Decoupled Review: R Madhavan-Surveen Chawla Bring Discomfort as a Separating Couple

Decoupled is a Netflix comedy series that stars R Madhavan and Surveen Chawla in the lead roles. Written and created by Manu Joseph, the series is directed by Hardik Mehta. The series has a total of eight episodes of 35-40 minutes each.

The synopsis reads, “A misanthropic writer and his startup-founder wife juggle their impending divorce with the absurdities and annoyances of life in their affluent world.”

Netflix’s Decoupled Review Contains Spoilers

R Madhavan plays the role of Arya Iyer, a popular pulp fiction writer, second to Chetan Bhagat. Surveen Chawla plays his wife Shruti, a techie wife, workaholic, who is “perfect” in all ways. The couple has a teenage daughter, but are not in a happy marriage. The duo decides to get a divorce. But apart from the divorce, director Hardik Mehta shows us how the elite and urbane couple get on each other’s and other people’s nerves by trying to do and say the “right thing”.

In 2019, Bong Joon-ho made Parasite that talked about the class differences in society and the ignorant attitudes of wealthy families. The film goes deep into showing us the terrifying reality we live in. In Decoupled, Mehta’s characters, also wealthy and privileged, diss the film often. Considering how ignorant they are about everyone else around them, their dislike for Parasite doesn’t come as a surprise to me.

Arya is shown as a misanthropic writer who doesn’t care about other people’s sentiments at all. He calls out people for liking art films, he makes a woman feel guilty as she heads to the washroom at a 5-star hotel to click selfies. The attempt here is to show the events in zest, but it pricks you as a viewer.

Decoupled Still

People praise him for being a “good, modern, inspiring” writer. But everything he does is questionable. Arya is so unbothered and looking for perfection that he humiliates a girl for having armpit hair. He asks question like “Do you feel like men at times?” to the transgender community. But Arya isn’t the only problematic person here. His wife Shruti, who thinks she’s better than him is equally ridiculous.

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In the first episode of Netflix’s Decoupled, Shruti forces Arya to tell their driver that he stinks. She threatens her househelp that if she adds sugar to the juice again, she should go back to her village. Shruti makes the “smell” joke with her foreign boss in the car. A sequence like that leads to the bloody end in Parasite. What was the intention of adding such a scene? No one knows.

If the characters were written with a scope of improvement in the end, I would’ve appreciated it. But writer Manu Joseph didn’t write the story to add any enlightenment. The characters show no growth, emotionally or politically.

The problem with Decoupled is that it tries to be too “modern” by showing how the rich can get away with anything. Arya and Shruti are the central characters, and there’s no line drawn between what’s a “joke” and what’s an insult. Both R Madhavan and Surveen Chawla have played the characters with great conviction. Hence, the discomfort you feel while watching their absurd views in every episode keeps growing till the end.

Decoupled Review: Final Thoughts

Overall, the show tries to take a dig at rich people and how they put up a show of being perfect. It keeps criticising Parasite which is an eye-opener to society. The toxicity of the soon-to-be separated couple seems more celebrated than the satirical part.

The show is now streaming on Netflix.

Also Read: Spider-Man: No Way Home Review (No Spoiler): Claps, Tears and Cheers!

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Decoupled Review: The Netflix series struggles to make a point with characters that are hard to tolerate.

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Decoupled Review: R Madhavan-Surveen Chawla Bring Discomfort as a Separating CoupleDecoupled Review: The Netflix series struggles to make a point with characters that are hard to tolerate.