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Mentalhood: Web Series Review

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ALT BALAJI & ZEE5

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Cast: Karisma Kapoor, Sandhya Mridul, Shilpa Shukla, Tilotamma Shome, Shruti Seth, Dino Morea, Sanjay Suri.
Director: Karishma Kohli.
Language: Hindi, English.
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Family.
Release Date: 11th March 2020.
Platform: ALTBalaji, ZEE5.

“ALTBalaji’s Mentalhood takes you on the crazy journey of motherhood, following five different mothers and a single father as they try to give their children the best upbringing possible. Here’s our review.”

Synopsis:

Mentalhood is a story of five different mothers – Meira, Anuja (a.k.a. AJo), Priety, Diksha, Namrata – and one single dad, Aakash, as they, in their unique ways, try to leave no stone unturned in providing the best upbringing possible for their children.          

Yay!

Mentalhood is a window into the crazy world of modern-day parenting. The show goes beyond the age-old clichéd representations of an idealistic, dutiful, self-sacrificing mother, and instead, sheds some light on the other, more real, side – focusing on modern-day struggles, insecurities, imperfections, dilemmas, mistakes, and experiences of a mother. This kind of representation is certainly a step into the right direction.

Every character is imperfect and flawed in some way, dealing with their own personal demons – be it a bad marriage, a bitter divorce, jealousy, incompatibility, emptiness, or secrets from the past. The show, however, retains its light-heartedness with its mommy adventures as the parents continue to learn from experiences and try their best to handle their children.

Mentalhood tackles a lot of contemporary issues from a parental perspective, including dealing with bullying, shifting gender roles, unconditional love vs. responsible love, work-life balance, safety, trust, and various other nuances that have an effect on parent-child relationships. The children, too, struggle with health, body image issues, puberty, bullying, identity, pressure, etc.

The show also touches upon concepts like adoption, surrogacy, changing definitions of family, as well as sensitive issues such as child molestation. Mentalhood turns these issues into lessons for moms and the kids, writing itself as a sort of a parenting guide, aided by Meira’s monologues and her blog posts, without shedding its relatability quotient.

Karisma Kapoor is a delight to watch as she sinks into her character, Meira. Her radiant yet mellow presence makes you root for her throughout the series. Sandhya Mridul as AJo and Shilpa Shukla as Namrata are bold yet touching. Tillotama Shome as Priety and Dino Morea as Aakash portray their characters well. Shruti Seth, too, makes a remarkable comeback as Diksha. We’d have loved to see more of Shruti and Dino’s characters. All the ‘moms’ hook you in with their stories and the drama from the word go. Mentalhood Web Series

Mentalhood presents an engaging, educational, and entertaining take on modern struggles of motherhood. The way it elucidates the changes that parenting has gone through over the years hits the nail on the head. It has a different approach, and even if it falls prey to clichés or run-of-the-mill dramatic elements at times, it continues to be fun and entertaining to watch.

Nay!

While Mentalhood proves to be a breezy watch, it falters in a few areas. The characters only represent the upper and elite class. What about parenting when it comes to the statistical majority of mothers that belong to the middle class? Dealing with financial struggles and learning from it is a reality in many households today, but is not a concern in the show.

The characters are molded into little boxes of their own. They seldom step out of these restricted characterizations or move beyond the labels assigned to them. Even if they do so, they return to these same fixed descriptions the very next day.

The fathers (except for Aakash) remain on the sidelines, mostly portrayed as irresponsible or demanding beings. Even when it comes to Morea’s Aakash, he is unnecessarily given a misleading romantic angle with Kapoor’s Meira only to add a mistrust-and-jealousy twist in Meira’s marriage. Mentalhood Web Series

One glaring issue with Mentalhood is that even though the issues and struggles that it raises are crucial and important to talk about, they are picked up and dropped too quickly to create any major impact. Nothing goes spontaneously awry; every issue is wrapped up way too neatly. It’s well-intended but executed with hastiness. That also goes for some other aspects of its writing and production, leading to fast scene transitions, continuity issues in story and character development, as well as loud background music. Mentalhood Web Series

Bottom Line:

Mentalhood is a light-hearted and highly-entertaining watch, despite its hasty, heavy-handed execution.

Trivia:

Mentalhood not only marks Karisma Kapoor’s digital debut, but also her comeback to the acting world as a lead after a long hiatus.

Also Read: Adulting, Season 2: Web Series Review

Bypass

Story
3.5
Performance
3.3
Poduction
3.5

Summary

Despite the frustrations its upgrade system often caused me, I had a good time navigating Nex Machina’s array of twin-stick shooter challenges.

Total Rating

3.4

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