Mentalhood Review

Mentalhood is a failed attempt to revive long-buried, non-existing careers.

It’s a story of super-rich women who also happen to be Mothers, and not the other way round. So, if you think you will get to see the struggle of Mothers in this series, you are wrong. It’s a tale of women who seem to be only talking about kids and never actively participating in their lives.

What’s making them mental? According to me, it’s the constant presence of each other in life. Gym class with same people, WhatsApp group – same people, Parents of kids’ friends – same people, enemies – same people, friends – same people. WTF! Mental toh hona hi tha.

To be very honest, the story was good. The topics they selected for each episode were strong – bullying, how to say ‘no’ to your kid without actually saying ‘No,’ Good Touch Bad Touch and then the plot and characters – the plot was great, the characters were the ones you could easily fall in love with – flawed yet perfect, like any other woman. But as I said, Mentalhood was all about reviving dead careers. The least importance was given to the build-up of the story.

Let’s now have a quick look at the characters: 5 women, 1 man, and their stories

Karishma Kapoor: Meira Sharma is a home-maker from a small town who has just moved to the happening city and is now a part of a filthy rich mom’s group. This could have been a wonderful story about a woman trying to fit in.

This single plot could have easily been used to build the main story and then interconnect other stories. How? By focusing on their cultural differences, lifestyle differences, differences in the upbringing, differences in the way of thinking, and yet how at the end of the day, being Mothers, they are all just the same.

They clearly missed the opportunity.

Dino Morea: Not that I have spoken about Karishma Kapoor’s character, let’s talk about Dino Morea next, as both of them were inseparable in the series for no valid reason. Dino Morea (Akash) was a MALE MOM who have had kids through surrogacy. So yes, he is a single dad who takes care of his kids all alone. But all the while I wondered if he was also a home-maker, a house-husband who was getting hefty alimony from his wife to take care of his monthly expenses. Don’t you think a single parent’s job is tougher than other parents? The person has to earn plus take care of the kids. Unfortunately, that was not the case here. Dino Morea had all the time in the world to be Karishma Kapoor’s arm-candy.

Sandhya Mridul: Anuja Joshi, also known as Ajo, could have been one of the best characters in the series. But yes, you feel this about Anuja only towards the end. At the beginning, she gives the vibe of being ‘The Most UNWANTED,’ unnecessary person in the series, especially during her entry in the web series.

Why towards the end I actually liked her character? Because hers was the most messed up life but for society, she was PERFECT. She was the boss woman. But once again, the makers managed to beautifully ruin it all. The most foolish thing they could do was, and they unfortunately did, make her the unofficial boss of her children’s school. It was like she was the decision-maker. Even when a molestation case comes up, parents request her to take the decision. I wonder if in cases like molestation, the decision can be taken by the Head of the PTA alone. There were more such nonsensical scenarios decorated beautifully to destroy the story and characters further.

Tillotama Shome: Preity Khosla was the joker in this crazy circus. Initially, I thought that this circus would have done well without the ring-master, Sandhya Mridul. As at the beginning, the character was neither relatable nor acceptable to your logic and common sense, but then slowly the Joker emerged. I am still confused whether the casting was wrong or this character was just not required. There’s this scene in Episode 4 where she stands in front of the mirror and tries roaring (one of the exercises shown in the same episode). It actually made me feel yuck and question my own sanity for watching this series. It was a goosebumps scene for all the wrong reasons. This female is shown worried for her kids due to the ‘main mard hu’ and ‘ladka hai, chalta hai’ kind of culture that is followed at her home but instead of doing something about it, all she is busy doing is, partying, gossiping or roaming around aimlessly, on the screen in between the scenes. Her walk, her talk, her style, her fashion, her entire presence was more hazardous for the children’s upbringing and their mental health than their father’s presence.

Shilpa Shukla: Again, a strong character but rarely visible on the screen. Her story starts abruptly and ends abruptly. A CEO of one of the biggest search engines who supports her husband’s upcoming start-up in every way that she can, a loving, devoted mother to her adopted daughter but with no time to be with her. In short, the real struggle of a working woman. Unfortunately, no justice was done to her character.

Shruti Seth: Again, not much importance is given to Diksha’s character. A mother who is fighting to be with her child, behaving a little insane due to frustration, panicky at times, but still is better than others when it comes to parenting should have been a character who is given the most importance. She could have been an ideal for Mothers, but once again, THEY RUINED IT ALL.

I don’t know if it was bad editing or bad writing but some of the scenes and scenarios just didn’t make any sense. In episode 3, Karishma Kapoor’s teenage daughter suddenly starts using the boy’s toilet in the school. The reason? She is frustrated because her body is changing. I mean, seriously? A teenage girl suddenly starts using the boy’s toilet because she is not liking the changes her body is going through? Give me a break!

More such scenes start abruptly and end abruptly with no proper explanation or build-up. You keep wondering what just happened here, rewinding frequently to check if you missed something important.

My other complaint is that in most of the places, the topics that the episodes are supposed to focus on, are just spoken about or discussed but not shown like bullying. Rather than focusing on the bullying episodes in the children’s lives, Karishma Kapoor is seen saying bullying so many times that it starts annoying you at one point.

Speaking of the performances, Karishma Kapoor fails to impress. No matter what’s happening around, with her kids or others, she seems to be the least affected by it. Thanks to her straight dialogue delivery and non-expressive face. I better not comment on Tillottama Shome’s performance. You already know how much I loved her in the show. The other 3 ladies did fall prey to the bad direction.

To sum it up, Mentalhood is not about parenting, but about parents (5 insanely rich women, to be precise) and their cynicism. The only solution to their mentalhood was a mental asylum, some alone time in nature, and a forever break from each other. 

Where to Watch? ALTBalaji and Zee5

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