Gullak TVF web series:
Since the past two years, horror, sci-fi, and sleaze have dominated streaming content. With back to back screening of Criminal Justice, Game Of Thrones, Chernobyl and Hostages, no wonder you may be feeling burdened under the intense blood-curdling dramas. Some content creators are now making series that are a slice of life.
Much of this slice of life content concentrates on the urban lives and first world problems. Thankfully, TVF’s new show, Gullak, is a slice-of-life web-series which will give your tired brains a much-needed breather. TVF has recognized the requirement for nostalgic, light viewing. Their first series with this concept was Home. Now, it brings Gullak, on the SonyLIV platform.
Gullak TVF: The story behind the “GULLAK”
Early on in the show, the eponymous narrator, an earthen piggy bank, explains that Gullak is not a story but a series of anecdotes. True to its word, the series unfolds through disparate events in the life of the Mishras.
Gullak is about a family staying in the North of India, the Mishra family comprising of the husband, Santosh Mishra, wife, Shanti Mishra, and their two sons. The elder son, Annu is a civil engineer and trying for a Government job, while the younger son, Aman is still studying. The father works with the electricity department and the wife is a home-maker – creating a blueprint for the middle-class families of India.
Shanti, the homemaker, and housewife start her battles at the break of dawn. She is the stereotypical mother who speaks like an adult in a family of men who all require intervention for course correction. Her sarcasm-filled exchange with women in the neighborhood is very much an indicator of how a fresh and free character can do things differently in the day.
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Santosh is the selfish, patronizing father, and his sons his two extensions. There is no plot which keeps the Mishra family together, it is their moods that drive the narrative and deliver a moral-of-the-story theme by the end of it. It’s fascinating to see relationship dynamics with your family unfold in front of your eyes, as you break a tear, sigh and carry on. However, subtle observations and seamless return to the household–mother, father, and sons–do evoke some dramatizing moments.
Annu, the couple’s 22-year-old son, is at home for one year now, after he chose to prepare for SSC exams. This itself provides fodder for quarrels, which are plenty. Then there is Aman, who is absent-minded and purposeless. Together, the two brothers, prove to be moronic enough for few and far between laughs.
Gullak suffers from nostalgia, which pulls it down at times. It also hits you with self-discovery constantly and remains steady. The series has not been over-burdened with complexities but has a fine, humourous layout that sits well within accepted situations.
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What’s Wow in “GULLAK”
The ongoing in the miniseries is what can be termed as the everyday life of a family in India. That’s a refresher from any of the big-ticket, big scenario web series that we are looking at today. The performances by everyone in the cast is so painfully real that the audience wants to go ahead and give them a hug. It’s difficult to point out who does a better job or which character is more important.
But under all that, Gullak makes a very strong statement, that one swallow doesn’t a summer make. In other web series, whether a character is negative or positive is judged by their traits. Someone eats kind of food, that’s negative. Other drinks, that’s another negative. Someone uses homophobic slurs in their speech, that’s another negative. In Gullak however, the aspect that these things are cultural imbibes that many are not intellectually woke enough to shake off is right out there.
That’s not the only message Gullak gives – it also tells us that the second-tier towns and the mohallas have more life in them than any highrise we’ll ever come across.
Gullak is not about some power-thirsty gang lord and his adventures. It is not about blood and bullets. It is about you and us- striving to make our every day better. No wonder, Gullak is just the break we need. The never-ending hassles and bickering over nothing in middle-class families of the hinterland seems amusing and heart-warming at the same time
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