Swipe right and find the girl of your dreams. Coz it’s the age of Tinder, my friends, and finding a date is as easy as twiddling your thumbs. Hooking up, making out, dating and breaking up, one-night stands are the norm today. Yet, in the midst of this new-age hook-up culture, along comes a web-series that celebrates teenage love in a way that warms the cockles of our hearts. That, in a nutshell, is The Timeliners’ latest web series– Flames.
Starring the unassuming chocolate-boy, Ritvik Sahore as Rajat, and Tanya Maniktala as Ishita, Flames takes us back into a time, when the first stirrings of love between a guy and a girl used to be a delightful, saccharine-sweet experience. When the pursuit of love was charmingly coquettish and adorably hesitant– quite unlike the testosterone-fuelled, aggressive pursuing of today.
Although the series is set in today’s times, it is a nod to the tender, intensely-appealing kind of love of the eighties and nineties. Even the title of the show– Flames– is a throwback to FLAMES, the silly game of love, played by eighties’ kids. We don’t think kids play that anymore….or do they? Well, we’ll have to connect with a few school kids to find out about that.
Flames is an oh-so- sweet story that manages to reach that quiet place lurking within our hearts, even in the cacophony of today’s times. It’s that all-encompassing feeling that sweeps us off our feet as we watch the story unfold on screen. And as Rajat and Ishita slowly get drawn towards each other, we find ourselves drawn into the story, until we’re totally into it, hook, line and sinker! We start rooting for this syrupy love story, wishing with all our hearts for the misunderstandings between Rajat and Ishita to clear up, and for them to get back together.
This quaint and endearing love story is squeaky clean too– so clean that the kids-in- love don’t even hold hands in the entire 5 episodes of the series. In today’s online cuss-words- and-copulating-couples scenario, Flames is an enchanting aberration.
Ritvik Sahore is amazing, a character in complete contrast to his Laakhon Main Ek persona… Tanya Manaktala makes us fall in love with her, and so does Sunakshi Grover.
The setting of the series is Delhi- not the bold, brash one, but the winsome Dilli, complete with its old world charm, tikki-chhole dates and quirky, Delhi-esque dialect. Where, if one wants to abuse, it is not with the quintessential f-words, but with the cute, “Abbe nalke, hadd mein beh”, a line frequently spouted by Rajat’s friend Pandey. Pandey’s is a delightful character, deftly enacted by Shivam Kakar. Shivam deserves special mention for a performance that is convincing, realistic and straight from the heart. He infuses the perfect touch of humour and panache into his performance, to consummately steal the show from the other players.
The IIT coaching classes setting, coupled with its cocky Chemistry teacher, lends a dash of humorous seriousness to the proceedings- an amusing oxymoron, if we must say. Each episode, narrated exceptionally well by the said Chemistry teacher, opens in the form of a chapter, and the progression of the love story is described in chemistry terms- covalent bonds, electrons, noble gas, the like. The Chemistry teacher is played by Deepesh Sumitra Jagdish, and superbly at that. Love in the time of Chemistry could have been an apt title for this engaging romance.
Flames may not have the flamboyance and in-your- face flair of a KJo romcom. But what it does have is a captivating honesty and lingering sweetness that make one want to keep watching the series, not just once, but again and again. Enough said. Go watch the series, guys, and decide for yourselves. Enjoy!
Overall, IWMBuzz credits Timeliner’s Flames with 3 stars out of 5.
(Written By Rashmi Paharia)