Once a year Review- Not all interesting ideas make for compelling web series

Once a year Review- Not all interesting ideas make for compelling web series

The digital medium, for all the creative freedom it ensures, can prove to be a double-edged sword, if things don't go your way. For a fact, it helps several filmmakers consider those story ideas that may seem interesting on paper but vague for a feature film. Once a year is one such idea, very unique to chart the journey of a couple, only one day in a year across six different episodes. Thereby, you see the highs and lows of two people, their transformation, change of priorities over six years. Had the script been as compelling as this one-liner idea, Once a year could have been an intriguing series. Just that, it isn't. Nipun Dharmadhikari, Mrinmayee Godbole play the lead roles in Once a Year. They are expected to be an unconventional much-in-love couple Arihant and Raavi who take different routes to life, but here, they have zilch on-screen chemistry. Both the actors don't look like the characters they perform neither in their body language nor the physicality. The director Mandar Kurundkar isn't helped by the poor writing. The journey of the couple from episode to episode doesn't quite come through. The growth in their relationship and their subsequent separation too don't register any on-screen impact. Once a year rings in some flavour when it discusses time and change. Arihant, who has a thing for making good food, thinks he's good enough to start a cafe with the help a hotel management-graduate-friend and his dad, while barely completing his graduation course. He laughs at himself in another episode for the same idea, tries his hand at UPSC exams and ends up joining his father's jewellery business. While the two think they can't face each other after their break up, destiny springs up a surprise for them. Though the series tries to be poignant by all means, it isn't always successful in doing so. The lack of depth truly shows, the characters don't grow on you and the relationship of the lead couple appears too fragile to be taken seriously. Nipun Dharmadhikari fits the bill to play an unconventional boy, whom his on-screen love interest says 'isn't desperate to prove his masculinity'. However, he doesn't give himself much of a chance with the performance. His body-language is too lazy and dull and his lines, very uninspiring. Looks like Mrinmayee Godbole was only asked to be a cute-little doll who fights and smiles as per need. The format, the choice of theme, Once a year may have a few things going for it but doesn't rise much above that. Regional web-series are welcome and the need of the hour, some more thought and investment of creative energies would help. Rating: 2/5


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