Gullak Season 4 Review |

Simplicity is sometimes the actual spice of life. That’s been the constant theme through the three seasons of the OTT series Gullak, and the show’s new season builds on the same ideas. The Mishra family and their misadventures have become the mirror of the quintessential Indian family’s problems, and Season 4 brings up a handful of real-life difficulties that plague many households in our country. At the heart of this new series of episodes is a cast that has made the Mishras their skin. Flawless performances and that essential rooted-in-reality treatment make Gullak Season 4 an engaging watch, even when it’s not as good as the show’s previous offerings.

Season 4 kicks off with Santosh Mishra (Jameel Khan) and Shanti Mishra (Geetanjali Kulkarni) indulging in some familiar husband-wife banter that establishes their respective roles in the household. He is the builder and protector of the house, while she is the caretaker and provider. Sons Anand, aka Annu (Vaibhav Raj Gupta), and Aman (Harsh Mayar) are on new thresholds in their personal lives. As always, the Mishra parivar must suffer through their misfortunes and celebrate their resilience like most middle-class families do.

The first episode introduces us to the most immediate threat to their home. The municipality sends an officer with a show cause notice. The Mishras must contend with the eventuality that their ‘Home Sweet Home’ might be razed by Bulldozer Justice. The conflict, though, is more about Santosh Mishra’s conscience and finding the courage to bribe his way out of the predicament rather than losing his home. It’s a nice way to build on the episode’s initial exchange between Shanti and Santosh, where he proudly declares he’s one to protect their home, but Shanti insinuates that Santosh is too much of a softy to put up a fight when things get tough.

While episode one gives Jameel Khan a chance to exhibit his effortless skill as an actor, episode 2 shifts the spotlight on Geetanjali. Her character, Shanti, is subjected to some unforeseen trauma during a chain-snatching incident. Needless to say, it leaves the feisty Shanti feeling a lot more vulnerable. Geetanjali shines in this episode all while the men around her (both the actors and the characters) rally around to lend support.

With the parents having established their masterclass in the first two episodes, the baton gets handed to the sons. In the next episode, the Mishras embark on a process of organisation and rejuvenation. They have to get rid of the old junk in the house. But knowing the Mishras, the simple task of selling old possessions to the kabadiwala turns out to be a masaledar task. Aman (Harsh Mayar) has his own machinations that aren’t approved by others in the family. And this is where Anand and Aman’s dynamics come to the fore; their conflicts and experiences allow both Vaibhav and Harsh to excel in their respective performances.

Onwards in the final two episodes of Gullak Season 4, Aman and Anand traverse into new challenges and experiences as their parents Santosh and Shanti either give their nod of approval or their head-shake of distrust. Aman, the younger son with aspirations of turning into a novelist, finds himself in a precarious position with a friend and his date. While Anand, whose new job of being a medical representative is testing his patience, must find the restraint and be a supportive elder brother as well, Needless to say, by the end of the season, the sons will well and truly take over the dramatic mantle from their parents and end Season 4 on a proverbial high.

Gullak Season 4’s only apparent problem is that the show’s pace feels all too deliberate and slow.

While the Mishras drive the drama, supporting characters like the noisy neighbour Bittu ki mummy (Sunita Rajwar), Anand’s senior Shashi (Manuj Sharma), Dr Preeti (Helly Shah) and Dr Singh (Raj Sharma) have more prominence in the story’s dynamics. It gives the audience more interesting characters and adds a variety to the show’s experience.

When you’re portraying reality as it should be, you don’t want to sass things up with spice and style, and director Shreyansh Pandey and writer Vidit Tripathi don’t bother with shaking things up. As a result, most of the drama in Season 4 seems plausible but not very exciting. But that’s more of a complaint than a valid appraisal. In all fairness, the new season of Gullak makes for a compelling watch. Just don’t compare it to the highs of the previous seasons.

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