WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
Mar 11, 2019, 01.53 PM
Watching the rich go on with their lives in over dramatic scenarios in opulent sets that they call homes is something that we Indians are used to. For decades, Ekta Kapoor and the likes have been churning out TV shows that have large Indian business families dealing with problems in their opulent homes wearing outlandish costumes and makeup at all times of the day. So what makes Zoya Akhtar's latest web series for Amazon Prime -'Made In Heaven' stand out?
It ticks a few boxes that make for a hit TV show. It talks of the rich business families, the show has larger than life, luxurious sets and an ensemble cast. But the show, streaming now on Amazon Prime, goes beyond the glamour and the glitz and peeps right into the dysfunctionality that lies in the lives of the urban rich. Where on the surface everything looks picture perfect but when you look closely you realise that everyone is trying to hide a deep, dark secret and no one is purely black or white.
The show centers around friends and partners Karan (Arjun Mathur) and Tara Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) who run a wedding planning company called 'Made In Heaven'. Tara is a trophy wife-hailing from a lower-middle class family, she has earned love and respectability in the society thanks to her husband, Adil (Jim Sarbh) a young business tycoon. While Tara has got all the comforts in the world, her past makes her insecure about her present life and she is always on the edge because of it. Kabir, meanwhile, is a closet gay, who has his set of problems to deal with. And while they trudge around with their personal problems, ( which are in plenty), they together make their company flourish- organising high profile weddings and on the way dealing with extraordinary situations.
The series has 9 episodes, each an hour long where Kabir and Tara meet new clients and in turn deal with unexpected situations. Written by Alankrita Srivastava and created by Akhtar and Reema Kagti- the episodes deal with very pertinent problems- from dowry to class divide to honour killing and homosexuality.
In fact, 'Made In Heaven' is perhaps the first show that talks about the LGBTQ community with so much ease. The lead character is gay who has so much going on in his life. He has to come out to his parents, he needs to answer the prying landlord and he has to bury his turbulent past. For a change, an Indian show doesn't show a gay man with stereotypical effeminate traits and tries to highlight the various complexities the gay community has to deal with even in urban areas where p[eople may claim to be open and liberal yet squirm talking about homosexuality.
Since it's created by Zoya Akhtar, several prominent stars play pivotal cameos in the series. These actors, together with the lead cast that comprises of Kalki Koechlin, Jim Sarbh, Shashank Arora and Shivani Raghuvanshi along with Dhulipala and Mathur deliver compelling performances - making the show very engaging and real.
There are of course some drawbacks. It's a show about two wedding planners but often they turn into crusaders dealing with all the issues that Indian society is plagued with. The show is supposed to be based in Delhi yet the characters, the look - the ambiance looks and feels like Mumbai. There is also a narration at the end of each episode by Arora's character which is unnecessary and preachy and spoils the experience of viewing.
Despite the issues, I'd say 'Made In Heaven' makes for a good watch. It's entertaining- look out for the episode that features 'Fukrey' actors Pulkit Samrat and Manjot Singh- mounted on a lavish scale which pleases the eye and calls out the issues that plague our urban society till date. It tones down the melodrama to a great extent and shows us that the superficial 'heaven' that people painstakingly create is not so 'safe' or perfect all the time.
The show goes beyond the glamour and the glitz and peeps right into the dysfunctionality that lies in the lives of the urban rich.