Director: Chaitanya Kumbhakonum
Cast: Abhishek Chauhan, Badri Chavan, Shivankit Parihar, Jaimini Pathak, Niketan Sharma, Khushbu Baid, Ayushi Gupta, Nidhi Bisht, Ashish Gupta
IANS Rating: ***
The title 'Cubicles', immediately transports your mind to the office maze, which is arguably the most loathed of all office layouts. It conjures up images of dread, drudgery, along with a dictatorial boss at the helm. Such preconceptions are accurate, and research reveals that the cubicles - tend to reduce employee morale and productivity. It is also a place where conflict thrives.
But unlike the above-mentioned preconceived notion, this brief five-episode series, narrated through Piyush Prakapati's point of view, who is now pretty much settled at the IT firm, Synotech, takes off from where it left in its season one. It tackles the very real kinds of dynamics that you'll notice in an office, and specifically, that deals with IT.
The first episode begins with Piyush having Monday blues, and while at office, he settles into his cubicle with his colleagues Gautam and Naveen Shetty, Sunaina joins them as their new colleague. She is aggressive and ruthlessly competitive, unlike the others sharing the cubicle. How they co-exist and Piyush rises the ranks in the organisation forms the crux of the season.
The episodes that follow deal with some "quarter-life crises" and office crises, specifically a code going awry. Then the plot gives us an insight into how, "You can twist the statistics, but not the real-life facts". It is during his moment of frustration, Piyush tenders his resignation but repents after he sends the email to his boss. How he gets out of the sticky situation forms the crux of the third episode.
The fourth episode titled, 'The Pink Slip' is packed with pent-up emotions that surface unexpectedly, and the last episode specifically tells us, "Life is all about the choices one makes".
Each character in the series is well etched. With specific traits, the characters dive into the complex issues in the way they deserve. The script of the series is clean and taut. The plot does not digress into the personal lives of its characters beyond the office space. Also, it does not delve into messy, complicated intra-office relationship issues.
Despite some of the details being a little too cliched and a bit too on the nose at times, especially in the way the organisation is presented, the writing is fairly balanced when depicting interpersonal office relationships and the employer-employee equation.
On the performance front, most of the actors deliver effortless, down-to-earth performances, but it is Jaimini Pathak, who stands out with his understated, and emotionally packed delivery in the fourth episode.
Overall, while the series does not boast of any over-the-top dramatic graph there is something very relatable about this series that makes it worth a watch.
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