Art & Entertainment

‘Family Aaj Kal’ On Sony Liv Review: A Predictable Indian Take On ‘Modern Family’ With More Relatable Societal Issues

Outlook Rating:
3.5 / 5

Sony Liv is here with its latest web series, ‘Family Aaj Kal’. It stars Apoorva Arora in the lead. It’s also Nitesh Pandey’s last show. But is it worth the watch? Or can you simply skip it? Read the full review to find out.

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A Still From ‘Family Aaj Kal’ Photo: Instagram
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In the Indian OTT space, audiences keep searching for more and more family related stories. Many shows on OTT end up becoming too violent or too bold for a family viewing. Sony Liv has come up with something that’s for the entire family. ‘Family Aaj Kal’ promises to break that jinx of not having anything to sit and watch with your parents on OTT. Here’s what the show is all about.

‘Family Aaj Kal’: Story

The Kashyaps like to believe that they are an open-minded family. After all, the father-mother (Nitesh Pandey-Sonali Sachdev) had an inter-religious marriage, which the father’s family didn’t accept, and therefore he left his ancestral home and settled down in a different city. So, it would come out as hypocritical if they start to question their daughter on whom she wants to get married to? Well, that’s exactly what ends up happening. Their own daughter’s (Apoorva Arora) choices make them question their own life goals. While they were feeling open about having an inter-religious marriage, are they open enough to accept their daughter who has fallen in love with a guy who’s below their societal status? The answer to the question lies in ‘Family Aaj Kal’ which explores new-age parenthood while trying to make amends with old-age parenthood.

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‘Family Aaj Kal’: Performances

Apoorva Arora needs to up her game for sure. She has been playing the young daughter trying to fight out with parents right from the time she did ‘OMG’ – the Paresh Rawal-Akshay Kumar film till ‘Family Aaj Kal’. Even in the numerous web sketches that she has been a part of, her characters have been quite relatable to the youth but also never has she been able to pull off something that’s diametrically opposite to what we have been seeing her in. She needs to break this image and come up with something different. Like Anushka Kaushik or Ahsaas Channa, they’re trying to break their typecast image in every other project, and Apoorva Arora too needs to do something like that to come out of the stereotype. Besides that, her performance was good, but there wasn’t something stand out of the box.

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It was lovely to see the late Nitesh Pandey one last time. He was jolly as ever and even in this he played the character of the father with such subtlety that you feel for the character. You know that whenever there is a fight between a mother and daughter, the father gets in the grind unnecessarily trying to please both sides and make amends. Getting that dichotomy right was tough, but Nitesh Pandey managed to get that perfectly. He genius shall be sorely missed.

Sonali Sachdev did manage to pull off a character that felt relatable and yet didn’t overdo it to an extent that you start detesting the character. She had that control over her character and therefore whenever the character started to go a bit overboard in emotions, she just pulled back and made it look oh-so-natural.

‘Family Aaj Kal’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

The writing by Arundhati Bhande and Manoj Kalwani is relatable no doubt, but it’s very predictable. There is nothing innovative in it, and you would have seen similar storylines in numerous web sketches before. The only thing that’s good about the writing is the fact that how the hypocrisy in ideologies of the parents is played out. It’s quite a novel way to show as parents rarely would keep themselves in their kids’ shoes and check out the situation from their kids’ eyes, but here they do, and that’s what is strikingly different. However, its still a very foreseeable storyline, which you know what’s going to happen just by looking at the trailer of the show. That kills a lot of the fun.

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Parikshit Joshi’s direction tries to make the best usage of a relatable story by trying to present a ‘Modern Family’ vibe in the way he has picturised it. Sadly, he fails to get the audience get intrigued. The way the characters are breaking the 4th wall and talking to the camera as if they’re giving an interview is similar to that of ‘Modern Family’, and that show is so hugely popular that you end up feeling why couldn’t they have used any other method to break this 4th wall.

The cinematography by Abhijeet Chaudhari is also too plain and simple. While this type of shooting technique is good for a YouTube or Instagram sketch, but when it comes to an OTT platform, the stakes need to be higher as OTT is no longer a small thing in India. It has to maintain standards and the production value gets to be seen through the cinematography. Some of the shots which are in a garage or indoors are so simple that it feels that there’s nothing new that’s been tried out, and that’s a sorry state of affairs.

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The editing is crisp and that’s sort of the best part about the technical department. Keeping the episodes short and wrapping up the series in 5 episodes was a great call. Otherwise, it would have unnecessarily felt stretched.

The background score and the music are also decent. The BGM does help to set the mood for the show. However, there’s nothing stand out in the songs which play and nothing like you would want to add them to your playlists right away.

‘Family Aaj Kal’: Cast & Crew

Director: Parikshit Joshi

Cast: Prakhar Singh, Apoorva Arora, Nitesh Pandey, Aakarshan Singh, Sonali Sachdev

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Available On: Sony Liv

Duration: 5 Episodes, Around 20-25 Minutes Each

‘Family Aaj Kal’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes

Outlook’s Verdict

‘Family Aaj Kal’ is a heartfelt story which delves into the familial relations. It makes you question whether you’re actually open-minded or not. Even though the show has a very predictable storyline, it’s the relatability factor that keeps you hooked. New age couple think that they’re very open minded, but where do they draw the line for their open-mindedness? ‘Family Aaj Kal’ gives you a feel-good factor but also leaves you with numerous questions in your mind. However, it draws heavily from the Hollywood blockbuster hit ‘Modern Family’. It’s overall, a Breezy One Time Watch. I am going with 3.5 stars.

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