SHIL­LONG SOUL

India Today - - LEISURE - —Joanna Lobo

Girl meets boy. Girl laughs at boy’s de­ci­sion to travel to the hills in search of a ‘crush’. Boy ques­tions girl’s de­ci­sion to go on a solo bik­ing trip. Sparks fly and much con­ver­sa­tion fol­lows. Yet, this is no or­di­nary love story.

Soul­mates is the new web se­ries from Zoom TV, re­leased in Au­gust. Di­rected by Tarun, the 10 episodes (of about 10 min­utes each) were shot in Shil­long and tell a story that is filled with the promise of love but doesn’t ac­tu­ally men­tion it. In­stead, we have two or­di­nary char­ac­ters, un­cer­tain about their fu­tures. Priyan­shu Painyuli plays an as­pir­ing mu­sic pro­ducer who sub­con­sciously lives his life by the dik­tats of a man who once told his fa­ther this boy will al­ways leave things un­fin­ished.

He is on a trip chas­ing his crush, the lead singer of a rock band. An­shul Chauhan plays a girl on her own im­pul­sive trip. She has quit her job and is now trav­el­ling in the North­east.

Shil­long pro­vides a pic­turesque back­drop to their jour­neys, through long sweep­ing shots of water­falls, empty roads, and bridges over gush­ing wa­ters. The show re­lies on the con­ver­sa­tions be­tween the two strangers to carry forward the story. They start off hes­i­tantly and grad­u­ally be­gin to share deeper things, like not liv­ing up to their fam­i­lies’ ex­pec­ta­tions and what in­flu­ences their lives and de­ci­sions. Priyan­shu re­cently played Bhavesh Joshi in the crit­i­cally ac­claimed film Bhavesh Joshi Su­per­hero.

He has an en­dear­ing earnest­ness and hon­esty, his voice of­ten re­flect­ing his feel­ings bet­ter than words. An­shul had a sup­port­ing role in Shubh Man­gal Saavd­han and has done a few ad films. Her char­ac­ter is fiery but re­served, ques­tion­ing ev­ery­thing and al­ways speak­ing her mind.

By the end of the 10 episodes, we are al­ready root­ing for the two to turn soul­mates. But, do they? There’s no up­date about a sec­ond part though fans are al­ready de­mand­ing a bet­ter end­ing to #PriyAn­shuls story (yes, they have their own hash­tag).

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