Gullak 4 review: A beautiful and nostalgic return of Mishra family with hints of maturity | Web Series - Hindustan Times
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Gullak 4 review: A beautiful and nostalgic return of Mishra family with hints of maturity

Jun 07, 2024 06:03 AM IST

Remember that feeling of holding a cup of tea on a cold afternoon? Or taking a sip of lemon water on a sunny day? That’s the feeling that describes Gullak 4.

Gullak season 4 review: Aapko nahi pata? The fourth edition of the SonyLiv dramedy is back with the chaotic yet heartwarming lives of the Mishra family. This time, they return with a sense of maturity and conflict. (Also read: Gullak's cast on why people love the show: ‘It reminds us of the best Hrishikesh Mukherjee films’)

Gullak season 4 starts streaming from June 7.
Gullak season 4 starts streaming from June 7.

The latest season manages to win you over once again with good writing backed by effortless performances by the lead cast.

We were first introduced to the world of Gullak in 2019 in the pre-lockdown era, when the OTT space was finding inroads into the Indian entertainment landscape.

The story of the Mishra family, navigating their lives in a middle-class household in a small North Indian town, felt like a warm hug. The SonyLiv show was something the whole family could sit and enjoy together, a breather from the content running high on crime, drama, gore, harsh language and nudity. And the makers have managed to retain that warmth till the fourth edition.

A still from Gullak 4.
A still from Gullak 4.

We reunite with the family as they progress in their life. This time, the curly-haired Annu (essayed by Vaibhav Raj Gupta) is trying to cope with the job struggles as a medical representative, and younger brother Aman (essayed by Harsh Mayar) is in rebellion mode as a teenager. There is also Sunita Rajwar as their neighbour aka ‘Bittu ki mummy’, whose presence just lights up the frame every time she enters it.

When it comes to their parents, Santosh Mishra (essayed by Jameel Khan) is in a conundrum to find the right way of parenting, and his wife Shanti Mishra (essayed by Geetanjali Kulkarni) is the family’s anchor, keeping them together. What is constant is the squabbling, quirks and the zeal to find joy in little things of life.

Geetanjali Kulkarni with Sunita Rajwar.
Geetanjali Kulkarni with Sunita Rajwar.

Fight between parenting and adulting

This time, the story takes the audiences on a ride as the parents try to find a right way of parenting, while the kids try to come to terms with the changes around them. The season can be dubbed as the riskiest one as it tackles more mature themes with sensitivity in a lighter vein.

From nosy neighbours to the dilemma of giving a bribe to watching their son’s growing defiance, one has to mention that there is nothing very deep or challenging to find in this story. Yet what shines bright is universality over specificity. It is infused with fundamental themes that a lot of people can connect with and core parental relationship which makes it unique.

Vaibhav Raj Gupta with Harsh Mayar.
Vaibhav Raj Gupta with Harsh Mayar.

The writing is effortlessly good and relatable, as humour strings everything together with a dash of nostalgia. The show, created by Shreyansh Pandey, is written by Vidit Tripathi this time. What’s beautiful is that despite getting a new writer for the season, the story doesn’t feel disjointed.

Talking about the narrative, it comes with a balanced character arcs for each of the four main characters. There is more drama, twists and emotional highs as well as lows, but it doesn’t get melodramatic.

The best aspect of the show, till date, is the chemistry of the cast, which reflects on screen. They slip into their characters with ease, and create a bond with the viewers.

The vulnerability and raw honesty of the characters weave sensitive drama beneath all the laughter and a great time out. The sibling banter and dynamics turn out to be one of the main highlights.

Fourth part comes with great comic punches, a good storyline, not to miss the brilliant narrational conversation by a Gullak (voiced by Shivankit Singh Parihar).

In fact, the edition is sprinkled with some references from the past seasons, making the viewers recall the previous editions in a wholesome way.

Team of Gullak 4.
Team of Gullak 4.

This time, the introduction of actor Helly Shah added a whiff of fresh air, making one wonder if it is the first step towards adding a romantic angle in the storyline.

What works and what doesn’t

What works in the favour of the show is that the makers have stuck with the idea of releasing five episodes in every season. That keeps the story crisp and leaves the audiences asking for more.

The one complaint, more of a fear, that one gets is that it might feel stretched or repetitive after a while, considering the story revolves around four individuals. The makers need to expand the world, and introduce more characters -- something which they seemed to have done by welcoming Helly into the world, or Annu’s boss or Aman’s friend Surya Narayan.

There is also a growing sense that the makers are intentionally making the show more emotional, which doesn’t take away the fun, but definitely makes you reach for the tissue box again and again.

It is clear that the show is taking baby steps to deviate from its simple narrative to try more complex and dramatic subjects, taking the risk factor a notch higher.

In a life where the world is busy running from one goal to another, Gullak will definitely make you pause for a moment to enjoy life, and cherish the quirks around you. Backed by The Viral Fever (TVF), the show is streaming on SonyLiv from June 7.

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