Metro Park-Quarantine Edition review: Ranvir Shorey, Omi Vaidya’s hilarious take on life during a pandemic

Metro Park Quarantine Edition
Ranvir Shorey, Purbi Joshi, Omi Vaidya, Vega Tamotia, Pitobbash Tripathy
Abi Varghese, Ajayan Venugopalan

Living in isolation is the new normal and it’s time to change tack if one really wishes to shoot during lockdown. While not everyone can be lucky enough to own a picturesque farmhouse, work from home is the only way out, including for those in filmmaking. And Eros Now seems to have got the hang of it with their Metro Park – Quarantine Edition. The sitcom’s first season may not have gained massive popularity but the new edition is tailored to the current scenario.

 Watch: Metro Park – Quarantine Edition trailer

If the Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor starrer Family was a first step in this direction, Metro Park takes it forward as a five-episode mini web series that centres around the work from home concept and has been shot by actors and crew in quarantine.

Metro Park is a family drama revolving around a typical Gujarati family settled in New Jersey. The everyday lives of Ranvir Shorey and Purbi Joshi reflect Indian diaspora living in the US and relationships in an American neighbourhood. Adding more colour to this mix are Purbi’s onscreen sister and her South Indian husband Omi Vaidya, who plays the character like his Chatur from 3 Idiots. This season, the families are locked up in their homes, bonding only on calls and facetime.

There couldn’t be a better time to save on big-budget outdoor schedules and let creativity do the talking. The writer’s efforts stand out as much as how flawlessly their vision has been executed. The actors deserve applause for their performances and a special shout-out goes out to their family members who moonlighted as directors. In a show like this, a lot depends on what happens on the editing table as detailed pieces shot at places as diverse as Washington DC, California and Delhi are knitted together as an entertaining series.

A still from Metro Park - Quarantine Edition.

A still from Metro Park – Quarantine Edition.

At times, the five-odd minute long episodes feel like a combination of viral TikTok videos and WhatsApp jokes. But turning it all into a cohesive series is what makes it a winner. The total runtime of the series is a little over 30 minutes but it tries to say a lot in that limited time.

From a paranoid Kannan self-isolating himself after a sneeze to an idle Purbi cutting up her husband’s kurtas for her fledgling face mask business, there is a lot to connect with. A special mention is needed for their subtle way of discouraging fake news and how people mask PR stunts as good deeds. The team not just manages to evoke a few laughs but also sends across the message of being informed about the coronavirus pandemic.

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While the camerawork is simple with no fancy flourishes, the performances arrest attention. With an on-point Gujarati accent, Ranvir and Purbi are a delight to watch. While this fun outing definitely deserve a thumbs up for the idea and the effort, a little innovation could have worked wonders. But the humble beginning is a big step ahead in the days to come.

(Author tweets @ruchik87)

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