Baring delusional grandeur: Made in Heaven
Amazon Prime’s new series “Made in Heaven” has intelligently taken forward this theme to bring a reality series with a splendid mishmash of twisted relations, envy, ambitions, sexuality, love, and pride.
Few functions on this Earth flaunt as much grandeur and pomp as an Indian wedding. It is often said that blood ties are forged by the gods, but the ground reality can be deceptively different. Amazon Prime’s new series “Made in Heaven” has intelligently taken forward this theme to bring a reality series with a splendid mishmash of twisted relations, envy, ambitions, sexuality, love, and pride.
MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
Story and Characters
The story is set in Delhi, where high profile and ostentatious marriages are managed by a wedding planning company “Made in Heaven” led by the ambitious Tara Khanna (played by Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan Mehra (played by Arjun Mathur). The pair find themselves amidst numerous marriages with an obvious imbalance of expectations from not only the groom and the bride, but rather more importantly from their families who bear a wide array of expectations which regularly take the form of money or reputation. Each episode of the series introduces viewers to a completely different couple and more often than not, the managing pair find themselves entangled in personal matters that are often not part of the picture that marriages present. It is equally interesting to see how the series shows that marriages or rather family unions are not just limited to the couple but are also considered alliances (not unlike the times of the emperors). Also interesting is how marriages are considered opportunities by girls to make their way up the ladder of society, both in terms of money and reputation.
A unique point in Made in Heaven which is also a considerable part of the story is the homosexuality of Karan; the legal, mental and physical consequences of which are often violently experienced by Karan and sometimes by extension, the company too, thanks to the societal and legal apathy towards the LGBT community. Increasing the plot’s humor and adding to the masala are the supporting characters viz. Jaspreet aka Jazz, (played by Shivani Raghuvanshi) who shines as a newcomer in the business with her rustic and “unpolished” background yet emotionally relatable attitudes; Kabir (played by Sunny Arora), the snobbish camera-person who can get philosophical at the end of every episode; along with Tara’s husband: Adil Khanna (played by Jim Sarbh) and Tara’s friend: Faizah (played by Kalki Koechlin).
With a medium paced story, the series does an excellent task in bringing out the sad realities that plague our nation in the form of dowry, superstition, corruption, misogyny, forced marriage, suspicion, sexual harassment, homophobia, even amongst the country’s crème de la crème and its intelligentsia. The show utilizes the idea of irony to the fullest, especially the ending. While understanding the practical difficulties in combatting these issues, the series also begins to question why the issues continue to persist so tenaciously in the minds of Indians, despite decades of reform and education. The language used in the series is mainly English, but there is an interesting manner in the usage of each of the accents, thus depicting the differences between the classes, as well as the sparse use of Hindi/Punjabi at times to give a perfect touch to the switch between social classes. The dialogues can get somewhat unnecessarily profane at times, but the dialogues are written in a mediocre manner. The flashbacks in the story are shown at appropriate moments and work well in the direction of the story too.
Made in Heaven has been quite an appreciated television show in recent times and everything from the story, star cast, production, directors, and writers have made sure that it is well received. With a respectable rating of 8.4/10 on IMDb, the series is sure to be a herald for change in attitudes in Indian households, especially among the youth whom it is directed towards. If anything, this series proves that weddings are made in heaven, but behind the regal façade of a marriage, there is a lot underneath, both positive and negative.