In some measure, Dhruv Sehgal’s I Love Thane in Amazon Prime’s latest anthology Modern Love Mumbai is a cautionary tale on the trappings of a dating app, its trials and tribulations and the emotional toll it takes on a person when things don’t go as ‘planned’. The 34-year-old protagonist, landscape architect Saiba, played by Masaba Gupta, is caught in the dating app loop, spending a lot of time and energy hopeful about finding love just by swiping right. Her expectations from a prospective date are different, and she fails to find the perfect match in the app universe. The emotionally excruciating process gives her self-doubt and humiliation in abundance, as she admits in one scene, but then she starts the grind all over again in the hope of finding that elusive love and Mr Right. On one of her Date Zero, where she meets a hotshot startup founder whom she had never met in person before starts listing out the must-have qualities in the prospective life partner. His long monologue is greeted with her blank, bleak stare. The camera zooms in to capture the disappointment in Saiba’s gaze and matches it with that of another woman sitting a few tables away and out on a date as well; the women exchange a glance of blighted hope, equally let down by their respective dates. The fleeting moment elucidates the dating app plot that often makes one feel like a square peg in a round hole, with many misses before that one hit.
(The frames that tell the story… from I Love Thane in Modern Love Mumbai, currently streaming on Amazon Prime.)