Family Aaj Kal review: A relatable middle class family drama that calls out hypocrisy

Sakshi Sharma
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Family Aaj Kal review

Family Aaj Kal review

Civic Studios' production Family Aaj Kal is a modern family drama with a standard TVF-Dice Media style we've come to love and it discusses the hypocrisy of the so-called woke society we all think we live in! 

We live in times where we are surrounded by discourses that work on extremes and you are canceled if found politically incorrect. But while this woke culture is a necessary step towards society's evolution it is also impertinent to understand that there is a vast difference between preaching on our Intsa posts and practically dealing with it in our lives. This is what Family Aaj Kal focuses on by showing a middle-class family drama where woke parents who have an inter-faith marriage can't come to accept that their daughter is in love with a cab driver. 

Set up in Delhi, the Kashyaps, a family of four lives together. Meher (Apoorva Arora) is a work-from-home professional living in a private space above her parent's house. Her father, Shekar (Nitish Pandey), works in a bank, Faiza (Sonali Sachdev), her mother works as a school teacher, and her younger brother Sahir (Aakarshan Singh) goes to college. Trouble starts when Meher tells everyone about her boyfriend, Gaurav (Prakhar Singh), a cab driver. 

Come to think of it, this cute, simple show is essentially about celebrating differences while learning to grow from them. The show does this smartly under the guise of showcasing differences among parents and children. The issue is not that Meher is in love; the issue is that she is in love with a cab driver. Director Parikshit Joshi, with his writers Arundhati Bhande and Manoj Kalwani, sensitively explores this without judging or taking any side while entertaining us through the five episodes. 

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The Kashyaps are very open-minded, especially because Shekhar and Faiza fought for their love after having an inter-faith love marriage, for which they were even kicked out of the house. But still, when Meher speaks to them about Gaurav, Shekhar and Faiza are left stunned. Their reluctance is understandable though because as parents they worry about her future and financial security. But Meher is an independent girl who makes her own decisions. So, instead of trusting Meher and giving Gaurav a chance by meeting him once instead of outright rejecting him, her parents and Sahir, who have been bribed, behave weirdly. They go on different cab drives to learn how drivers live, lie-trick Meher, buy her a car, and even let her leave home for good! 

Most of the time, parents are as hypocritical and at fault as kids can be, but they hardly ever apologize for their behavior. And every generation thinks they are different, so, quite wonderfully, Shekhar's traditional and regressive father, who had a change of heart after many years of living apart, is also added to this family's equation. Gaurav and Meher's romantic journey and their understanding relationship are also portrayed as two partners relying on each other for emotional and not financial support. All of this and the plights of cab drivers is what make the show so wholesome to watch. But the attention to detail about small things is what makes it so relatable! 

The cast does a tremendous job! Apoorva Arora fits in perfectly well as this new working-class professional who enjoys the comforts of working from home but also deals with the crushing disappointment that comes with the idealistic version of our parents in our minds breaking. Sonali Sachdev strikes well as a woman looking at her daughter from the biased lens of a mother instead of an independent, individualistic Social Science school teacher. The late Nitish Pandey also delivers as a father stuck between the strong mother-daughter duo, while Aakarshan Singh, the youngest of the house, reigns in comedy when needed! 

The show reminds you of Modern Family, where with the similar fourth-eye camera approach, we get to know what the family members really think vs. what they are saying in front of each other. Family Aaj Kal is about a family that eats together and stays together, but it is also about a different group of people living and growing together. We have cab services and delivery apps for our convenience but do we think of cab drivers and delivery agents as regular people outside of their jobs? In that sense, this show sensitises us about them and shows you that these working professionals are just like you and me, people who can fall in love with anyone they choose to. It calls us out on our hypocrisy because pointing at others and calling them classist is relatively easier than facing our own inherent classism. Leaves you with food for thought, no?

Family Aaj Kal is currently streaming on SonyLIV

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Apoorva Arora SonyLIV Nitish Pandey family aaj kal sonali sachdev