“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
― Frederick Boehner
Humans are somewhat vulnerable and confused when it comes to emotions or confronting their feelings. Not all of us are courageous to wear hearts on our sleeves. The confusion about the future frightens us. And sometimes the promise of love is there although unspoken. Here’s a story of two ex-schoolmates who meet each other all of a sudden in Shillong, and fall in love (maybe) with each other while walking the roads, revealing their complex lives, and riding the bikes. But do they really love each other, that is big suspense. Zoom TV presents their latest original web series, ‘Soulmates’ with a refreshing take on relationship and love. There are 10 episodes (each with a duration of 8-10 minutes) that you can absolutely binge-watch for its palatable storyline, honest acting, and exotic visuals of Northeast India.
The story of Priyanshu and Anshul:
Priyanshu is an aspiring music composer who comes to Shillong to search his ‘crush’, a female lead singer of a rock band and bumps into Anshul, his ex-schoolmate from Delhi who is on her solo bike trip across Northeast India, after quitting her lawyer job. Meanwhile, they narrate their own stories as to why they are on their expedition. Both of them have unfulfilled dreams, complicated professional choices, dissatisfied parents and are on their way of exploring themselves. While staying and travelling together, they feel attracted to each other and confess their likings. Priyanshu is subconsciously living his life by the diktat of an old man since his childhood who once told his father this boy will always leave things midway. And his confusion about Anshul is seen to overpower his genuine feelings when Anshul asks him about the future. Both being uncertain about their feelings and relationship-future, decide not to be intimate (in spite of coming close in their hotel room) and move on. The next day, Anshul bids adieu to Priyanshu to continue her trip to Imphal. The sadness of leaving each other is evident on their faces. Anshul starts off her bike only to slow it down suddenly a few meters away from the hotel. Why? We don’t know it yet as this is the ending scene of the first season.
Excellent Actors, Good Direction and A Soothing Background Score
The two protagonists are so natural that you may feel they are not acting. Priyanshu Painyuli, playing the role of ‘Priyanshu’ (yes, that’s his real name) keeps an endearing honesty throughout the series. His eyes and voice are more expressive than his words, and that’s what the character demands. A confused and introvert character, who often gets harsh on himself, is fascinated about effortlessly ideal romanticism. He gets sad at small rejections and looks for distraction (we all do). On the other hand, there is Anshul Chauhan, playing the character of fiery ‘Anshul’ (that’s her name too) who has a contradictory reserving nature despite questioning and analyzing everything. In the scene where they are confessing their liking for each other, one may feel that it is Anshul who stops the relationship as she can see in Priyanshu in and out, and his confusion about feelings. The conversations are the key things in this web series as it takes forward the story. The dialogues are crisp, mature and get along with a practical romcom, without being melodramatic and cheesy. The anxious ending keeps the audience on their toes.
The cinematography is awesome with a good direction by Tarun. Although some scenes in between could have been more compact, overall a great attempt to think out-of-the-box with a romantic story. It captures the practical side of a relationship by keeping the emotional connection at the place.
The background music, ‘Majboor’ by Ashim Kemson deserves a special mention. It sets the tone of the story. The French parts (by Pierre) of the song are equally soothing. It remains in your head for its refreshing lyrics and music.
Exotic Northeast: The Third Lead Character
Director Tarun has done good work by casting the Northeast as its third protagonist. The rock-city Shillong along with entire Northeast India is depicted beautifully, with long waterfalls, serene landscapes and streams, bridges over gushing water, friendly people from the hills (Gary, the perfect host) and their hospitable nature.
Yay or Nay?
‘Soulmates’ web series focuses on the essential components of a relationship. Our fears, confusions and unsure takes on love and relationship are beautifully crafted. Some scenes and picturizations are reminiscent of the movie ‘Before Sunrise’. The series is definitely watchable for its fresh content, honest acting and an open ending. We don’t know if the second season is coming or not, but fans are already going gaga over the lead characters to end up with each other for sure.
Catch all the episodes of ‘Soulmates’ for free on Rhapsode: Soulmates