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Dil Dosti Dilemma Review: Sweet

April 25, 2024 15:04 IST

Dil Dosti Dilemma is a coming-of-age series without profanity, and that by itself breaks the current mould, observes Deepa Gahlot.

They are all Daddy's Darlings, spoiled, privileged brats, but also sweet and cheerful.

Like all teenagers, they are more interested in fashion and boys than in books.

If they have any ambitions, Dil Dosti Dilemma doesn't say.

Directed by Debbie Rao, based on Andaleeb Wajid's YA novel, Asmara's Summer, the seven-part show is set in Bengaluru and is predictable in the way the plot unfolds. But it also stays away from teen stereotypes, the kind of obnoxious kids, with acne, angst and attitude.

A coming-of-age series without profanity? That by itself breaks the current mould.


Asmara (Anushka Sen) is a happy-go-lucky teenager, who hangs out with her besties, Tania (Elisha Mayor) and Naina (Revathi Pillai), who call themselves Awesome Threesome.

Asmara is all set to go to Canada for the summer holidays, with her parents, to visit her brother. The besties plan to follow her there, when an unfortunate incident involving her grandmother, Farida (Tanvi Azmi), grounds her.

As punishment, she has to spend the summer at her grandparents' home instead of Canada.

Farida and her husband (Shishir Sharma) live in a downmarket, predominantly Muslim locality of Tibbri Road, where her shorts and crop tops invite disapproving stares.

It is strange that they live in the same city, but Asmara's family never visits the grandparents and vice versa though she spent her forgotten childhood years there.

The overflowing garbage bins, the squat toilet and the no AC, no WIFI barsaati seem unbearable to Asmara, and the chatty girl-next-door, Rukhsana (Vishakha Pandey) is annoying.

Thankfully, the show does not waste time on Asmara's adjustment woes.

Despite her rage at her parents (Khalid Siddiqui-Shruti Seth) for leaving her behind, she devises an elaborate screen backdrop to pretend to her friends that she is in Canada.

There is also the dumbbell-lifting hottie to be viewed from the window, Rukhsana's brother Farhaan (Kush Jotwani).

The meet-cute squabble happens right at the start, and the first rule of romcoms states that a couple that starts by fighting, ends up kissing!

The grandparents are kind and accommodating, unlike Farhaan's grandmother Akhtar Begum (Suhasini Mulay), who has a lifetime's worth of resentment and bitterness stocked up in her vitriolic speech and manner.

Even when Asmara rips up the modest kurta stitched for her, and shocks the neighbourhood khaalas (aunties) at Farida's tea party in her honour, she is forgiven.

The mohalla may be conservative but the Whatapp gossip chain is active, and Asmara provides plenty of material for the grapevine.

It is the kind of place, where old quarrels carry on for decades, everyone knows everyone's business, and the trendiest shopping destination is Farhaan's garment shop called Husn Pari, which on a normal day, the Threesome would have called 'tackola'.

The neighbourhood has other problems of its own, from shortage of basic amenities to builders hovering like hawks over a real estate gold mine.

With the natural energy and resourcefulness of a teenager Asmara (covered up now, but still stylish) seems to have a solution to every problem. Of course, she is transformed, but she also changes everything she touches with her youthful zest.

Dil Dosti Dilemma streams on Amazon Prime Video.

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