Review Of Little Things Season 3 : A Keenly Observed ‘Absurdity In Familiarity’ Fare Which Shines Through

A Very Much Kavya-Dhruv Story, Individualistically…

Kavya and Dhruv, perhaps are the most adored couple on webspace today, not unlike when they started out back in 2016 with FilterCopy’s Little Things, broadcasted to much appreciation on YouTube. In a year of weird happenings on the digital space and OTT platforms, watching Little Things, (the series now proudly being prioritized on Netflix’s feed) is like visiting an old friend. The meet-cute couple who started out with palpable confusion, in a live-in relationship often characterized by warm frizzy hugs in Season One, graduated into singularly envisioned ambitions and a seething need to find their own callings in Season Two. Season Three picks up the story of Kavya-Dhruv from where it left off, only now, although these two charming people have grown into the skins of world bearing adults, they seem still unsure about many things which come enclosed in an envelope called Life. If Season One and Season Two were about proximities and priorities respectively, Season Three becomes an ode to perplexing choices.

The aspirational couple goals as set by Kavya-Dhruv over the period of their relationship, that of almost four years, has always been speckled with keenly observed nuances, whimsical ramblings, lazy banters and thoughtful gazes. Reminiscing the viewer of the sweet nothings oft found in Richard Linklater’s ‘Before Trilogy’, Little Things has always been a rare series which never shied away from confronting it’s leads flaws and weaknesses, and yet always maintaining an underlying intelligence in overcoming them.

Little Things 3 | Official Trailer | Netflix

Little Things Season 3 -- An Ode To Newness…

Season Three now consisting of eight episodes, starts with Dhruv’s uncharacteristically conceived dream sequence (which along with another dream sequence in the last episode of the season, seems irrelevant and unpolished, in an otherwise well-thought-out season). Dhruv owing to his research on statistical data, finds himself arriving at ISS (Indian School Of Statistics), Bangalore along with Kavya, stepping into a new chapter in his life, one which is stamped to last for six months. As Kavya returns to her life without Dhruv by her side or to come home to, the lonely pangs start affecting her daily routine. The maladies of long-distance relationship until then gleefully hidden under the carpet of fake promises, wishful options and the over-dependency on technology to cut-short the distance, start to seep out with palpable despair. The series thus starts with covering the chapter of Dhruv’s life, as his academic research continues, amid a group of fellow scholars of different makes and kind, and under the apprenticeship of a life-knowing professor, Geeta Iyer. On the other hand, Kavya initially struggling to come to terms with her loneliness, finds solace in picking activities to do by herself, and forging a new friendship with a happy go lucky colleague, Anmol.

Time passes in a plethora of montages, and within an episode’s span, Dhruv’s internship in Bangalore comes to an end, but an unforeseen circumstance, delays his arrival at Mumbai immediately. He instead lands at Delhi where his parent’s live. Likewise, Kavya decides to visit her hometown, Nagpur, reveling in catching up with long lost friends and blissfully soaking in the familiar air of nostalgia. They both thus find comfort in the menial tasks at home, often just lost in thoughts of what would’ve have been, had they not left home in pursuit of their passions and moved to alien cities, which seldom has the time to sit and talk to them.

Little Things - Season 3 | Trailer 2 | Streaming Now On Netflix

A Self-Reflective Meta Narrative…

Thus, the series after its protagonists have found reasons and time to drown in self-reflections, brings them back together in their apartment. The couple have found something over the past months of separation that they now cherish and hold on to a bit too obsessively, much to the discomfort of each other. Gradually, they try to synchronize back to their co-dependent lives, but then they’ve had the taste of individualistic freedom and now unfortunately that seems sweeter. And so, while we arrive at the fag end of the series, Kavya-Dhruv now understand each other’s priorities, often reflecting upon their own needs, and start to quantify their ‘happiness quotient’ in the relationship. By being sure of themselves, fortunately and ironically, they are now sure of what this relationship means to them. And thus, the series ends on an ominous note, leaving the viewer with a broad smile of contention, one which is induced by a solemn understanding of life and its little shenanigans.

Dhruv Sehgal And Mithila Palkar Shine In Sublimity…

The series ably shouldered by its supremely talented leads, Dhruv Sehgal and Mithila Palkar, glimmers around their silences more than their rants, waltzes with their caprices more than their consistencies, and by the end sneers at their singularities more than their camaraderie. In so then, this season allows these two actors to project their inherent aptitude of their characters in an expansively fleshed out manner. Dhruv Sehgal brings a sense of gratuitous finesse to his character which has finally found his calling. Mithila Palkar curls up like a cat in the comfort and solace of knowing herself in the ever-changing world around her. Both the actors, naturally gifted with timing and spontaneity, feed off each other whenever they are together onscreen, gloriously growing both thematically and technically.

That being said, the show belongs to the new characters introduced in varying capacities, as much as it does to its main leads. This season in particular, benefits largely from impeccable acting prowess’s showcased by the supporting cast, appearing at crucial junctures of the couple’s journey. Episodic appearances including Kavya’s chirpy and optimistic childhood friend, Nupur (played with measured realism by Sanika Ghaisas), Kavya’s regular to the core parents Ila & Satish Kulkarni (played by the ever reliable Navni Parihar and Rishi Deshpande), Kavya’s aspirational dog owning neighbor, Aishwarya Didi (played by Tirrtha Mudbaadkar) add a poignant texture to Kavya’s long forgotten simplistic life. Dhruv’s life back in Delhi, features an equal measure of incredible characters, played with poise and rustic charm, specifically by Lovleen Mishra in one of the most outstanding performances I’ve seen this year as Dhruv’s motor mouthed and snappy mother. Another performance which leaves a solid impression is Shikha Choudhary’s subtly pixie manic Anmol, a fresh dose of fun in Kavya’s life. Oh before I forget, watch out for a small little cameo from Mayur More (this year’s talent find courtesy TVF’s Kota Factory) who plays a teenager full of angst and emotions.

The season also seems more luxurious owing to its gorgeous camerawork. Right from Kavya’s sunbathed curls, to Dhruv’s fog-jogged campus trips, to Delhi’s vegetable mandis to Nagpur’s lush green flourishes, to Mumbai’s graceful nights, the camerawork by Aniruddha Patankar swirls in silent virtuosity, carefully respecting the drama unfolding within its composed frameworks.

Mithila and Dhruv play Little Ping Pong | Little Things | Netflix India

A Valid End To A New Thought…

All to say, Little Things Season 3, much like it’s predecessor seasons, is a wonderfully thought-out chapter of Kavya-Dhruv’s life. Back in 2016, I had the chance to talk to Dhruv Sehgal, who was fresh out of delivering the hugely acclaimed Little Things Season One. In a matter of conversation, I had asked him about his approach towards sketching out Kavya & Dhruv in terms of their character arches. He courteously replied that ‘they were just extending their personalities onto the screen’ and spoke as to how he finds joy in stories being told by the things static around him. Much has changed from then to now, given that Little Things has become a rewarding brand for the makers of it, in terms of its merchandise driven marketing and online brand value. In spite of all that, the season and its creator Dhruv Sehgal somehow still manage to cocoon themselves into simplistic ritual of finding joy in the regular and the mundane. And perhaps, that remains its towering achievement. The concept of absurdity in familiarity, makes Little Things one of the best written shows online. Will there be a season four? Given that Netflix is behind it, one can assume that there should be. But then, it doesn’t matter.

Little Things has always found its bearing in telling a whole chapter in its season, which leaves you satisfied and smiling. Much like the final shots of Dhruv and Kavya walking silently into the long eventful night diverting at the metaphorical crossroads…

Little Things | Pause by Prateek Kuhad | Netflix