A heartfelt drama about two best mates who run a boutique wedding planning startup in south Delhi. This Made In Heaven review is brought to you by AboutFlick’s Mr T.
Creator: Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti
Review: If you’ve grown up in India, when you hear the term ‘wedding’, either of these two would happen to you. Either you immediately think parties and fairy tales, or you’re filled with dread. Created by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti and written by Alankrita Shrivastava, Made In Heaven masterfully dissects the behind the scenes drama of big fat Indian weddings. We get an exclusive peek into the lives of the various creatures that inhabit the wild urban jungle called south Delhi – the spoiled brat, the judgemental parent, the powerful money lender, the entitled industrialist, the corrupt politician, the struggling entrepreneur and the salaried middle-class.
The story revolves around Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan (Arjun Mathur), who run a boutique wedding planning startup but behave less like wedding planners and more as private detectives, sorority sisters, therapists, peacekeepers and social justice warriors. They appear to be omnipresent, as we see 9 weddings unfold over the course of 9 episodes. Jim Sarbh and Kalki Koechlin play Tara’s industrialist husband Adil and best friend Faiza respectively, who are having an affair with each other.
Arjun Mathur is excellent as the openly gay co-partner in Made In Heaven, who tries his best to navigate through the tough spots in his everyday life. Kalki Koechlin is also a delight to watch as an unsure and vulnerable soul. The chemistry between Shivani Raghuvanshi and Shashank Arora has been handled very well too. However, Sobhita Dhulipala and Jim Sarbh are limited in terms of acting range, and they could have done better. The series also features a number of recurring roles and cameos by well-known faces like Vinay Pathak, Vijay Raaz, Deepti Naval, Neena Gupta, Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh, Shweta Tripathi, Amrita Puri, Rasika Dugal, Vikrant Massey, Maanvi Gagroo and Anjum Sharma – and it’s quite a bonus.
The show captures the hustle and bustle of life in Delhi beautifully, complete with golgappa stalls, dilapidated buildings and grooming academies. I also liked that the Samsung product placements were way less intrusive than the ads you encounter in your typical Bollywood fare. Some of the same generic shots have been used more than once as B-roll though, and this shouldn’t have been done.
Made In Heaven exposes the regressive mindset of urban Indians who hide under the mask of progressiveness. A culture where background checks matter more than love, and no one bats an eyelid while perpetuating illogical customs like marrying a tree to ward off ‘evil’. The show doesn’t shy away from confronting issues that plague India in the 21st century. It tackles topics like bullying in school, the use of drugs among youth, police brutality, the culture of bribes, corruption in politics, dowry demands and casual misogyny where workers refuse to take orders from a woman. The aspirations of middle-class Indians are skilfully juxtaposed with upper class privilege. No one is perfect and the series recognizes that. Faiza isn’t the evil home breaker and Adil isn’t the villainous industrialist. Made In Heaven also treats its gay characters like normal human beings – a rare occurrence in Bollywood. It is extremely satisfying, as society’s mask is ripped off layer by layer, and the hypocrisy of treating LGBTQ people like diseased or perverted people is exposed for everyone to see.
The show isn’t perfect though. The need for a cathartic resolution after each episode is occasionally a handicap, and some of the plot points feel cliched and contrived. The commentary from Shashank Arora at the end of a few episodes is pointless as well. It also suffers from overdramatization of ordinary moments, something that should’ve been avoided. Ultimately, Made In Heaven, like its characters, is not flawless, but sure to bring you some heartfelt joy when you watch it.
Rating: My rating for Made In Heaven is 3.5/5.
Who should watch this: If you like subtle and heartfelt dramas, you will enjoy Made In Heaven. You should also check out Billions (2016), Succession (2018), Silicon Valley (2014) and Halt & Catch Fire (2014).