It’s been a while since we saw a “feel-good” family drama. “Sutliyan” is the story of a family that is meeting almost a year and a half later, after having lost their father during the COVID lockdown. Due to the COVID restrictions, none of the three siblings could attend their father’s funeral or be there for their mother. Now, they have all come back home with their own set of problems and want to understand how their changed family members fit into their lives.
“Sutliyan” is an 8-episode series, with each episode lasting around 25 minutes. The show is easy to watch and does make you feel a certain way about your family and what the people are like outside of it. This was also when we realized how different our perception of “feel-good” had become over the years.
‘Sutliyan’ Plot Summary: What Is The Show About?
The show opens with the three siblings-Ranjan, Ramni, and Raman-going home. Ranjan, the eldest, is hinted to be in huge debt after the failure of his business due to Covid and is going home in hopes of selling the ancestral land to settle his financial affairs. Ramni and Raman carry the guilt of not being able to be there for them during their father’s death and are going home to be able to be a family again. The mother in this story, Supriya, is shown to be well-adjusted after her husband’s death and has started a business of her own, making macrame ornaments, which she has named “Sutliyan.” But despite her having moved ahead in her life, she still carries the trauma of being alone through the ordeal of her husband’s death. She has a friend, Loki, who we hear has stood by her side like a rock and supported her since her husband’s demise. But their friendship does not sit well with Ramni, who is convinced that something is wrong with her mother. She eventually sees the relationship for what it is and comes to terms with it.
Raman, on the other hand, is the youngest child in the family, and he still hasn’t started a career as he isn’t sure what to do. He is also shown constantly smoking up. There is a subplot about him and his ex-girlfriend, Dipannita, who is now married to someone else. She is somewhat unhappy in her marriage and is trying to make a decision regarding it. Her husband, who is introduced later in the show, is depicted as a good man who is trying to understand how to make his wife happy.
Coming back to the eldest son in the family, Ranjan’s character is somewhat sexist, and he refuses to share his problems with his wife. He has assumed himself to be the head of the family after his father and is intent on pushing his decisions on others. This changes later when he is called out by Ramni, and he himself admits to his failures and asks for help while being vulnerable.
Coming to Ramni finally, she is the one who we see the most of in the show. Ramni is said to take after her father, and she is unable to accept the changes in the aftermath of his death. That is one of the reasons she is dead set against selling the ancestral land, as it is the last memory they have of her father. She also has a complicated personal life, with her being a lesbian and hiding it from her family while leading on a guy because she occasionally requires his help in Bhopal. When her girlfriend comes to visit her, she is surprised at the completely different person Ramni is in her hometown.
How the three siblings and their mother deal with their personal issues while dealing with the financial troubles of Ranjan is the story.
Major Spoilers Ahead
What Works And What Doesn’t?
Honestly, there is very little that doesn’t work, and that is only and only because no piece of content is ever perfect. The music is great, the story is well-structured with very believable characters who are all likable to a great extent, which is something we haven’t seen in a while. The show does a good job of portraying family resentments and how they balance with our love for those very people. It is also a great commentary on what moving on means, be it from family tragedy, a career setback, or heartbreak. This show conveys what it means for your family to be your support system and does it admirably. And this is also one of the few times we have seen on screen a partner of an LGBTQ couple understanding the nuances of their other halves not wanting to come out to their family.
‘Sutliyan’ Season 1: Ending Explained – Does The Family Come Together Again?
Like we said before, there isn’t much that doesn’t work except for this one scene in the finale of the show. It is when Ramni’s mother is shown to have known all along that her daughter is a lesbian, and she tells that to the guy who wants to marry her, so that he doesn’t have any false hopes. While it is admirable to see a mother being so supportive of her children, it is really no one’s place, not even our parents’, to out people to others. And we see that Ramni is grateful to her mother for this. That is something we can’t imagine happening in the real world. But the conversation that follows, about what it means to have children and a parent’s perspective on disagreements with their child, would have been very touching if it had just not been spoiled by such a problematic scene. We wish they had found another way to convey Ramni and her mother’s reconciliation.
We also see that Dipannita has chosen to give her marriage a chance and move to Trivandrum with her husband, though she wants to stay friends with Raman, which ends in a tearful goodbye. The children also talk to Loki uncle and their mother about getting married to each other but are firmly told that they are just friends and will remain so. As for Ranjan’s debt, Ramni comes up with a plan to take a loan from her bank with the land as collateral, which means that they don’t have to sell it. The three siblings decide that together, they will clear the EMIs every month and preserve their father’s memory. So yes, it was quite a neat ending to a good show. The loss of a loved one has brought the family together and strengthened their bonds for a happy future, is what we would say at the risk of sounding sappy.
“Sutliyan” is a good show that kept us engaged throughout, and while we were not blown away, we will remember it for quite a while to come. While we wish we had seen more of Supriya, the mother, as she was clearly the show stealer, we will settle for this having been a good weekend watch.
When we started this, we thought we were up for something emotional and sappy, but right from the second episode, we knew it was those things in the subtle, frustrating way that your real family often is. That’s what makes the show worth watching, and how well it entertains you is just one of the many good things about it which you realize when you get into it.
“Sutliyan” is a 2022 Indian Family Drama series streaming on ZEE5.