WHOLE LITTLE LOVE
Dhruv Sehgal deserves credit for giving Indian millennials a desi couple they can root for: Kavya (Mithila Palkar) and Dhruv (Sehgal himself ) of the web series Little Things. Now with the backing of Netflix, which partnered with Dice Media for its second season, the show boasts a longer run, larger scale, bigger reach and more intense drama this time around. But
Sehgal, whose parents are diplomats, hasn’t changed his approach to try to win fans from among the streaming giant’s international subscribers. The focus still is on the insular and cosy world of Dhruv and Kavya and the issues they face and deal with on a daily basis.
Not much has changed in Dhruv and Kavya’s relationship. They still bond over food a lot, cuddle in bed, have forthright conversations and tease each other. This time around, though, Sehgal is also eager to explore how their respective careers affect their personal equation and how Dhruv’s man-child ways are not always a source of amusement. If season one was Before Sunrise, season two is a combination of Before Sunset and Before Midnight. But more than Richard Linklater, Sehgal says he admires the work of Mike Leigh and Sai Paranjpe for their attention to detail and singular focus on emotions. These are most evident in Dhruv-Kavya’s spats over responsibilities, dreams and future.
That isn’t to say there aren’t moments of the meaningful silences and tender loving care that earned the show its following. One episode unfolds entirely in the bedroom and comprises mostly one-takes and close-ups. Others acquaint viewers with more people from the couple’s world such as Kavya’s mother and Dhruv’s homophobic school friend to delve into how relationship dynamics evolve. The tone remains earnest, but the conversations are now more mature and exploratory. Both Palkar and Sehgal are even more settled into their parts, making the intimacy more candid and the exchanges more spontaneous. However, what stands out most is Sehgal the writer’s ability to tap into a woman’s thought process, lay out a twentysomething man’s insecurities and recognise that love stories come with a caveat. The longer they go, the harder it is to keep it fun.
Dhruv Sehgal’s vignette on millennial love gets bigger and better in Season 2