An unapologetic tale about four women with their accompanying quartet of shots as they meander their way through life in all its fun mash up of daunting complexities, Four More Shots Please! is definitely the new age liberation of modern women, unabashed and edgy, and living a life that might even be a real world fantasy.
The leads in Damini Rizvi Roy (Sayani Gupta), Anjana Menon (Kirti Kulhari), Siddhi Patel(Maanvi Gagroo) and Umang Singh (Bani J) portray diverse worlds of aspirations and fantasies, yet they bond over their shared ideals of freedom, enthusiasm and the edgy hedonistic pleasures the world has on offer for individuals who are fearless enough to let their spirits soar.
A super ambitious Damini fantasising a hot make out session with her hotter than hell gynaec Dr. Aamir Warsi in the middle of a presentation marks the opening of the latest web series. Unsurprisingly, the tone of the series is set immediately with this rather steamy beginning, yet what follows is a much deeper introspection of sorts, bordering on sexual fantasies no doubt but expanding beyond pleasures to also discover the freedom of living life on their own terms.
Damini is by profession the head of an online news portal, a no- nonsense investigative journalist and a proud recipient of the Fearless Reporter of the Year award four years in a row. That definitely speaks volumes of her fearless spirit and establishes her as a woman for whom ambition and career is priority. Even then, she embraces her sexuality and desires, and is unafraid to venture into ‘forbidden lands’. As a woman who encompasses a tremendous acceptance and acknowledgement over her identity and her needs and desires, Damini is the modern Indian woman- young, ravishing and independent. However, on the face of her career, Damini is very much the true professional, knowing her worth and not giving a damn to anyone, including men.
But come her sex life, Damini is unwilling to compromise on the carnal pleasures as well. The men in her life are too smitten by her and are eager enough to pleasure her in bed, in an instance that seems like a dream reality for most females.
Then there is Anjana, the single mother of a four year old daughter. Ever since being separated from her husband, the senior law firm associate has had a non existent sex life and relies on the savior- a vibrator to experience those orgasms she desperately longs for. Eventually, as Anjana embarrassingly goofs up a tinder date and a young interviewee, she finds herself in the pleasurable company of her hunky intern Arjun.
A chubby Gujarati girl Siddhi is next on the lead characters’ list. Body shamed by an unapproving mother who is hell bent on making sure that her daughter gets hitched soon to a richie- rich guy, (a US returned bachelor, to be precise) Siddhi invariably has major bouts of complexes. But she still very much discovers the ‘love’ in her life through her own unconventional means to feel desirable and wanted- seeking validation from strangers by stripping over the webcam and reveling in the interest shown by men lurking online.
Perhaps the most unconventional of all characters however is Umang Singh, a bisexual Ludhiana girl who is a gym instructor in Mumbai. Unconventional not only because she has the guts to embrace her sexuality like not many have, but also because she does it with so much flair and nonchalance that for once we forget that she is a character that wouldn’t be conceived of as ‘normal’ in this part of the world.
However, Umang’s character draws strength from another female in the plot. As a personal fitness instructor to Bollywood superstar Samara Kapoor (Lisa Ray) and also the latter’s hushed up love interest, Umang is a tale of detaching from the roots, yet failing to find a stronghold some place else as well, mainly because of the stigma of a dual sexuality infesting society since forever.
What’s heartening is that the characters of Four More Shots Please! are flawed and they are totally at peace with it. However, as the show shapes up, what emerges is that the ambitiousness of the characters isn’t as pronounced as their strong headedness. There are definite conflicts and introspections, interpretations and acceptance, yet what stems up is a saddening undervaluation of the four characters that had more than enough scope to shine throughout.
Strong liberated women doesn’t have to be all those who smoke and drink, or swear and sweat on the bed. Yet even when Four More Shots Please! attempts to be a refreshing take on the liberations women in particular would like to be entitled to, it ends up as one that only caters to the stereotypical lot. Indeed, every creative endeavour will likely have glitches and breakdowns, high points and excellences, but where Four More Shots Please! manages to crack the glass ceiling is the spot on casting of its characters. Each of the leads as well as the complimentaries are so adept in their reel lives that this series becomes more a case of the characters, rather than one of narration. The characters are indeed the life of the series and the four unwavering leads only emphasise why!