Amazon miniTV’s latest short film, Conditions Apply reminded me of Sanjay Suri and Eisha Chopra’s Call Him Eddy. Though I totally understood and supported the message the writer wanted to give us via this film, I am a little not convinced with Conditions Apply.
It made me think though. I am not judging the subject without thinking it through. But there is a pothole in the plot, if I can put it that way. To tell you why I feel so, I will have to talk about the story here. Apologies for the spoilers!
Conditions Apply opens with a scene where a girl is waiting for her boyfriend outside a couples therapy retreat. Her boyfriend shows up a little late than expected, but you can say, he is still on time. As the therapy begins, you realise that the girl, even after having her boyfriend beside her, is feeling lonely. Though he seems to be caring enough, he feels distant. On the other hand, Nayantara is still missing him and breaks down frequently while discussing their relationship problems with the therapist.
As the story progresses, we get to know that the guy isn’t Nayantara’s boyfriend but a guy she has hired from an app to pose as her boyfriend, Rahil. The aim is to get closure. Now as Rahil has ghosted her, she has hired a guy to do the job.
Where Call Him Eddy spoke about loneliness and emotional needs of human beings, Conditions Apply looks silly. The concept of couples therapy retreat was excellent but when the twit was revealed, it immediately went from smart to foolish. The way Nayantara is shown to have frequent breakdowns, she is clearly depressed and needs a counsellor. Pitching in a couples therapy retreat in a story where the writer could have easily spoken about how it’s ok to see a counsellor if you are finding it difficult to get over someone.
I don’t know why every time a solution to a broken heart is newly found love for storytellers. Why can’t they be realistic? Another foolish twist was Nayantara and this guy get emotionally close to each other. Though that is very much possible, showing this as something that has started to heal her and the guy has to walk away is something I couldn’t digest.
In scenarios like this, real or reel, the concerned person needs to learn how to heal without another romantic involvement. What if he/she doesn’t find love again? Will they never heal? That’s not the case. I genuinely feel that this story should have either spoken about therapy for couples who are having a rough patch in the relationship or a girl who is, if not entirely, borderline depressed. And this needs a different kind of therapy, not a paid service where you hire a guy to pose as your boyfriend or cuddle when you cannot fall asleep.
Let me know your thoughts on it.
Streaming On: Amazon miniTV