What is the story about?
Hai Taubba is an anthology of four stories about relationships that defy conventions. Brown Colour of Dark Chocolate, the first of the four episodes, is about Ankit, a husband who could go to any length to please his wife Mithila, even if it means inviting another man into her life. In another episode, Black and White, the focus shifts to a closeted homosexual Amit caught between his love interest Nitin and a girl Pooja, a match suggested by his grandmother. Yellow Yellow Yellow The Dirty Fellow revolves around a mid-40s man Animesh whose past comes back to haunt him in a way he least expects it to. The finale, Mustard Young Love, tells the story of Sonal who gathers the courage to come out as a lesbian to her conservative family.
In contrast to the lousy standards set by the web shows that generally stream on AltBalaji, Hai Taubba attempts to tell a story and not merely sell sex – an achievement in itself. Yet that doesn’t mean that the showmakers do a good job of it. The intentions of the show may be sincere though the writing and acting are too amateurish to be taken seriously. At least three of the four stories in the anthology are terribly underdeveloped, with absolutely no effort to maintain any element of authenticity to its setting.
Wait for the title of the first episode – it’s called Brown Colour of Dark Chocolate (the platform gives you the license to think dirty). Unarguably the worst in the anthology, there’s zilch clarity in the storytelling. It abruptly shifts from the subplot of two childhood buddies who’re too close to be best friends and moves on to a couple stuck in a loveless marriage, but the ending has a twist about their past. The non-linear narrative has a few surprises and offers some respite to the viewer in an otherwise absurd story.
The second episode revolving around a closeted homosexual is ridiculously generic and dull – it’s the umpteenth time that an LGBTQ drama in a web show is about a gay having to deal with the expectations of a heteronormative society. The over-simplistic narrative doesn’t have the elastic to go beyond its one-liner premise of a protagonist caught between his love interest and the bride-to-be. The romance lacks fizz and the treatment is mostly predictable. If one were compelled to discuss anything that works even marginally here, it’s the ending that leaves a lump in your throat.
Yellow Yellow Yellow The Dirty Fellow, the penultimate episode in the anthology has a 70s styled outdated storyline about a man who’s unaware that he’d fathered a girl many years ago. Yet, in terms of the structure, the episode remains coherent and sticks to its premise without any fuss. The screenplay is reasonably racy though the dramatic climax was uncalled for. The final story in the anthology is more on the lines of the second episode (a girl coming out as a lesbian), but with a happy ending. The call for sensitivity towards the LGBTQ community aside, the message about the acceptance of different cultures in a relationship is forcibly squeezed into the story.
In terms of performances, there’s nothing noteworthy to write home about – the stories and characters are poorly fleshed out to offer any scope for the actors. Tuhlna Das is among the better performers in the first episode, while the likes of Gagan Anand, Sachin Khurana, Gauri Batra and Bhakti Maniar salvage the other episodes to a certain extent. The show has very few recognisable faces or firebrand performers to give some meat to their presence – partly a reason why you don’t invest in the superficial narration.
Music & Other Departments
If at all the four stories have one redeeming feature in common, it’s the cinematography. The anthology is gorgeously shot in picturesque locales across the country and is visually compelling. Of course, the lovemaking sequences have the raunchiness one associates with a B-grade film, but if you’re a regular to this streaming platform, it shouldn’t surprise you much. The screenplay lacks spunk, has zero shock value and there’s very little novelty in the stories/storytelling either.
- Good cinematography
- Throws light on the complexity of modern-day relationships
- Ineffective storytelling
- Generic premise
- Not-so-great performances
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?