Decoupled 2021 reviews


Even though the series starring R Madhavan and Surveen Chawla is about a couple’s separation, the governing consciousness is its creator’s. Which is why you are either going to love it or hate it

It is important that you be aware of the brand Manu Joseph has created from the reputation of an unsentimental writer, in order to relish the juicy bits of the eight-episode series, directed by Hardik Mehta.

Though Decoupled is about a “misanthropic” and equally provocative writer Aarya Iyer (R Madhavan) and his wife Shruti Sharma’s (Surveen Chawla) disintegrating marriage, the governing consciousness of the series is Joseph’s. It is therefore for this reason that the series will have two extreme reactions: either you are going to love it or hate it, much like his columns.

These are uncomfortable truths, as Joseph would argue. He will also convince you that there are positive outcomes of victimhood. All of which is to not say that Decoupled is not entertaining. Just that the manner in which each episode is constructed, without a common purpose, makes it look self-indulgent. To make matters worse, it has a writer in Aarya at the centre. Actually two, if you count Chetan Bhagat’s cameo and the fact that he is India’s “best-selling author”.

The inherent, arid humour attacking the system of thought is easily the best part of Decoupled. But Madhavan isn’t a better Manu Joseph protagonist than Joseph himself. He comes across as too rigid at times and doesn’t seem to embody the snarky attitude of his character; the dialogues do not help. They sound too bookish, making you feel this would have been more effective as an audio book. For example, in the first episode, a political economist says this: “Your book club treats male members as second class citizens, even though they are feminists.”

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