Welcome to the classic cat and mouse chase, the quintessential story of the wife-serving, peace-loving husband whose transition from Sanju to ‘batsman Sanjay Gupta’ taking imaginary shots in air with a frying pan only requires his overbearing lady to step out of the house. This is your regular square-walled land where upbeat music choking the air is inevitably throttled by a siren-call of the male-bashing, despotic wife – the spoilsport, the unexplained oestrogen-riding autocrat. “Mr. and Mrs.” by Girliyapa Originals explores, through fairly disjunct episodes, these rickety computations, in a tongue-in-cheek, often-desperate attempt to equalise both sexes of the equation.
When The Cat Is Away (EPISODE 01)
You (read married, middle-classed and male) know it is victory when you are left by your holidaying wife, at the sweet justice of beer, tandoori chicken leg and pompous buddies in a nebula where cigarette-burns on the sofa, cracked china and hazardous cholesterol seem issues of a galaxy far away. However, every silver lining has a cloud and if Sanju’s is raining compunctious prohibitions on his meat-loving soul overfed with khichdi, counter-strike on Madhu’s Achille’s Heel is the medicine to his sprained ambitions.
Tripping Guilty (EPISODE 02)
As though being a simpleton of a person is not pesky enough, imagine pleading guilty for a cause you don’t feel the slightest ounce of guilt for. Sanju is faced with the predicament of eking out a cause for his apology, walking tightrope over the ledge of sleeping on the sofa and being put on a rack of the silent treatment.
Daring Pedigree (EPISODE 03)
Usha is the price almost all of subaltern and urban India’s women have to pay for marriage; the men (the non-feudal ones) generally pay for the aftermath of this transaction. As Sanju’s mother goes on a smug spree to divide-and-rule her son and her daughter-in-law, the couple joins forces to beat the player at her own game, leading up to unprecedent results.
Stolen Thunder (EPISODE 04)
The setting of the series goes uphill to Gangtok where a potential mugger is tackled by Madhu and, for what appears to be the first time in their marriage, Sanju gets cognizant of the fact that probably his partner is not the damsel in distress his Mario has been taught to rescue. Worse still, his masculinity is threatened when his wife’s “muscles embarrass” him before his other herd-headed friends. Some unrealistic portrayals later (considering Gangtok has lower crime rates than most other towns) and once Women’s Horlicks has been adequately proved to be the backbone of goon-thrashing stamina, the episode moves towards every equalist’s nightmare – Madhu, probably having exhausted her reserve of feminine strength, struggles to open a jar of pickles. This is cue enough for her knight in the night suit to swoop in and save the day and by the end, he is content fighting containers while she fights the goons.
The Selves And The Other (EPISODE 05)
Infidelity is redefined when Madhu rides season after season on a catchy web series recommended by her husband. Once back from his tour, Sanju can smell treachery. The rest is revelation, redressal and reconciliation because, after all not all camouflages are lies.
Perfect Illusion (EPISODE 06)
When a know-all, apparently impeccable couple Viren and Meera move in next doors, our female protagonist knows that to beat them at dumb-charades is her goal in life. What follows is an ego-clash at loggerheads, soaring briefly at a favourable climax before denting itself against the generic conclusions the series has tethered to.
Blame Games (EPISODE 07)
Losing the wife’s mother’s Diwali present is never a good idea and being charged with the same, Sanju’s brain cooks up parallel realities. The two embark on clearing their own stains and soon the helper Didi is the ark, lighting the way and getting away with the bone of contention.
Meter Down (EPISODE 08)
On a rare night of a power-cut, they overcome fear and boredom to sprinkle some of their romance that had been swept under the carpet, way too less for fuzzy warmth but a quasi-redeemer at this point in the series where plotlines have begun to border on monotony, a prelude to the curtain close in the very next episode.
Manning Down (EPISODE 09)
Anyone who is vaguely acquainted with fragile masculinity and its contemptuous markers would know how crucial a sturdy moustache is to making men. When Sanju comes to terms with the humbling reality of his own asset, he has to make a call whether to unmake patriarchy or tow its lines in a bid to convince Madhu’s father of his maturity and credibility.
Director: Aakanksha Dua
Writers: Preksha Khanna, Pradyot Mokashi
Editor: Shuchi Gupta