MADE IN HEAVEN: cusp of modernity

It’s not even past a month since Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy vigorously internalized desires of Murads across the nation. While she’s being critically accused of first world or elite portrayals, Gully Boy and Lust Stories (Bhumi Pednekar’s segment) disposed the accusation. She’s back with her elite “rich” (in every sense) world in Amazon Prime Series Made In Heaven, with no regrets. What isn’t true stands the critical accusation, films have the potentiality to dwell across social structures and patterns and being “rich” is one of them. Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti scratch the layers of grandiosity to find complexities of glitz and glamour, at times, the grandiosity feels empty. Released on the occasion of International Women’s Day, there’s nothing better than watching a.k.a seeking Made In Heaven created by women force: Zoya Akhtar, Nitya Mehra, Alankrita Shrivastava and Reema Kagti.

Made In Heaven chronicles the story of two wedding planners Karan (Arjun Mathur) and Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) in Delhi, where tradition jostles with modern aspirations against the backdrop of big fat Indian weddings revealing many secrets and lies. Over the surface, it traverses like a spicy gossip, but it simmers and peels off the liberal fabric of the upper crust. Writers juxtapose arranged marriages against malfunctioning relationships, identity crisis as well as dilemmas. In an interesting manner, the series unravels the rich human shades while the arranged nature works against the force of nature; for instance, infidelity posed against dowry. Predominantly, Made In Heaven presents an alliance of past and present, rather a potent blend of old and new India – with varieties of human shades. Because life isn’t mere black and white, vibrant colour schemes incline towards a grey shade extracting an unclear situation, categorically evil. Wedding planners are selfless, the alliances are selfish and the affluence of the upper crust isn’t holier than cow – there’s a categorical hope within every character as they’re ripped of their natural habitat.
Made In Heaven, at times, feels like a social reformation. As Tara moves from middle-class to upper-class or Karan comes out of the closet, it seeks at the inherited world being incompetent and leasing a new world exploring through reformative sensibilities. But the writing has an old school charm, intricate and nuanced writing makes it more lenient as well as approachable. Hence, Tara’s journey from “gutter to glitter” never feels distant. Society abides the vulnerability of the tradition which sprouts complexity when it comes in contact with modernity, isn’t it? That’s what Made In Heaven is all about. 9 Episodes partly directed by Zoya Akhtar, Nitya Mehra, Prashant Nair and Alankrita Shrivastava are surprisingly engaging, like I said, it’s a spicy gossip on the surface which you don’t often miss. And the drawbacks being either I’m biased or thoroughly engrossed to find null. Series has the benefit of doubt for leisure and absorbing character development, Made In Heaven achieves it through a recurring ensemble.
On the technical front, it’s seemingly embossing the richness of the world. Cinematographers Jay Oza, John Jacob Payyapalli, Stephen Ciupek and Tanay Satam unveil the contrasting dsyfunctiofality of the social stature and personal dilemma. Editor Apurva Asrani, Harshit Sharma, Zainab Shakil and Namrata Rao roughly cut the edges of the lenient narrative beholding the viewer in the alliance. And the best part of Made In Heaven is the remarkable space for performances. Sobhita Dhulipala (Raman Raghav 2.0, Kaalakaandi) conquers the forefront as she delivers a stellar performance while Arjun Mathur’s empathetic performance uplifts the momentum. Shivani Raghuvanshi (Titli), who plays the typical middle-class vernac steals the limelight from the elite ensemble. Shashank Arora, Jim Sarbh, Vikrant Massey, Kalki Koechlin, Neena Gupta, Rasika Dugal, Shweta Tripathi, Natasha Singh, Vijay Raaz, Amrita Puri, Manjot Singh – the wide range of actors add expectedly wondrous support.
Made In Heaven unravels the grandiose facade juxtaposed with arranged marriage and selfless wedding planners. It is an intricate series which potently blends past – present, tradition – modernity, upper crust – lower crust while it presents roots and routes towards social complexities. In the words of Reema Kagti, “cusp of modernity. And Made In Heaven might even unleash the hypocrisy of the Indian society, will it?


Language: Hindi
Release: 08 March, 2019
Rating: 4/5


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