What does an out of love couple do with their relationship, especially when they have the feelings of a teenage daughter to consider? In Decoupled, this cool and privileged couple celebrate their divorce by throwing a decoupling party for friends and relatives in Goa.
Decoupled, an eight-episode comedy series created by Manu Joseph and directed by Hardik Mehta for Netflix dissects an urban failed marriage.
The Plot of Decoupled
Decoupled is a comedy-drama about an affluent married couple living in Gurugram and are on the verge of a divorce.
Arya Iyer, played by R. Madhavan, is a famous pulp fiction writer, while his estranged wife, Shruti Sharma, played by Surveen Chawla, is a successful entrepreneur in her own right.
The bickering couple stays under the same roof because they do not have the heart to disclose the news of their impending divorce to their daughter, Rohini, played by Arista Mehta.
According to Shruti, her husband is a self-centred, self-absorbed, and selfish person, all of which Arya is.
Diplomacy is certainly not one of Arya’s traits, and he has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth wherever he goes. An insufferable chauvinist, he is also germophobic and does not shake hands with his teenage fans.
Arya Iyer tries to be a cool dad to his daughter, Rohini, by letting her call him by his name and teaching her computer hacks, while Shruti, who tries to discipline her child, is referred to as Taliban.
There is a fun cameo by Chetan Bhagat, who, very sportingly, plays himself, and plays a competitor to Arya. The rivalry between the two bestselling authors provides a few fun-filled moments.
Other characters in the show include Shruti’s life coach, who is a friend as well. Then there is her Korean billionaire investor, Lee, who tries to mix business with pleasure. Later in the show, Lee offers Shruti a job in London with a pay package so fat that Shruti cannot refuse that offer.
Shruti’s parents, played by Apara Mehta and Akash Khurana, live in Mumbai and are shown to be gender-biased. They plan to bequeath all their property to their worthless son, who has so far done nothing but squander his parents’ money.
There is also the couple’s driver, with whom the couple has problems because of his body odour.
Arya and Shruti also have an intellectual economist Bengali neighbour, an Amartya Sen fan, with whom Arya is constantly at loggerheads.
Decoupled Ending Explained: Do Arya And Shruti Get Back Together?
A few misadventures later, the couple decides to celebrate their separation by throwing a decoupling party in Goa to make it all easier for Rohini.
During the closing scenes of Decoupled, Chetan Bhagat reveals Shruti’s shifting plan to Arya. It is where the show ends, leaving the rest to the viewers’ imaginations.
Decoupled shows the viewers that divorce can sometimes be fun and does not always have to be tragic.
So, we are glad that it is not like most other shows and movies where they make the protagonists get back together in the end. Stories like this are also important in a country where divorce is still such a taboo.
In the opening scenes of Decoupled, Arya Iyer tells Shruti Sharma that he still is technically her husband, and if she is found dead under mysterious circumstances, he is going to be the prime suspect.
This witty exchange of words between the couple makes the viewers hopeful that the show holds some promise for an exciting watch.
However, the shallowness of all of it is soon revealed, for which the plot is to be blamed. The characters are not given the space to evolve themselves.
Despite the top-notch performances by the immensely talented R. Madhavan and the highly gorgeous Surveen Chawla, the show fails to maintain viewers’ interest.
If Arya Iyer’s character had some depth in it, it could have been a lovable character, despite his flaws.
He is so aggressive, insensitive, classist, sexist, lacks even the basic grace; simply obnoxious, to sum it up. Looking ugly or smelling bad is nothing short of a crime in his eyes.
It is why the viewers fail to connect or sympathize with him for the fact that his family life is falling apart.
Surveen looks stunning in the show and has delivered an outstanding performance. Yet her character, too, has failed to touch hearts. In fact, the Netflix show can’t boast of a single scene that does not seem superficial.
Decoupled, being a comedy series, does not elicit much laughter either. The entertaining evoking moments are so few and far between, and the sarcasm seems sick at times.
It simply lacks the wittiness of an out and out comedy series, and to think of it, Arya sees himself as a witty person. He must be living in a bubble of his own.
Most of the time, we see him complaining about frivolous matters. Take the instance of him making fun of an airport security personnel who was just doing his duty or the traffic policemen who were also in their line of duty.
The sadistic pleasure he took out of spoiling the special moment of a boyfriend proposing to his girlfriend at a restaurant was also totally uncalled for, or his making an issue out of a Netflix executive asking permission to use the restroom during their meeting.
The way he dissected the simple issue of taking nature’s call was not funny at all. One wonders why the executive was sporting and big-hearted enough to have agreed to meet him again, and Arya even got his show on Netflix.
The character of the Guru, played by Atul Kumar, the channel chose to accompany Arya on the show, too, seems a half baked one.
The camera work has been executed with finesse, and the background score, too, is quite pleasing to give them the credit where it is due.
Our Take on Decoupled: Should You Stream It Or Skip It?
If you are looking for a light-hearted, fun-filled comedy show to binge-watch and enliven your mood, you can watch Decoupled, especially if you are an R. Madhavan to Surveen Chawla fan.
If you are looking for some in-depth story, you can skip this new Netflix show and look elsewhere.