Phone-A-Friend review: A whimsical joyride

It must be an eerie feeling if your smartphone suddenly starts talking to you one fine day. Then it continues to befriend you and help you with your life problems. ZEE5’s Phone-A-Friend is a sci-fi rom-com which follows the story of a man and his best friend, a phone.

Story 

A 27-year-old Varun (Akhlaque Khan) who is desperate to have a girlfriend causes his android phone to come alive and guide him to fulfil his heart’s deepest desires.

Leonardo (Mantra), the voice and personality of the phone now searches for Jiya (Swati Kapoor) Varun’s childhood crush and plays the role of a mediator to get them together.

What follows next is situation where the phone starts to feel for Jiya which irks Varun. Cue a series of misunderstandings and temporary heartbreaks.

What happens between the two lovebirds and the emotional AI remains to be seen.

Performances

This is one man show by Akhlaque Khan. As a naive and wacky Varun, Khan displays an array of emotions with great maturity and contributes a lot to make Phone-A-Friend an assured winner.

On the other hand Swati Kapoor also manages to pull off a fairly good performance in a series dominated by the male protagonist. 

Mantra’s voice for Leonardo adds the required depth for his peculiar cellular character. He deserves a round of applause for his invaluable behind the screen contribution.

Positives

Allyson Patel and Yash Dave who wrote the screenplay and directed Phone-A-Friend succeed in focusing on some contemporary issues in these days of AI and data analytics.

This is an indication of things to come in the future where we all are going to live in a virtual world influenced by robots and chat-bots. This idea of replacing an animals with technology as man’s best friend is pretty spot on.

The title track composed by Tuhin Chongder (Rio) and Somraj Ganguli (Raz) adds the much needed peppiness to the show. 

Negatives

The web series borrows a lot of concepts from previous Artificial Intelligence inspired media like Robot, 2.0 and a Hollywood film across similar lines titled, Her. The idea is fun but the plot is a little cliche with the AI falling in love with a human story-line.

Phone-A-Friend touches on a lot of important topics like safeguarding the planet and dangers of global warming through Jiya’s character. However, they are left halfway through without any progression. Some sensible conclusion or a retort on environment consciousness could have helped in creating more awareness.

Worth it?

If you are looking for new and fresh content and are not so bothered by the rationality behind the story, Phone-A-Friend is going to be a joyride for you. However, it may feel confusing for people looking for a larger explanation behind the whole story.


Also Read: Money Heist Season 4 review: “Real chaos makes no noise”

Phone-A-Friend review: A whimsical joyride It must be an eerie feeling if your smartphone suddenly starts talking to you one fine day. Then it continues to befriend you and help you with your life problems. ZEE5's Phone-A-Friend is a sci-fi rom-com which follows the story of a man and his...