I am all for watching character actors like Abhishek Banerjee play the romantic hero. But The Great Weddings of Munnes, streaming on Voot Select, is far from a perfectly cooked romantic comedy. Despite digital darlings like Banerjee, Barkha Singh and a solid supporting cast, this 10-episode web series fails to generate interest or laughter.
The story possesses promise and potential… on paper. It revolves around Munnes (Banerjee), a middle-class working man in a small town struggling to find a bride for himself. His life takes a happy turn when he meets Mahi (Barkha Singh) and the two fall in love. But their happiness is short-lived. Munnes must marry another woman to undo a kundali mishap before he can tie the knot with Mahi. If only the fun promise of the script could have reflected onscreen.
A recipe for disaster
Banerjee and the supporting cast, especially Sunita Rajwar, who plays his aunt, try
to infuse humour with their acting prowess, but they can only do so much with an
undercooked story and stale dialogues.
Director Sunil Subramani manages to sneak in some laughs, but they are mainly feeble, few, and far in between. Even Munnes’ hunt for a bride, which is the driving force of this narrative, steadily becomes repetitive and tiring to watch. Whatever little respite one gets as a viewer is when the entire cast comes together to put on a brave show, giving way to a comedy of errors. But it is hardly enough to keep you engaged and interested. It almost seems as if the creators relied too much on their actors and boring one-liners to save the day.
Forced songs, overused small-town card
Another intolerable aspect is the focus on music and song sequences. Not only do
they feel coaxed, but are also forgettable and do little to help drive the story. I was glad I wasn’t watching the tiring and tedious scenes on the big screen. God bless whoever invented the ‘skip’ and ‘forward’ buttons.
The small-town setting and under-confident protagonist have been used, overused, and abused (metaphorically) far too many times on the screen. While it is refreshing to see Banerjee as a leading character after his grey roles like Hathoda Tyagi in Paatal Lok and Compounder in Mirzapur, the moment withers away faster than a blink of an eye.
Munnes would have created wonders if supported by the screenplay and crisp dialogues. Singh, who plays the female lead, falls short in bringing any gravitas to her character, unlike her fine performance in the second season of Masaba Masaba, streaming on Netflix. Their onscreen chemistry is also insufferable for the most part.
Writer-producer Raaj Shaandilyaa, who has helmed several projects for television,
marks his OTT debut with The Great Weddings of Munnes. Much like Munnes, Shaandilyaa and Banerjee also faced resistance while marrying their respective real-life spouses.
I wonder why the creators opted to flesh it out over 10 boring episodes when the simple
story of The Great Weddings of Munnes could have been wrapped up in a crisp film, minus the loopholes and lazy dialogues.
(Edited by Zoya Bhatti)