ZEE5’s ‘Forbidden Love’ review: Four ground-breaking love stories that undress the dark and edgy side of sexuality
The wait is finally over! For those of you who loved ZEE5’s Forbidden Love anthology and were eagerly awaiting the next two parts, the weekend menu is set! The OTT platform released the next two stories from the poignant series - ‘Diagnosis of Love’ and ‘Rules of the Game’ – on September 24.
Forbidden Love is a series of four unconventional love stories from a Pandora’s box of award-winning directors. They bring to the fore aspects of love considered ‘forbidden’ by society; indeed, they break away from the oft-fantasized notion of a ‘perfect marriage’ as portrayed by mainstream cinema, and delve deep into themes that are a hush-hush for a lot of us.
The first two movies – Arranged Marriage and Anamika – which premiered on ZEE5 on September 9 hit the hammer right on the head and won a lot of acclaim from viewers and critics alike. These stories came from the experienced lens of famed directors Pradeep Sarkar and Priyadarshan and explored themes of same-sex relationships and a middle-aged married woman finding love outside of wedlock.
Watch the trailer here.
As the new-age viewer gets ready to embrace this change, we look at the additions to the anthology— Rules of the Game and Diagnosis of Love. A review.
Diagnosis of Love
Cast: Mahesh V Manjrekar, Raima Sen, Vaibhav Tatwawaadi, Ranvijay Singh, Mrunmayee Deshpande, Dhanjay Singh
Director: Mahesh V Manjrekar
Producers: Ratan Jain, Ganesh Jain
Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
Dr Harsh Thakur (Vaibhav Tatwawaadi) is an award-winning surgeon, albeit with a dark history. The film opens with Dr Sudha (Raima Sen) trying to convince the board of a Goa hospital to onboard him. But they are not convinced because he was accused of murdering his girlfriend Kalindi (Mrunmayee Deshpande) in Pune after she was pregnant with his chid.
The job comes as a fresh lease of life for Harsh, who was given a clean chit by the police in the case. Sudha’s husband Vaibhav (Mahesh V Manjrekar) smells a rat in his wife’s new-found affection towards the doctor and brings in his “family friend” ACP Aditya (Ranvijay Singh) to look into her activities. Their 10-year-old marriage is on the rocks, as the couple are unable to bear a child.
What follows is a murder mystery that keeps you biting your fingernails; every turn of events unfolds a new side of the characters. Vaibhav suffers a massive heart attack when he finds out Sudha is pregnant with someone else’s child and she pulls the plug on him.
Diagnosis of Love is the perfect brew of love, romance, and extra-marital affairs. Each layer of the story only adds to the suspense and leaves you wondering what is coming next.
A stellar cast is an added feather to the cap, with Manjrekar himself along with Sen and Tatwawaadi delivering exemplary performances. But the one character who stands out and changes the plot completely is ACP Aditya, played by Singh of Roadies fame.
This medical thriller is an absolute no-miss.
Rules of the Game
Cast: Aahana Kumra, Chandan Roy Sanyal
Director: Aniruddha Roy Chaudhary
Producers: Ratan Jain, Ganesh Jain
Rating: 4 (out of 5)
Bollywood sagas about ‘happily-ever-after’ arranged marriages have kept the cash registers ringing for decades. But that almost every such marriage slips into a state of complacency, where love takes a backseat, is not something that is depicted often.
Rules of the Game is a bit of an oddball there. It tells the story of Gaurav Gupta (Chandan Roy Sanyal) and Priya (Aahana Kumra), who have been married for seven years. But while they are committed to each other, their married life has lost that much-needed spice.
Priya loves to live life on the edge – she is a regular at playing online games while driving or stopping by at a roadside street gambling stall. She comes up with the perfect remedy to spice up her love life–indulging in role play in bed. But the rules of the game get broken and the young couple lands in serious trouble.
This short film depicts multiple emotions in under an hour – of love and remorse, thrill and intrigue, and deep-rooted regret. It is thrilling and bizarrely romantic at the same time. The plot moves in true Aniruddha Roy Choudhary style, who, after winning national awards for Pink (2016) and Anuranan (2006), makes his debut on the OTT platform with this film. The actors have played their part with elan and the charming chemistry of Kumra and Sanyal is palpable even in the limited screen time.
Rules of the Game chronicles the lives of young couples for whom risk is fun and love, after a point in time, needs a new form of expression. It also touches upon marital abuse, as we get a peek into the lives of Priya’s best friend Nisha and her husband Anand. Passion and possessiveness take a new meaning in their side plot as Anand raises his hand at Nisha but they both claim to be very much in love.
This thriller is sure to keep you gripped to your couch!
So, get the popcorn ready and binge away this weekend! These stories of new-age love have definitely set the bar high for cinema to explore alternate themes. They premiered on ZEE5 on September 24.