (Prajakta Koli) is a gamer who wants to make a name for herself in the world of codes and computer programming. Dimple is motivated, and Rishi is enamoured with her and wants to marry her.

What are the roadblocks? They’re all 17 years old, and Dimple is definitely more than just a possible bride.

Mismatched Review

Back in Ambala, Ahujas’ lone daughter, Dimple, a tough 17-year-old, is preparing for a wedding that her mother, Simple, is very enthusiastic about. Simple is screaming about Dimple’s dusky skin and macho demeanour, and why they should start looking for a groom now – abhi dekhna shuru karenge toh 21 tak dhanga dulha milega – while the young rebel does her make-up.

Meanwhile, Dimple receives word that she has been selected for a three-month computer programming and animation course at the prestigious Aravalli Institute in Jaipur, India’s cultural capital. And a certain Mr. Shekhawat is overjoyed to learn that his ‘wifey’ would be visiting him in his hometown.

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Why does he believe she is going to be his future wife? You are free to inquire. Simple and Rishi’s grandmother are both members of a PAN India matchmaking WhatsApp group, which is largely why Dimple was sent to study there with the promise that she would be his for life. When these disparate characters clash, however, nothing goes as planned… hence the title mismatched!

The series’ large havelis, vast spaces, and general regal setting remind us of a number of romcoms; ‘Khoobsurat’ and ‘I Hate Luv Stories’ come to mind immediately.

For the sake of uniqueness, directors Akarsh Khurana and Nipun Dharmadhikari have added a little bit of this and a little bit of that to serve the standard cliché-ridden show that is ‘Mismtached.’

Yes, authors Gazal Dhaliwal, Sunayana Kumari, Namrata Rao, and Aarsh Vora have attempted to inculcate the various pressing issues that millennials and Gen Z are vocalising on social media – light-skin hangover, marriage as the barometer to assess someone’s sense of achievement, among others – without delving deep into any of the tomes.

But there’s more to this lovely, heartwarming love storey than meets the eye. For one thing, the new combination of Rohit Saraf and Prajakta Koli is a joy to watch on screen – the two have a great connection that adds to the drama of teenage fighting in a cute way.

Koli is a natural in front of the camera as a debutante, and her performance as the enraged geek Dimple goes off without a hitch. Saraf’s performance as Rishi is a mash-up of all of Bollywood’s great chocolate guys, and his appeal is undeniable.

Sid sir, played by Rannvijay Singh, is a pot-smoking, straight-talking extension of his TV show character — intriguing and entertaining. Vidya Malvade plays Zeenath, a 40-year-old widow who is trying her hardest to fit in and start a new life. The sexual tension between Rannvijay and Vidya would have been a fascinating track to follow (who knows, maybe season 2?). Maybe?)

Another major flaw with ‘Mismatched’ is the lack of attention paid to the other characters in the group. What happened to Kritika Bharadwaj’s cocky Simran, who had problems with intimacy? Krish, played by Abhinav Sharma, suffers from baldness and there is no hope in sight; Anmol, played by Taaruk Raina, is a champion-level gamer who is wheelchair bound due to an injury, and boy, is he angry?!

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Harsh Agarwal, played by Vihaan Samat, is a California-return brat dealing with identity dilemma, whereas Celina, played by Muskkaan Jaferi, hails from a financially disadvantaged family but is afraid to come clean due to peer pressure.

Namrata, played by Devyani Shorey, is a closeted lesbian trapped in a two-tier city with conservative morals who desperately needs more gravitas.

These two equally intriguing parallel storylines had a lot of potential, but they never received the attention they deserved. However, all of the actors engaged — new and old, inexperienced and experienced – have given their all, and it shows.

Looking back, two scenes stand out: a confrontation between best friends Namrata and Rishi, in which Namrata tells Rishi that she could have made so many friends in life but chose not to because she thought he was enough; and a confrontation between best friends Namrata and Rishi, in which Namrata tells him that she could have made so many friends in life but chose not to because she thought he was enough.

Your heart is pierced by the intensity of that moment. The other is about Zeenath’s husband dying — with a peaceful expression on her face, she tells Sid sir that the day her husband died, two persons were relieved: herself and her spouse. Full credit for encapsulating the truth of so many folks who wish they could start afresh.

In a nutshell, ‘Mismatched’ is every dramedy cliché imaginable – affluent kids, brassy gang on one side, self-righteous hard workers on the other, and two people from these opposing universes fall in love – but it tugs at your emotions for reasons we can’t fathom. Do yourself a favour and watch ‘Mismatched’ if you want to have a bright smile all day.

Cast: Prajakta Koli, Rohit Saraf, Muskkaan Jaferi, Devyani Shorey

Director: Nipun Avinash Dharmadhikari, Akarsh Khurana

Streaming on: Netflix

Mismatched official Tralier

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