DISCLAIMER- No spoilers alert.
If you’ve watched Gully Boy (2019 Bollywood movie), you can pretty much vouch for Zoya Akhtar’s and Reema Kagti’s writing, and Akhtar’s direction capabilities, just like I do. So, not so surprisingly, in recent times, I was eager to look at any project that had names- Zoya and Reema- associated to it. Such one entertainment piece, a mini-series, got released recently on Amazon Prime – Made in Heaven– primarily a drama series, with bits and pieces of romance sprinkled here and there.
As this would be my first writing piece on an entertainment source other than books, this particular series in spotlight has to be either above average or below average. Without causing any more delay, let me just put it out for you that MIH is one of the best series I’ve watched lately. If I may, I’d call it the best Indian series I’ve watched (which, by the way, are not many.) MIH has proven that there is a possibility to describe this multi-layered Indian society in subtle ways; that without saying much verbally, it is possible to just lay it all out there for an audience who cares for the matter in hand.
Writing– Stirring would be too inadequate a word to describe it.
Direction– Impactful might not do justice to it.
Acting (by the leads and supporting cast)- Incredible was what I would call it.
Story– Important, uneasy at times, and a mirror not many would want to look at.
MIH is about two main protagonists- the wedding planners of MIH. Their life looks like that of any other human being, but like any other human being, it is not what it looks like. There is history to it, some dark secrets, some painful incidents, which they live with daily but never dare to discuss with anybody, not even with their own self. Although the protagonists’ graph grows gradually throughout the series, what seemed more promising to me was the way that progression was handled.
There were could-have-gone-majorly-wrong moments, but no moment, fortunately, turned out to be so. Another factor, among many others, that helped me in considering this series worth my time was its no minute wastage policy. Which must have been intentional, for otherwise to display a range of social issues and stigmas along with the task of progressing a story successfully in such short a span of time might not have been possible. I, for one, didn’t find a single scene, or, for matter of fact, any cast member, kept for adornment; all seemed to have helped in not keeping the story stagnant at any point.
Without straying from the tangent we are currently on, if I talk about the themes discussed about in the series, a lot is going to be served on your platter. For some, it might be more than they can consume. Many issues and stigmas that revolve around marriages, sexuality, high-class lifestyles and drugs have been tried to be conveyed in a manner that, sometimes, might make the viewer uneasy too. But naked truths have always been hard to talk about, right?
What all goes behind making a seemingly-happy marriage work; what all goes behind a deep-in-love couple getting married; what all goes behind a marriage where the togetherness seems the only viable option- you will get to witness a fictional world of all of it. India today is at a point where a topic like sexuality is still not very open to discussion, especially among the Generation X and Baby Boomers. Even after the dissolution of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, it is still considered a taboo or an illness to fall in love with a person of same gender, for it goes against the course of nature; if it is going against a human’s natural way of life, doesn’t really matter. To what lengths one can go to gain and fit into a lifestyle one is not naturally born into. How drugs destroy not only one life but of all those associated with it. This is just the gist of many more sub-themes and subjects you will put yourself open to when you sit to watch MIH.
Calling MIH a mirror of society is in no way an exaggeration. Reality wasn’t dressed up for the sole purpose of entertaining, everything seemed to be as is as the society is. I, in fact, even discovered some facets of society I never payed heed to before. I learnt about the extent homosexuality goes down in our society. Then, I also encountered some strange but real activities that happen in and around some marriages in northern India, which I, let alone witness, didn’t even know existed.
A variety of characters, and thus variety of backstories, helped delivering a powerful performance. I found that sufficient time and energy was given to each and every character; more to the ones that needed them, and lesser to those who didn’t; it was a balanced ensemble, one can say. And Zoya must have been able to quench her thirst of having tonnes of characters, which she loves as I heard her saying in one of her interviews.
Kudos to Sobhita and Arjun too- the Tara and Karan of MIH. Their skills have been put to proper use in the series, and they did justice to whatever situation they were put in. Not belittling any other cast member’s performance, as each had done a wonderful job, but talking about each would lengthen this already long piece.
This mini-series is an example of having done all the things right, putting everything at its berth, and ending it at a note that will make one think and introspect and wonder of the ills lying around, the ways some of them have been curbed and rest of the open issues that still need attention. It is about the society, the bonds, the friendships, the families, the marriages. I highly recommend you and yours to watch this mini-series.
Made in Heaven is certainly an art-piece made in heaven for the people on Earth.
Have you watched it too? What did you like about it? What did you not like about it? Would you recommend watching it?
IF YOU ARE A FIRST- TIME VISITOR OF MY BLOG, DO REFER ‘First-Timers‘. IT WOULD HELP YOU IN EXPLORING THE PLACE.
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