Dil Dosti Dilemma: A breezy coming of age drama that makes for a good watch

Director Debbie Rao does a fine job of exploring the clash between societal expectations and personal identity.
Dil Dosti Dilemma (Hindi), 25-04-2024, Drama,7 episodes U/A, OTT
  • Main Cast: Anushka Sen, Tanvi Azmi, and Shishir Sharma
  • Director: Debbie Rao
  • Producer: Seema Mohapatra
  • Music Director: Sid Paul
  • Cinematography: Deep Metkar
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Published in: Southfirst

Teenage is generally a period of huge upheaval in many ways. It is a period of confounding emotions, self-doubt, and so much more.

Dil Dosti Dilemma, directed by Debbie Rao, focuses on this turbulent period through the lives of three teenagers.

For those who are not aware, this web show is based on the book “Asmara’s Summer” written by Andaleeb Wajid.

The web show is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Synopsis

Anushka Sen’s Asmara is a privileged young girl who borders on being insensitive.

In the initial episodes, she comes across as a brat much like her other two friends — Naina (Revathi Pillai) and Tanisha (Elisha Mayor).

These three live in a very extravagant part of Bengaluru. They love shopping and spend as much money as they want without any care in the world.

Asmara is also a fashionista. She is excited about her Canada trip but a blunder results in her being sent to the grandparents’ (played by Tanvi Azmi and Shishir Sharma) house.

There is a huge difference between the place Asmara’s parents live and that of the grandparents.

Ashamed to say that she is living in a middle-class locality, Asmara cooks up a story to her friends about going to Canada. She also comes with a unique plan of making her friends believe this.

The rest of the story focuses on how Asmara makes new friends, finds love, and plays a key role in the Tibbri locality not getting destroyed in the name of redevelopment.

Relationships portrayed well

‘Dil Dosti Dilemma’ is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. (X)

An aspect that works strongly for Dil Dosti Dilemma is the characterisation of the three friends and how Debbie Rao explores the complexities of teenage friendship.

For example, Naina is desperate to get social validation. Tania struggles to cope with her parents drifting away and having possible extramarital affairs. Asmara, on the other hand, is ashamed to talk about her grandparents as they do not live in a high-class locality, unlike her parents.

The three have a WhatsApp group called “Awesome Threesome” for sharing things. However, there are certain secrets which they hide from each other for fear of judgment.

The web show also dwells on the topic of classism and the rich-poor divide with sensitivity.

The dynamics between Asmara and her grandparents give the show some of its best moments.

It does take a while for Asmara to adjust to her grandmother’s ways and vice versa. This gradual progression is filled with lovely moments.

There are scenes where the grandmother learns from Asmara how to deal with certain situations. The chemistry between Tanvi Azmi and Anushka Sen adds a lot of entertainment to the storyline.

The portrayal of the relationships — be it Asmara’s growing bond with the grandparents, a new friendship with Ruksana, and her love with Farzaan — have come out well.

A couple of subplots needed better etching though. For instance, a track related to Naina’s brother.

Also, the falling marriage of Tanisha’s parents and her using an intern at her father’s office to find out whether the mother is having an extramarital affair or not does hamper the proceedings at places.

Anushka Sen is the show-stealer

Team ‘Dil Dosti Dilemma’. (X)

The performances across the board, led by Anushka Sen, are top-notch.

Anushka’s Asmara is someone who starts as an annoying rich brat whose attitude towards the middle class borders on being intolerable.

But as the plot progresses, the character goes through many changes and the actor does a splendid in capturing the various nuances. She holds her ground firmly even in the scenes with the more experienced Tanvi Azmi.

Tanvi Azmi and Shishir Sharma, as the grandparents, are wonderful to watch. They play their parts with a lot of warmth. A particular mention must be made of the few romantic scenes between Tanvi and Shishir Sharma.

Kush Jotwani, as Farzaan, has a good presence and is charming as the young man whose life takes a different turn after the entry of Asmara.

Final take

Dil Dosti Dilemma is a story of self-discovery and is worth watching if you like teenage dramas and are in the mood for something light.

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