Girls Hostel 2.0 Web Series Review: A solid follow-up to a relatable series
Girls Hostel 2.0 isn't exactly path-breaking but manages to provide enough insights into the workings of a regular hostel housing girls, who are as different as chalk and cheese
The worlds developed by TVF are inhabited by everyday people. They are decent people who are caught in sticky situations but find a way to smile at the end of the day. They are people who wake up the next day in the hope that things would be better. We have seen them in the likes of Gullak, Cubicles, Tripling, Yeh Meri Family, and more. Girls Hostel is one such unassuming show that doesn't really care about aesthetics, finesse or sophistication, but concentrates more on delivering a relatable story. In the first season, we met the girls as they adjusted to the unforgiving yet all-embracing nature of a hostel. This time around, they are more familiar with the vagaries of hostel life and are now facing more complications ranging from peeping toms, stalkers, rigged elections, lack of water supply, sudden announcements of exams, and more. Things have changed, but in many ways, they haven't.
Cast: Srishti Srivastava, Parul Gulati, Simran Natekar, Ahsaas Channa, Shreya Mehta
Director: Chaitanya Kumbhakonum
Streaming on: Sony LIV
Jo (Srishti Srivastava) and Zahira (Parul Gulati) are still at loggerheads. Mili (Simran Natekar) is still chirpy but develops a quaint sense of resolve over the five episodes. Richa (Ahsaas Channa) and Aarav (Gagan Arora) are cute in their romance during times of turmoil. The troubled times are courtesy of the resident evil of the college, Ramya Mantri (Shreya Mehta). Despite each of the central characters dealing with a personal arc, they also have big parts to play in the overall scheme of things. Mili is pushed to grow up due to a leaked video. Not only does she not get bogged down by it, she also delivers an empowering line about Mia Khalifa that comes from a place of innocence. Richa isn't just about her romance with Aarav. She understands how the system is stacked against women at every level. Richa might not be like Jo who uses a hockey stick to teach ruffians a lesson, but her realisation is as effective.
While the central crux of Girls Hostel, the Medical vs Dental fight is certainly a gift that keeps on giving, it is impressive how the writers try to move past the usual jabs to give us slightly more insight. Girls Hostel Season 2 is all about the girls understanding the need for a fair and square election to demand their rights. They understand the need for the right leader and rally around Zahira to ensure Ramya and the college management don't exactly have it easy.
It might seem like many issues are resolved a bit too easily in Girls Hostel 2.0, but that is okay. Girls Hostel isn't about these huge conflicts that take seasons to resolve. It isn't just about these grand college romances. This is not the hostel we have often been shown in our big-ticket Bollywood films where everything is superficial, OTT, and flowery. Here, the conversations are refreshing mainly because it's two women conversing about their wants, wishes, and what-nots with no restraint. Here, the dialogues are hard-hitting because the writers are more in touch with reality. Here, the performances are so organic that there is a very lived-in feel to the characters despite the episodes being just twenty-odd minutes.
Girls Hostel 2.0 isn't exactly path-breaking material but manages to provide enough insights into the workings of girl students in a regular hostel. It doesn't resort to the cliched 'catfights' or 'boy troubles'. They feel like real students with real problems and real solutions. It might seem the most obvious thing, but the rarity of it in our Indian entertainment space makes Girls Hostel all the more refreshing. With Girls Hostel 2.0, SonyLIV has one more winner in its hand.