Barely a week into its release and Amazon Prime’s latest show, ‘Made in Heaven’, has already been streamed, sampled, and applauded by India’s growing tribe of web series guzzlers. And the unanimous verdict is that the nine-episode fiction series, which gives an insight into Delhi’s upper crust weddings, is totally binge-worthy. Created by ace filmmakers Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti (their most recent success being ‘Gullyboy’), who have also written the series along with Alankrita Shrivastava (director, Lipstick Under my Burkha), ‘Made in Heaven’ is currently the show everyone is talking about.
As the series captures the big fat Indian wedding and all that goes on behind it, viewers get to soak in the lives of not just wedding planners Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan (Arjun Mathur), but also glimpse into those of the people who hire them. In the process, a cocktail of double standards, hypocrisies, vulnerabilities, and compromises in relationships are laid bare as character arcs develop.
But there is much more. ‘Made in Heaven’ shatters stereotypes along the way, shows protagonists as fallible, and delves into reality in a way that is relateable even if the viewer doesn’t belong to the world they are watching. Here are eight reasons to binge on it now!
An engaging narrative
The real star of ‘Made in Heaven’ is the writing. Even as every episode showcases a brand new couple or family whose wedding ceremony demands must be catered to by Tara and Karan, the screenplay stays consistently true and engaging. In the backdrop, the lives of Tara and Karan unfold – flashbacks reveal how Tara Khanna navigated her way from a modest background to becoming the wife of one’s of Delhi’s most eligible bachelors, Adil Khanna (Jim Sarbh), an industrialist. Her friend and business partner, Karan has his own demons from his past, which shape a lot of his present actions. And as every episode progresses, the layered narrative which doubles up as a social commentary, touches upon dowry, superstitions, biases, and cover ups that will enthrall, amuse, and sadden you.
Realistic, flawed female characters
The women of ‘Made in Heaven’ are flawed, realistic, and at times very relatable. Whether it’s the ones we meet for just an episode – like Priyanka Mishra (Swetha Tripathi) standing up for herself and her family or Deepti Naval’s character who decides to take a chance on love in her twilight years – or even Tara who is sure she wants to forge her own career path despite her in-laws misgivings, the women feel like people you’d know.
Portrayal of relationships
The relationships in ‘Made in Heaven’ are viewed with a non-judgemental eye. There is empathy evoked for the smallest of characters, like the peeping tom landlord (Vinay Pathak). Somehow, the writers even manage to give a vulnerable, humane side to the cheating husband, that makes you not hate him totally, while rooting for the wife to stand up for herself at the same time.
Sensitive, genuine portrayal of a gay character
Karan Mehra’s sexual orientation and love life is one of the most sensitive and genuine portrayals of a gay character you will witness on the Indian screen. This nuanced character track – which goes back into his locker room days in school to his relationship with his parents to ultimately being true to himself – is one big reason to catch the series.
Brilliant performances by the principal cast
The principal, ensemble cast with Sobhita Dhulipala, Arjun Mathur, Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin, Shashank Arora, and Shivani Raghuvanshi put up consistently strong performances with barely any false notes. And Vijay Raaz with his limited screen time, is a delight (as always).
Stellar guest cast
Be prepared to witness an amazing line-up of performances by a stellar guest cast – there are Neena Gupta, Deepti Naval, Maanvi Gagroo, Amrita Puri, Rasika Dugal, Shweta Tripathi and many more. Watch out for Vikrant Massey’s brilliant performance in the final episode.
Slick production design, cinematography and background music
‘Made in Heaven’ is a slick, good-looking show with sumptuous visuals (cinematography – Jay Oza) and a stunning background score (music director: Ankur Tiwari).
While Dhulipala has made a mark with her performance, what also stood out every time she came on screen were her outfits. From formalwear to wedding couture to accessories, the styling is great, and stands out given how seamless and well put-together it is. Costume design is by Poornamrita Singh, who has also worked on ‘Gully Boy’, ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, and ‘Life of Pi’ among others.
The series has been directed by Zoya Akthar, Nitya Mehra, Alankrita Shrivastava and Prashant Nair and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Go ahead and Binge!