Made In Heaven
Cast: Arjun Mathur, Sobhita Dhulipala
Creators: Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti
It’s sensational, at times frivolous, but very engaging. On top of it, Made In Heaven slips in important messages quite effortlessly. It follows the template of the best web shows and has the imprint of its creators.
Made In Heaven is a wedding planning agency set in, where else, Delhi, the pretentious little rich island where fathers proudly take loans for their daughters’ wedding. Also a cultural melting pot, it has all the affluent and powerful people jostling for their five minutes of social respect in the eyes of extended family and immediate society.
Tara Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan Mehra (Arjun Mathur) are the proprietors of the wedding planning agency that’s reeling under debt but is extremely ambitious in its approach. You know how weddings are done in Sainik Farms or Gurgaon farmhouses!
The central storyline is following the journey of two conflicted, morally ambiguous friends to different weddings they organise. On their way, they meet people who have been criminals, philanthropists, contractors, erstwhile kings and typically empowered women who have been fighting their inner demons and patriarchy at the same time. But there are no villains, only messed up people, and that’s the best thing about the show. You immediately get the non-judgmental vibes of the directors — three women and one man.
This is the South Delhi you’ve never been able to see from behind the huge walls. These buildings have private swimming pools, really big meeting halls and an army of helpers. The friction begins when the inhabitants go out on their work. There, they encounter their shallow selves, nemesis and urban poverty in its most bizarre form.
It’s terrific writing because every character, with full-fledged backstory, gets a chance to unfold its plight, flashes and aspirations. Be it Shashank Arora’s quirky wedding videographer or Shivani Raghuvanshi’s effervescent production assistant or Vinay Pathak’s guilt-ridden landlord, all of them have a say in the final outcome. You can’t imagine any plot without them. They’re zip-tight in their roles.
The first two episodes set up the tempo. Arjun Mathur struggling to come out as gay, Sobhita betrayed in her own house and the staff at Made In Heaven trying to find their feet, all fit in the jigsaw puzzle laid out by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, the show's creators.
You may use the same argument of ‘rich people cut off from the reality’ against Made In Heaven too if you want, but the constant supply of entertainment, twists and cheap thrills will keep you hooked for all the nine episodes of nearly 55 minutes each.
Some amazing actors appear and leave in between but they have been briefed intelligently. They know exactly what impact they’re going to make. Couple that with Sobhita, Arjun, Kalki and Jim Sarbh’s holding performances and you don’t have much to complain about Amazon Prime’s new show.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Made In Heaven breaks new grounds for Indian web shows. It has all the ingredients of a charming series. There’s a lot to appreciate.
Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha