What is the story about?
The Duttas and the Chowdhurys are two warring neighbours in a locality in north Kolkata, where the ownership of a pair of boots owned by the late Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona becomes the bone of contention between the two patriarchs, Avinash Dutta and Abibash Chowdhury. The conflict has escalated to unimaginable levels, and has not even spared the romance between Animesh, Avinash's younger brother, and Shakuntala, Abibash's younger sister, as it prevented their marriage. However, when Ronodeep, Abibash's son, and Hiya, Avinash's daughter, get attracted to one another, sparks fly, and all hell breaks loose.
Comedies and dramas featuring families with various quirks and idiosyncrasies have been Mainak Bhaumik's forte for a long time now (Maach Mishti & More and Aami Aar Amar Girlfriends), and Maradonar Juto falls within this comfort zone of his. The screenplay and dialogues by Ayan Chakroborti, Joydeep Banerjee and Soumit Deb are rich in humour, and paint a lovable and hilarious portrait of two warring clans in a north Kolkata locality, even though there's hardly any reference to football. Bhaumik utilizes this to the hilt, creating a lovable world with lively banter and irascible characters with their own quirks.
Where this series suffers is the devotion of substantial screen time to its lead pair. Hiya and Ronodeep's characters are written very lazily, and you can't even put their stiltedness down to their raging hormones. There's a rivalry between them, even as they can't keep their hands off each other, but it's not fleshed out very well. In contrast, the "rooftop romance" between Animesh and Shakuntala is a blast to watch because of the way the makers allow this track to breathe. Every time they meet on the rooftop, Babul Supriyo's Chokh Tule Dekho Na from the 2000 film Sasurbari Zindabad keeps playing in the background, and it is hilarious to watch, and I seriously kept wishing for Hoichoi to give them a separate spinoff series of their own. The Animesh-Shakuntala track and the other secondary characters only painfully highlight how the Hiya-Ronodeep track looks so out of place in this romcom, rendering the series average when it could've been great.
Honestly speaking, I did not think much of the actors playing the lead pair. Amartya Ray looks quizzical and clueless as Ronodeep at times, and even though Susmita Chatterjee appears fresh from the success of Prem Tame, her portrayal of Hiya is severely undercut by how poorly her character is written. In contrast, the other characters are a blast to watch. Joydeep Mukherjee and Sujan Mukhopadhyay are hilarious as the two patriarchs, Avinash and Abibash. The manner in which they keep trying to outwit the other in order to get access to the complete pair of Maradona's shoes is fun to watch. Sujoy Prosad Mukhopadhyay brings the house down in a uproarious cameo as the sexologist and break-up expert Nachu De, with his expletive-sounding name doing most of the heavy lifting as far as humour is concerned. Ujan Chatterjee is hilarious as the deadpan Sam, Ronodeep's best friend, who wears his "wokeness" on his sleeve, but keeps getting chastised by everyone for it. Ananya Sen is okay as Riya, Hiya's friend. Deboprasad Halder keeps the laughs coming as "scientific" astrologer Nantu. But the actors who really shine in this ensemble are Anirban Chakraborti and Moyna Mukherjee as Animesh and Shakuntala, who share a chemistry that is as funny as it is heartfelt.
Music & Other Departments
Prosenjit Chowdhury's cinematography and Sanglap Bhowmik's editing are decent.
Definitely the love story between Animesh and Shakuntala.
The lead pair of Hiya and Ronodeep are just insufferable at times. All you can gather from their interactions with each other is that a) they're hot-headed and b) they love sex.
Did I enjoy it?
Most of the sequences are enjoyable, except when the lead pair shows up.
Do I recommend it?
This is good enough for a one-time watch.