Dil Dosti Dilemma review: A fuzzy, lighthearted romantic teen drama that aches for more!

Sakshi Sharma
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Dil Dosti Dilemma review

Dil Dosti Dilemma review

Dil Dosti Dilemma on Prime Video is a huff-and-puff rom-com with giddy romance and teen energy but it hardly leaves a lasting impact!

Woke is the new cool and being politically correct is the new norm, at least for our Instagram Stories and social media posts. Ironically, despite constant connectivity, we are growing more distant from each other. The idealistic world of equality is still an aspiration but the reality seems to be driving further away from it. Hence it is hardly surprising that in these paradoxical times, growing up as a young adult has become ten times more difficult than before. And Dil Dosti Dilemma, with its troubles of heart and friendships, tries to deal with this dilemma! 

Based on the book 'Asmara’s Summer' by Andaleeb Wajid, the show focuses on Asmara (Anushka Sen)'s summer who is a young girl from a privileged background living in Banglore with her two best friends, Tania (Elisha Mayor) and Naina (Revathi Pillai). Straight out of the book of gossip girls of the Upper East Side, these three are fashionably high-maintenance and materialistic. They are all posh, well-versed, and class-sensitized, but when it actually comes to dealing with class indifference, they are classists! Ashamed of her roots, Asmara’s consistent lying turns her life upside down; instead of visiting Canada, she ends up with her maternal grandparents on Tibbri Road, a middle-class Muslim area that becomes a metaphor for connecting back to roots and transformation! 

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The seven-episode series is an on-the-surface show that is proud of its simple nostalgic storytelling. It almost reminds you of films like Aisha, Clueless, and Legally Blonde! It borrows from the shared nature of young adults, where teenagers' rebellious phase, naivety, and fears take considerable control of their lives. Similarly, Asmara, in her phase of thinking that she can change the world, rigorously works towards bringing changes to Tibbri, ultimately saving it from destruction. But she also realizes that changing the world is not easy; hence, she learns to tone down her woke rebellion and work around Tibbri’s set ways to stick to the right thing. While all this happens, she also works through her fear of being judged for her roots. Even Tania works through her fear of her parents' failing marriage, and Naina works through her insecurity and self-worth in her love life.

The show is a testament to the present time it is set in. For all its boon and bane, social media becomes a helping hand, and fashion becomes the freedom of choice. After all, whether you wear a short dress or a full-length salwar kameez, it’s all about your choice! Even the show’s language is riddled with Gen-Z slang! Dil Dosti Dilemma’s sweet-cute romance is its highlight. If Farzaan (Kush Jotwani) and Asmara’s new brewing love is all butterflies in the stomach yet mature, then Asmara’s grandparents, Tanvi Azmi and Shishir Sharma’s brewed well for years, kinda love has its comfort and aroma intact. The show's entire cast is perfectly cast as each fits their role well, especially Azmi, Shirshir, and Mulay. With their talent, the cast brings a much-needed breath of fresh air to the show. Otherwise, with its caricature drama, the show could quickly become an elevated Indian TV soap on OTT.

But despite all this, Debbie Rao’s (Pushpavalli) show still left me at odds. I applaud its old-school feeling, but it’s not enough for its themes. A loss of cultural significance, especially that of a Muslim community, distance in friendship, finding talent beyond class, choosing whom to love, the hypocrisy of the wealthy class, and English vs. Hindi medium, needs more understanding than this overtly simplified approach. This brings me to the point that no wonder there is an ache to return to simpler times when life had its challenges but at least it was manageable. However, this also is a catch-22 situation where wanting to go back in time feels like taking a step back in terms of growth. That’s where I am with Dil Dosti Dilemma, which seems like it's one step forward with easy breezy storytelling but two steps backward with no depth.

Dil Dosti Dilemma is currently streaming on Prime Video

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