IWMBuzz reviews Dice Media’s original series Brochara

Review of Brochara: Vibrant vignettes of male bonding that are crisp and bracing

Female bonding occupies pride of place in the annals of global filmdom. Realms and realms of celluloid have borne witness to gal pals bonding over everything – from lousy love affairs to boorish bosses to monster ma-in-laws, to even pesky penny-pinching (hint: two girls who bond over their mutual bankruptcy – yeah, Two Broke Girls it is!). Whether it is the global stage or the Indian content milieu, it is only women who are allowed the privilege of having BFFs.

In Hollywood, Desperate housewives have each other; Thelma has her Loiuse; girls get together to celebrate both, sex and the city. Back home in Indian content, girls hit it off over endless rounds of shots, go berserk in the weddings of their veeres, and endure ‘adulting’ together.

Men, on the other hand, both in Indian content, as well as Amreekan, have to fly solo – bashing goons, staying strong, maintaining grim, poker faces. Bonding, if ever, happens only for the sake of convenience – to beat back a common rival, for the sake of the motherland (in the overtly patriotic movies) or to pull off a successful heist (we’re sure you don’t need name-dropping for that one). There’s a woeful lack of real buddy movies or shows that explore true friendship between men. In fact, does such a concept even exist?

But why so, amigo? Why should girls have all the fun….errr….bonding?

Thank God for the Akhtar siblings, each of whom has given Indian content the only true-blue male bonding movies that may be referred to as such – Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai and sis Zoya’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

Which is why, the arrival of a web series that celebrates the bonding between guys is like manna from heaven in the parched landscape. Brochara, it is called, and it is a product of the content creation company that has a proven record in breaching boundaries when it comes to creating content that is truly hat-ke. Brochara comes fresh from the stables of Dice Media, the long-format storytelling arm of Pocket Aces, and creators of shows like Little Things and What The Folks. It figures.

Brochara is all about forging cool connections with the bros in your lives – the name itself is a cool and sharp portmanteau of Bro and ‘chara’, derived from the Hindi word, Bhaichara. Dhiren, Pranay, Kannan and Shivashish, played by Dhruv Sehgal, Varun Tewari, Amey Wagh and Sayandeep Sengupta respectively, all work in the same office. And they all have another quirky aside to the reality of their lives – they are all in long-distance relationships. Kannan is married, Pranay is engaged and Dhiren and Shivashish have steady girlfriends, but unfortunately (or fortunately, the way one sees it), the females are all based in some other city.

Bereft of female companionship, it makes ample sense to find comfort–not in the arms of other women and jeopardise their reasonably-happy love lives–but in the stress-free, chilled-out gatherings with easy-going male companionship. Come to think of it, bros are the perfect panacea for every malady that plagues full-grown males, as compared to their relationships with fulminating females – they don’t demand to be understood, don’t expect you to mollycoddle them, don’t have mercurial ‘pre-period’ and ‘post-period’ hormones, and let you watch Manchester United vs. Liverpool in peace – nay, even join in cheering lustily in the game.

So, that is how it is with our four protagonists. Venting out over a missed promotion or a cancelled Goa trip with girlfriend, good-natured teasing and bantering over an ex-lover, or even helping a relative stranger get closure in the wake of the untimely death of his roomie – the four guys are there in all of life’s ‘siyappas’ – together, for the other, with the other. Each episode is replete with invigorating camaraderie and bonhomie, smelling like what they call, team spirit – brochara, if you may.

Of course, girls bond over their collective disdain for everything that isn’t blessed with a pair of ovaries. But guys – aaah, give them their daaru and their bhidus (Mumbai-speak for bros, Jaggu Dada ishtyle), and they’re in la la land already!

A point to be noted here is that male friendships have facets to them that set them miles apart from female friendships. There is no overt display of affection. In fact, every feeling and emotion is grossly underplayed and often goes unspoken. But it is this dynamic that makes for stimulating storytelling.

In the hands of a sensitive writer and director, who truly understand the intricacies of male-male bonding, the narrative positively soars, skilfully capturing on film the subtle hints of unstated subtexts, implicit glances and tacit body language.

Brochara does all this and more. It brims with vibrant vignettes of male bonding that are crisp and bracing, that will put you in a good mood despite yourself. It helps that all four protagonists are consummate entertainers, pulling off absolutely precise performances. The series is propped up by sharp writing, crisp storylines and sparkling wit. Oh, and there’s an unexpected cameo by Mithila Palkar too, to add to the cuteness quotient.

Four episodes have been released until now, with a fifth expected anytime soon. The short, peppy episodes make for a breezy, light-hearted watch, and time literally flies when you watch the episodes. For those who want to watch the series, it is streaming on Pocket Aces’ official YouTube channel.

There’s but one grouse. The guys at Dice Media put up one episode every five days. The wait is too long, guys! How we wish they could put up a few each week. Once every five days is not enough to satiate our lust for watching the hunks on screen indulge in unbridled bromance. Yeh dil maange more of this light-hearted, refreshing bro-banter. So, giddy up and bring it on, guys!

In the meanwhile, 3.5/5 is our rating for Brochara.

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