Hello Mini Review - Where an interesting premise loses out to eroticism

Hello Mini Review - Where an interesting premise loses out to eroticism

Hello Mini comprises all the staple ingredients that are considered a prerequisite in a web series these days – romance, sex, thrills, violence, and ample skin-show. Surprisingly, there’s a plot intertwining these elements in the series too, something that its filmmaking team doesn’t seem to care two hoots about. Adapted from Novoneel Chakraborthy’s book 'Marry Me, Stranger', the raunchy execution is about what sells on the streaming space and not what the story truly deserves. Given its premise about an independent woman being slut-shamed for her interest to explore her sexuality, being stalked by a stranger whose conscious by his/her absence, there’s a lot it could have done to be a relevant, hard-hitting portrait of the society. As an erotic thriller, it is more interested in the carnal desires of its protagonists than its thriller portions. The story talks about a Rivanah Bannerjee, whose edgy mental stability, stable love life go for a toss after a stalker walks into her existence. The stranger only responds through mobile, keeps a tab on her conversations through messages. Things worsen as Rivanah changes her room, but she finds solace in the form of a roommate Ishita (with whom she even has a homosexual encounter). Every man in town seems to be after her generally. While it was a non-commital Ekansh who cheated her first, a creepy colleague in the form of a childhood friend Prateek adds up to her list of woes and a weird business honcho who enjoys kinky sex with her roommate has an eye on her. But she finds stability with Danny until all hell breaks loose again. The story goes to the extent of saying that virtual stalkers may turn good friends in the need of the hour. The series briefly discusses mental health, brings topics like bisexuality, womanly desires into the picture, but it’s very distracted in terms of execution. The core of the plot-point is conveniently forgotten amid all the skin show, sexist jokes, sarcasm, and sex. Interestingly, the series works in the tense moments better. The tension surrounding the identity of the stalker keeps you engrossed in the final episodes. The director Faruk Kabir squeezes in a few interesting twists too. Yet, lasting nearly 15 episodes, Hello Mini is an indulgence for the sharp thriller it intends to be. This isn’t a series that demands astounding performances from its actors. It’s about the treatment, it’s about how the director wants to shape the material, and the intentions are quite clear here - about playing to the galleries and milking the digital success-formula. The characters have little control over their hormones and end up on the bed, more often than not. However, if one has to write home about the performances, the likes of Anuja Joshi and Priya Bannerjee stand out. The makers may not have written them as characters with substance, but the actors do well to prove that their strength goes beyond their skin tone and physicality. The likes of Gaurav Chopra, Mrinal Dutt don't get quite get the author-backed roles they deserve. Hello Mini is a yawn in the earlier parts of the series while the last five episodes rank better in comparison  (where you get a hang of the series and enjoy its thrills). Although the series is not cringeworthy, it could have been a lot more than sex with a better storyteller.

Rating: 2/5


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