Made In Heaven Web Series Review: Brutal truth behind the blush and bridal trousseau
Amazon Prime Videos latest outing Made In Heaven is not about the glitter and gold of shaadis
Web Series Review: Made In Heaven
Made In Heaven opens with a beautiful montage of brides mouthing 'I Love You', grooms returning the gesture with a wink or a beaming smile as happy faces revel in the union.
But Amazon Prime Video's latest outing is not about the glitter and gold of shaadis. Instead, it offers a critical glance at what happens outside of the gorgeously packaged wedding videos. Directors Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Nitya Mehra, Alankrita Shrivastava and Prashant Nair deftly peel open the wedding planning world to tackle several themes - from dowry to impotency - critiquing when it must, but mostly depicting with heart and empathy that will make one question the farcical societal rules.
From the onset, we dive into the world of Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan (Arjun Mathur) - two friends who run the wedding planning agency, Made In Heaven. The story is narrated by Kabir (Shashank Arora), the company's videographer, who often mirrors the thoughts in our minds. Selling the idea of perfect shaadis, Tara and Karan spearhead one function after another, often selling their souls in the bargain. It's a wisely chosen template of storytelling where each episode is a new wedding, posing fresh problems for the duo, while they struggle with their personal lives.
Tara is in an unhappy marriage, unable to put her finger on what's wrong between her husband Adil (Jim Sarbh) and her. Dhulipala plays Tara to perfection - she is contained and composed, but when spurned, she matches Tara's fury with genuine vigour. Mathur is terrific as Karan, a gay man struggling to make sense of the world around him that compels him to remain closeted. He plays Karan with might, heart and angst. A word of praise for the writing department which is able to render a tender touch in portraying homosexual love and love making. Sensitively shot, Karan isn't reduced to a homosexual with a promiscuous sex life. Rather, he comes across as a man burdened by his past, seeking peace in casual relationships to overcome his personal failures. The supporting cast, including Kalki Koechlin, Deepti Naval, Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi and others, show how small but significant parts can add to the narrative.
Through the lens of each nuptial, the team presents to us a potpourri of cultures in Delhi - from the bungalows of Barakhamba Road to the claustrophobic alleys of Chandni Chowk - picking characters from different stratas and throwing them in the blend to get a unique flavour. It's a shrewdly written show that has a perfect grip over its players and their psyche, which is why the characters or its milieu never feel inauthentic. This is a tale about flawed human beings, their trajectory from rags to riches, their compromises, marriages, abusive spouses and infidel partners.
As the narrative unspools, the directors are careful to keep the emotions real; even as they burst the bubble of perfect love and marriage created by pop culture, the show doesn't border on disillusionment. Ever since the advent of several digital giants in India, we have been talking about how the content landscape is changing. Made In Heaven is the perfect example of this change.
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