Netflix India has premiered a new coming of age rom-com series for its millennial audience, called Mismatched.Adapted from Sandhya Menon’s 2017 The New York Times bestseller When Dimple Met Rishi, the six-episode series revolves around an arranged marriage setup gone wrong for two teenagers. However, there is nothing old school about Mismatched, just enough growing up left to do.
Rishi (Rohit Saraf) is an arranged marriage enthusiast and Dimple (Prajakta Koli) is (thankfully) too young to think of anything other than coding apps, even though her conservative Punjabi mother believes otherwise. Matched by their guardians, Dimple’s mother plots for the two to meet in Jaipur, where Rishi lives, by allowing Dimple to go there for a 3-month coding summer camp. But while old-school boy Rishi hopes to woo Dimple all on the basis of a once seen photo, the latter has no clue what her mother has been up to, courtesy a matrimonial WhatsApp group. (The fact that it’s illegal for a man to be married until 21 in India, seems to be a minor detail.)
Do the two teens end up getting along, friendship and deeper feelings thereafter? Watch the trailer here.
Mismatched brings in several light and frothy moments as the book promised, while showcasing growing up in this tech-savvy world is not easy. The two leads bring in convincing performances as two teenagers with all the bravado that their dreams would succeed, while having no clue of who they are as human beings yet. Prajakta Koli is a famous Youtuber known by her YouTube name ‘Mostly Sane‘, Rohit Saraf was last seen in The Sky Is Pink and Ludo.
Mismatched is well supported by an ensemble of characters too. With Vihaan Samat as the NRI Harsh Agarwal who’s attending the camp as an excuse to spend time with his grandparents, Ranveer Singh as the cool teacher Siddharth Sinha, Vidya Malvade as the recently widowed Zeenath Karim who is taking another chance at life, the series has another six characters at least whose stories could all spiral out into their own versions of Mismatched in the following seasons.
However, it does seem to have a very adult gaze, lacking the teen outlook in its screenplay to the many individual narratives. And the 6-episode series leaves us with a cliffhanger moment that does not come in organically. It probably needed another 6 episodes to do justice to the many other stories going on within or bring on that final moment. And perhaps this may be the big reason it fails to be the Sex Education equivalent it aspires to be.
Mismatched is created by Akarsh Khurana, who gave us the gem Karwaan in 2018. It has been adapted for the screen by Gazal Dhaliwal, Aarsh Vora, and Sunayana Kumari, and co-directed by Akarsh Khurana and Nipun Dharmadhikari.
Produced by RSVP Films for Netflix, Mismatched in streaming on Netflix since yesterday, 20 November 2020.