Monday, May 27, 2024

Girls Hostel 3.0: Progressive, inclusive, & above all, Relatable

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Tanisha Saxena

The USP of the TVF series is their everyday archetypal characters. And the Girls Hostel is no different.It is about the mundane, complicated, yet amusing things that take place inside a girl’s hostel. While the first and second seasons of the show showed hostel life and college politics, the third season attempts to deal with sensitive subjects. But the narrative is by and large carried forward from the previous seasons.

Set at SVM Dental College, the story revolves around the girl gang (Jo, Zahira, Mili, Richa and Ramya) as they navigate hostel life. In the first season, we met the girls as they adjusted to a hostel’s unforgiving yet all-embracing nature. In the second season, we saw how the college election process treats these girls. The third season begins on a familiar note, but things have progressed.This time, these girls are facing another set of problems, ranging from a power cut to executing a talent show. There are a lot of expectations from the president of the student’s council, Zahira Ali (played by Parul Gulati).

Directed by Harish D. Kalia, this five-part series touches upon the courageous topics including LGBT rights. Written by Anuya Jakatdar, Alka Shukla, and Shreyasi Sharma, Girls Hostel 3.0 rises above the ordinary, not in the sense of the characters but the subjects they choose to weave the story around. The college dean Dr. Sarla Desai (Jayati Bhatia), is a corrupt woman who also hates her daughter who wanted to go to a hostel.

The reason as stated is how girls dress, behave, and above all practice the concept of ‘women empowerment’ in hostel premises. It’s not shocking to hear from such remarks from Desai but it surely does reflect the stereotyping of hostellers in society. Desai, one of the many women of our society who appreciates patriarchy in one way or the other.  Jo (Srishti Srivastava) decided to hear her inner voice and take a tough step by choosing to go for her dream internship in the realm of politics over a dental degree. Zahira is a courageous president who is struggling in her academic space but wishes to do wonders for the girls as always. However, this time it is extremely difficult for her to manage both.

Richa ( played by Ahsaas Channa) takes up bigger responsibilities in this season. She takes major decisions and in tackling all the issues her character speaks volumes about the idea that an individual can’t keep everyone happy and that leadership comes with a cost.  Well, Tanvi Lehr Sonigra as Vipassana does a fabulous job in delivering a powerful performance. It is not easy to initiate a dialogue around gender identity so simply and while this is not sufficient it is at least honest. When Vipassana explained that ‘It is not necessary to understand everything about the LGBT community what’s important is to respect the identities each of us possesses’, the statement is loud and too nuanced to understand but it is applausable, to begin with. Ramya Mantri ( played by Shreya Mehta) is still arrogant but towards the end of the series we see a spark in her and it is positive.

She doesn’t join hands with her opponents but stands for what is right. Mili (Played by Simran Natekar) is a naive character in the show. Her sense of humour might not be as praiseworthy as her quirky response to the situations in the hostel, be it the arrangement of an inverter or taking up the onus of the things that could have turned disastrous in turn— her character is engaging.The girl gang indeed delivered an honest and compelling performance to make their characters relatable. The dialogues are another superpower in the show. Meticulously pointed out at the right moment, the dialogues rule the show by purgation of emotions.The major issue throughout the show remains the execution of the talent show and everything else just revolves around doing the same, yet making it all worthwhile.There’s not one but several messages that the series promises to give.
The five episodes of Girls hostel 3.0 are engaging and assure you of being glued to your screens.

Rating: 3.5/5 

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