Amazon Prime’s ‘Made In Heaven’ TV Review
Made In Heaven is Band Baajaa Bharat meets Dil Dhadakne Do, in the most amazing way possible.
So far, I have been able to binge, or slow burn most of the Indian original streaming content that’s available. Most, not all. So when Amazon Prime dropped the original Indian series Made In Heaven, I binged the entire thing.
The show is from Excel Entertainment, the company owned by Farhan Akhtar and his sister Zoya Akhtar. Also the same makers of other Prime original shows like Inside Edge, Breathe and Mirzapur. The new show is from two of the most prolific filmmakers currently working in the industry, Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti.
This is a Spoiler-Free TV Review of Made In Heaven.
Made In Heaven is the story of two wedding planners trying to make a name for themselves in the cut-throat industry. Makes sense. Indian weddings are massive productions that span days. And they usually feature larger than life traditions, rituals, and ceremonies. Despite this seemingly everyman concept, Made In Heaven showcases the more upper-class Indian weddings most of the time.
For the Spoiler-Filled deep-dive into the show, skip to the bottom for the Split Screen Podcast Episode.
Tara Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) has married into one of the most successful business families of India but wants to do more with her life, hence the idea to start up the wedding planning business, aptly named Made In Heaven. Her best friend and business partner is Karan (Arjun Mathur) who’s been unsuccessful in his previous business ventures in the past and hopes that this one pays off, for his sake. Adil (Jim Sarbh) is Tara’s husband, who takes his wife, and what she means to him, for granted. Faiza (Kalki Koechlin) is Tara’s best friend, dealing with the fall out of her divorce, an abusive relationship and how that affects her social well being.
Made In Heaven Is A Delightfully Made Procedural
The show initially sets up all that we need to know about these characters, their lives, and motivations. Tara wants her own identity beyond her marriage. Karan wants to come out of crippling debt. Adil wants to maintain his status quo. Faiza… doesn’t really know what she wants.
The tensions and potential conflicts are sprinkled in throughout. Tara’s marriage and relationship at home seem tense. Karan’s debt problems are bordering on the break-your-legs level of interest repayment. But what Made In Heaven ends up doing, and where the story goes, is incredibly poignant and moving. While at the same time, the show showcases elements of conventional Indian culture that other films and stories within the same industry have thus far been unable to, or unwilling to tell.
Made In Heaven is a complete procedural show. While other Indian streaming shows have told a larger story, broken up into episodes for the sake of a TV Series, Made In Heaven utilizes the medium in a much more effective manner.
The Performances Make The Show What It Is
Every episode of the show focuses on Tara and Karan, along with their crew, planning a different wedding, with different circumstances, problems, and characters. On top of planning the details of those characters’ weddings, they inexplicably get caught up in their lives. They deal with their issues, and inadvertently let those experiences influence their own lives, in good and bad ways.
The show is really about a handful of main characters, but the individual episodes and characters they meet, see them reacting and relating to lessons learned, and applying them in their own lives. It’s not a brand new concept, as most network and even some cable TV shows in Hollywood have this formula down pat. But it’s the first time that I’ve seen this formula utilized to tell an Indian story, especially about something so inherently South Asian, told in this way.
Made In Heaven’s supporting cast and their own stories are unique and heartwarming as well. Jazz (Shivani Raghuvanshi), is a small town girl who gets a job with Made In Heaven. She is constantly star struck at the way that the uber-rich celebrate their weddings. She wants to be them, but also cannot escape her own roots and struggles. Jazz is one of the most well-developed characters of the show, and Raghuvanshi plays her so earnestly that it’s hard to believe that she’s ‘acting’.
Break Out Star Dhulipala Dominates Every Scene
The breakouts of Made In Heaven are Dhulipala and Mathur. Where has Dhulipala been all my life?! Her screen presence is awe-inspiring. From the first frame, she delivers an absolute powerhouse performance. She plays Tara in such a wide range, given what the character goes through, it’s all just so incredibly brilliant. She starts off as the cocky and self-assured character, but her transformation by the end of Season 1 is endearing and tragic to behold.
Mathur has been around for decades in Bollywood. And it’s about time that he’s rewarded with a role and show like this. While Dhulipala is ridiculously strong, Mathur is that much subdued and casual. He plays Karan as the very much cool Delhi guy, and it shows. His unraveling into despair is amazing to watch on-screen.
Arjun Mathur Deserves An Award For His Performance
Made In Heaven begins as a show that’s cold and calculated, about characters who are equally detached and rigid. But delving into their lives and lifting the veil of the upper class by showcasing the struggles of people from various economic backgrounds trying to coexist within the same society, is engaging and creates for amazing drama.
Made In Heaven is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.