If you are not familiar with Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti’s ‘Made in Heaven’ which released last month on Amazon Prime, you are missing out on a lot. One month after release it’s still delivering thought-provoking messages and giving voice to social issues that need to see the light of day. Undoubtedly it is one of the most intelligent digital content that India has ever produced, because of the brilliance with which it is written and directed, it shatters the façade of the glamorous big fat weddings.
The name itself is loaded with irony and will make you think that the series focuses on glorious weddings and relationships and how matches are made in heaven, but once you start watching the show you’ll realize how humans mess things up, and nothing is ever left to divine intervention once it lands on earth and is swallowed by social norms.
This Indian web series focuses on the real lives behind social media and breaks the illusion of reality that is hidden behind those contrived wedding videos. Here are a list of reasons why ‘Made in Heaven’ is more than just a regular web series, and also why you should be watching it:
Writers and Directors
If you are not a huge fan of Zoya Akhtar’s work, are you even a Bollywood Junkie?
She is one of the creator, writer and director. Reema Kagti (Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. and Talaash) is also the co-creator of the show. So is Alankrita Shrivastava (Lipstick Under My Burkha) who along with Zoya and Reema has written the show. What is unique about the show is the fact that each episode is directed by a different director which adds interesting layers and multiple perspectives to the show as well.
Nitya Mehra (Baar Baar Dekho) and Prashant Nair (Delhi in a day) are also two of the five brilliant directors from the series. What I love about Zoya Akhtar’s work is that the male characters are shown as vulnerable as the female ones, how they too are victims of patriarchy in our societies and how it is okay to have emotions and not hide behind their masculinity just because that’s what they have been taught their whole lives.
Each character is given real emotions by the writers which makes them easily relatable to the audience. In today’s age of fake personas and social media avatars, the depth ascribed to each character is flawless – in fact, moulded to perfection. Not only that, the actors playing those characters have done nothing but true justice to their roles.
Two of the main characters are Tara and Karan, who run a wedding planning company together, they also deal with issues in their personal lives that includes paying off debts, sexuality, and marital problems and as we see them discovering themselves we also learn a lot about humans around them. Each episode also brings a new wedding drama to light. Where we can feel Tara’s struggle to make her failed marriage work, we also see Karan dealing with his sexuality (which is treated as a crime in society).
Then there is Jaspreet, who attempts to blend into her work life which is completely removed from her real world – yet her quest of having more is relentless. Characters like Adil and Faiza mimic the elite, modern strata of society who have everything in the world but at the end of the day, are entangled in their own webs.
‘Made in Heaven’ covers themes that will make you question: Why did we not discuss them before? Let me tell you why.
Because I don’t think anybody believes that we need an outsider’s perspective towards everyday problems in the lives of people who live beyond their fancy personas. Each episode covers a new social issue that is not only sensitive but also difficult.
On one hand there are weddings where in laws investigate their to-be daughter in law to make sure she is ‘socially’ acceptable and eligible to become a part of their world. And on the other hand, there is an impotent groom. There is forced marriage for the sake of political alliance. And then there is a royal family which normalizes sexual abuse with the power of money. There is a bride who walks out of her wedding when her in laws demand dowry. The show also highlights interfaith marriages and celebrity culture and all this in a way that points us towards the dark side of society. LGBTQ rights, sexual/marital abuse, patriarchy, compromises made by people to keep a relationship going are also discussed thoroughly enough to give us hope that we don’t have to settle for any less just because we are told or are forced to.
I believe ‘Made in Heaven’ is a brilliant form of storytelling, which helps audiences understand issues that were considered a taboo in society and simply ignored because of the ‘inappropriate’ label.
This Indian web series deals with important subjects that have been given a sensitive and acceptable approach finally.
Anum holds a Bachelors Degree in Media Arts from the University of Karachi, Pakistan. She passionately pursues a career in freelance film-making and content writing.
Anum has worked with Ideas by Gul Ahmed, SIUT and Sukoon. She plans to launch her own web channel one day.
Her Motto in life, in her own words: “Live in the moment, as it will pass, like everything else in life!”