Starring – Sobhita Dhulipala and Arjun Mathur
Created by – Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti
Genre – Drama
Streaming Platform – Amazon Prime
Created by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, Made in Heaven, an original series on Amazon Prime, is the story of two wedding planners as they seek to establish their business while their own personal lives are completely dysfunctional. The story beautifully navigates through some complex issues (cheating spouses, homosexuality) in the lives of the two main protagonists Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan (Arjun Mathur), while dealing with equally complex issues in the various weddings they help organize.
Each episode deals with a different couple getting married and a different social issue. From the practice of dowry and superstitious beliefs to rape to how remarriage is perceived for an older woman, this show uncovers all the holes in the social fabric of our society that are just festering under the surface.
The writing is a mixed bag. It does a good job as it gives all its central characters multiple layers instead of assigning them arbitrarily as heroes and villains. These characters exist in a gray area, trying to do the best they can with the life they have while facing conflicts that are both, real and relatable. Unfortunately, the resolution of these problems are almost too easy unlike real life and a plot involving a rival company seems under-cooked. However, the production design on this show is incredible and makes you really believe that you are witnessing opulence and grandeur of South Delhi weddings.
Acting is where this show at its strongest. Its two main leads (Dhulipala and Mathur) in particular do a great job of making you care for their characters despite their morally ambiguous choices. Shashank Arora’s character provides the conclusion to most episodes as a narrator which prove to be terrific bookends. Vinay Pathak and Vijay Raaz are magnificent in minuscule roles. There is a parade of accomplished guest actors in every episode (Neena Gupta, Deepti Naval, Rasika Duggal, Dalip Tahil, Pulkit Samrat to name a few) which manages to provide gravitas to the story of these grandiose weddings.
Amazon and Netflix, among other services, have been focused on creating original Indian content (though not all good) for Indian audience and in case of Made in Heaven, Amazon has really hit the nail on the head. Despite the scale of its weddings, the stories at the heart of the show are engaging and relatable for the audience. The show is a wonderful take on Indian weddings that is both bizarre and poignant despite some writing flaws.