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ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online News'Made in Heaven' is a stellar show. No doubt about it. It is revolutionary in the current crop of series gracing the screen. It demonstrates the fact there has been a dramatic change in the way shows are being made today. Also, it has been instrumental in altering the storytelling abilities and direction of the narrative. Moreover, it has changed the perception of the audience regarding expectations from a show. Mind-blowing performances and a crisp storyline are just a few discerning qualities of the phenomenal series. Now, I won't drone on about how good the show is or how brilliant it is because it has already been said (numerous times). One thing is absolutely true, though the backdrop of the series is the big, fat Indian wedding, the series uncovers its hideous underbelly: it brings various social issues to the fore, things people don't discuss or try to shroud under the guise of gaiety and mirth. 'Made in Heaven' is an intricate series; it addresses issues without being preachy. Its beauty lies in its subtlety. Fiction is inspired by life, so there's no doubt that each new show exemplifies a slice of life, a part of life. Here are 14 truth bombs that 'Made in Heaven' eloquently embodies: 1. Be True To Yourself: Changing yourself for others is never a good bargain. You only end up feeling at war with yourself. People will judge you anyway. Karan (Arjun Mathur) is a closeted gay man and though he portrays himself to be unaffected by people's opinions, he is scared of the society he lives in. To be fair, society does make him feel bad about himself, be it the people around him or even his own family. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video As a young adolescent, he shames his best friend (who is also his lover), Nawab (Vikrant Massey), so that the other students don't judge him. Later in life, when he realizes the importance of speaking up, the fact that people take his silence for his cowardice, that is the moment he becomes himself. He starts accepting himself. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video In fact, Vinay Pathak as Karan's pushy landlord, Ramesh Gupta, wonderfully portrays the pathos of a man stuck in a web of his own creation, one who doesn't have the courage to face himself. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Reinventing yourself and changing yourself completely are different concepts; reinventing deals with changing certain things about yourself that make you better. Changing yourself completely, removing what makes you unique because of social conditioning and fear is a different ball game, it never leads to happiness. Tara's (Sobhita Dhulipala) character is interesting because she does both things. Tara reinvents herself, from being the slum-dwelling, uncouth girl she goes on to become a lady of the elite class. But in the process of doing so, she changes herself completely and brings out a part of her personality to the fore which isn't her, which makes her unhappy in the end. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Jazz (Shivani Raghuvanshi) is another example; she tries to change to fit in (Call her Jazz, ok?), even going to the extent of stealing in order to be accepted. More importantly, it is to feel good about herself but her way of doing that is wrong. She realizes that later on and repents for it. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video 2. No Matter How Much You Try, Things Will Go Out Of Hand: The show is about wedding planners, so the storyline is bound to heavily deal with the management of affairs. Things go terribly wrong for Tara and Karan multiple times throughout the season, ranging from the mild “the truck's goods have been stolen” to the fairly disastrous “the bride has run away”. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video The best thing is that they take things in their stride and make do with what is available to them. Instead of name-calling and blaming other people, they manage things efficiently. Yes, being a TV show, it seems essential that they will have a win at the end, but there is some amount of truth in the way they have represented circumstantial disasters, beautifully enacted by the actors. And isn't fiction inspired from real life? :P In Tara's personal life, her fairytale marriage to Adil seems to have hit a rocky patch. Tara tries to control it, but it ends up unravelling her life. In life, things don't always happen the way you want them, even though you ardently wished they did. But instead of ruing the day you were born and let it get the better of you, work with however little you might have. Don't try to micromanage every little aspect of your life, it isn't possible. More importantly, it isn't worth it. 3. Everything Comes With A Price Tag: The series focuses not only on the weddings featured but also the aspirations of the characters. Very intelligently depicted, there are parallels, a juxtaposition, between the wedding they plan and the circumstances they face. The weddings mirror the inner angst of the characters. Tara aspires to be a permanent member of the elite society. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Karan wants to be successful and have the choice to live life on his own terms. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Jazz longs for a lavish lifestyle, pretty dresses and all the perks of an upscale life. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video It may sound like a cliché as old as time (but aren't that what clichés are?) but everything does come with a price tag. Tara finds out that even though she has managed to get “the good life”, it is peppered with lies and deceit. Additionally, she had to pay for it by giving up on her principles and has to continue to do so as long as she wants to hold on to that esteemed position in society. Moreover, after achieving her goal, she finds out that the reality is nowhere near her lofty imaginings. On occasion, she has to quiet her suspicions by turning a blind eye to the truth. Jazz discovers that however noble your intentions may be, a crime is a crime. Once you have committed it, you can end up losing more than your job. Karan's success depends on borrowed money: from Jauhari (Vijay Raaz), his father, and Tara. Funnily enough, all want their money back from him but their ways of asking for it are dramatically different: Jauhari uses insistence and brute force, his father uses emotional manipulation. All these are the strings that his success relies on. 4. Sometimes, All You Need Is A Little Courage At The Right Moment: The show deals with poignant issues so brilliantly that it makes you marvel at the superb storytelling capabilities of Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti and Alankrita Shrivastava. Episode 4 (The Price of Love) focuses on Priyanka Mishra, who on the surface seems like the quintessential naive bride on the brink of happiness. Her fiancé, Vishal appears to be a man of principles. The shocking revelation of his true identity flabbergasts Priyanka and leads her to call in her dormant courage, at a moment which hangs in a delicate balance between right and wrong. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video The moment of hesitation before making her decision and the final determination to follow it through is wonderfully portrayed by Shweta Tripathi through her emotive face. The poignant depiction makes one realize that we all are capable of fighting our battles. All we need is a little courage at the opportune moment. Similarly, Karan finds courage after what he faces in jail; an epiphany which makes him take a stand for himself for the first time. On a dramatically opposite note, Pooja, the Mehendiwali, gives into societal pressure and makes a compromise with her life. For her, she chooses money over courage because that is what she needs in life. 5. And Other Times You Have To Play Dirty To Get What You Want: Episode 1 (All That Glitters is Gold) centres around an affluent family, The Roshans, whose son is about to get married to a journalist. The journalist in question is apparently a “gold digger”, as proclaimed by Neena Gupta's Veenu Roshan (who brilliantly plays that “loud, nouveau riche Punjabi lady from South Delhi”) and thus, asks Tara and Karan to do a background check on her. Though it is not ethical, the wedding planners agree to it because they need the job. Also, because they don't want their competitors to get the wedding. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Perhaps this fact is more established in Episode 5 (A Marriage of Convenience) when Karan takes up a wedding in Ludhiana as a last resort to make money. What Karan and Tara don't realize is that Sukhmani (Yaaneea Bharadwaj), the bride, is as desperate as them, she to achieve her “American Dream” as they are to get what they want. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video An example of Tara's shrewdness comes early on in the series, in Episode 1 (All That Glitters is Gold), when she manages to convince the bride to get the son back to his family; not because she is very invested in the idea of them getting married, but mainly to see that her business succeeds. It also mirrors Tara's ambition; an ambition which has soured overtime Karan does the same on a few occasions: lying and pretending, to fulfil his agenda of keeping the wedding going. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video The series of events is ironical; everyone plays dirty to get what they want, but in the end, does it really provide the happiness they craved from it? 6. Give It Everything You Have Got: Tara gives up her most prized possession to further herself. And in order to put herself out there, she doesn't cut corners. She takes grooming classes in a finishing school; even though she hails from a lower-middle-class background, she makes it a point to learn the intricacies of the high life. Even after getting what she wants, she doesn't stop there, she reinvents herself to fit in the new role of an upper-class socialite. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Karan asks help from people he doesn't rely on, especially his father. He is never afraid to go to the worst kind of people for money or put himself out there. Both Karan and Tara sometimes manipulate people so that they can go on with the weddings, but it is apparent in a few instances that they do care about the people they are arranging the event for and aren't just fueled by selfishness. 7. Friendship: I love how they have portrayed the essence of friendship without going overboard. Karan and Tara are friends first and business partners later; they do not let the professional differences affect their personal friendship. Tara does put her foot down when he asks for more money to be lent, but it does not mean that they stop being friends. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video They respect each other and care for each other; especially seen in a few heartwarming scenes: when Tara finds out that Adil is cheating on her, and when Tara bails Karan out of jail against all odds and hugs him without bothering about his dishevelled state. Faiza and Tara are good friends in the beginning; as we see in the flashbacks, Faiza makes it a point to make Tara feel included in Adil and her friend group, gives her advice and supports her. She helps her understand the nuances of high society. But it is ironical that it is she who betrays her in the end. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Kalki does a fabulous job playing Faiza; she brings out the unhappiness inside Faiza, the helplessness, the dilemma she faces with such intensity that it makes you feel a little bit sad about her, even though what she does to her best friend is unforgivable. Jazz and Kabir (Shashank Arora) strike up a camaraderie that is fun to watch; from initial dislike to a grudging respect for each other. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Karan and Mitali (the landlord's daughter played by Yashaswini Dayama) share a beautiful relationship; they are confidants and each other's secret keepers. They are not necessarily best friends but have an easy, lovable sibling companionship which melts your heart. Shibani makes it a point to be true to her friends even though they didn't part on the best of terms; isn't that what friendship is? 8. At Times, The People Closest To You Can Hurt You: People hurt you. It's normal, it happens. But it hurts a lot more when the person on the other end happens to be someone you love, trust or are close with. Karan's mother, in an attempt to safeguard a young Karan from society, threatens him, beats him up for being different and makes him live a lie. Whenever he tries to break free, his mother holds him back. Karan starts hating Nawab because of the shame his mother attributes to his love. She makes it impossible for him to have a cordial relationship with his father by instilling a sense of fear. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Adil (Jim Sarbh) cheats on Tara with her best friend, Faiza, someone Tara could never imagine to be a betrayer. Adil is the closest person Tara can ever have. But both of them dupe her all along, they betray her trust and to make it worse by acting like nothing has changed. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Episode 9 (The Great Escape) deals with a bride whose family members keep her drugged so that they can get her married off to a person of their choice so that they have a stronghold on her; they care about their own interests. In Episode 3 (It's Never Too Late), Deepti Naval's Gayatri is shunned by her children because she falls in love and wants to get married. The reason? She's in her sixties. Her children can't bear to see her getting married, her happiness does not count in their eyes. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video 9. Communicate: Karan never communicates with his father, leading to their strained relationship. He rarely lets his emotions to come to the surface, even with people he loves, because he doesn't want to be vulnerable in anyone's eyes. Adil and Tara meet are always too burdened with their individual problems; when Tara tries to talk to him, he is busy and vice versa. They hardly talk about their relationship, which finally leads to their impassive relationship. Tara finds solace in her work while Adil starts an affair with Faiza. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Communication is the foundation of any relationship; the thread binding two people in a lasting association. Shibani tries to remain as level-headed as she can and does communicate her problems regarding her position in the company and how she expects to be taken more seriously, but her words fall on deaf ears. When communication does not work effectively, she takes it in her own hands to turn things around for herself. 10. Most Importantly, Don't Let Success Go To Your Head: Jazz is enamoured with her surroundings, courtesy of her new job and the cool people she gets to hobnob with, which goes straight to her head. She lets it cloud her judgement and makes wrong decisions. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Success always gives one a high, it is in one's hands as to how they deal with it. 11. Not Everybody Is Worthy Of Your Trust & Appearances Can Be Deceptive: Trust is an essential part of life, if you don't trust someone, you can never have a meaningful relationship with them. Meanwhile, trusting someone blindly isn't a strong trait as well; you need to create a perfect balance between the two. The problem with Tara and Adil is that Tara thinks that once she has become Adil's wife she can trust him completely, which isn't such a bad notion when one is in love. But she takes him for granted. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Faiza appears as the best friend one can possibly hope for, but her reality is far from it. She keeps masquerading herself as a friend to Tara when she loathes her and her guts. Her real identity of a jealous and confused person comes to light in her conversations with her therapist, where she reveals how she simultaneously likes and hates Tara. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Karan, on some level, trusts that his landlord. He imagines that he will never invade his privacy, however over-friendly he might be. That is where the trouble starts. 12. Frailty, Thy Name Is Underestimation: Humans tend to judge everyone, it is in our nature, we just can't seem to stop. And judgment's cousin, underestimation, is never far away once you start judging someone. Never make presumptions about people you don't know. Underestimating someone's worth can only lead to problems and in some cases, embarrassment. Kabir makes fun of Jazz since the moment he meets her and teases her endlessly. All the characters judge her, underestimate her and humiliate her at times, given her background and her zeal to make everyone happy. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Funnily enough, she is the one who comes up with solutions (more than once) when the others are clueless about their course of action. Be it when hot-blooded Punjabi puttar, Joginder Sethi (Manjot Singh), in Episode 2 (Star Struck Lovers), finds out that the actor Sarfaraz Khan (Pulkit Samrat) invited for a performance at his pre-wedding bash has kissed his bride-to-be, Harsimran (Dalai Upadhyay), and is ready to kill him (in a hilarious “pakda-pakdi” match), eventually throwing the wedding in jeopardy, it is Jazz's somewhat archaic and filmy solution that comes to Made in Heaven's rescue. Again, in the next episode, Jazz comes up with the idea of emotional manipulation in order to fulfil Gayatri's wish to have her children present at her wedding. Adil underestimates Jauhari's capability as a partner in Made in Heaven only to be shocked when he realizes that he isn't just a “plumber” and has more knowledge about his company than he leads on. 13. Pride And Prejudice: You must have heard it somewhere: “Pride comes before a fall”. If only we learned from it. Episode 8 (Pride and Bridezilla) deals with Tarana Ali (Maanvi Gagroo), a nightmarish bride who wants things to be done her way and can resort to violence if her demands aren't met. She treats other people like lowly mortals (poor Jazz) and tries to lord over everyone. She has pride, but she is unaware of its misplacement and its hollowness. She believes that the world revolves around her because she has money and is extremely proud of being rich. What she is oblivious is that father took out a loan in order to fulfil her wishes, which brings us to another aspect of pride, from the perspective of other people. Tarana's father doesn't want to lose face in society, even he is proud, and that pride makes his bite more than he can chew. Brilliantly, it is echoed in the office peon's aspiration of getting his daughter married with pomp and show, and he too like Mr Ali wants to take out a loan for the same reason. Societal prejudices don't discriminate between poor and rich; such an irony. The royal wedding in Episode 7 (A Royal Affair), featuring the patrician Ranawat family, throws light on both societal prejudice and pride. On the surface, it looks like they are on the brink of modernization, by welcoming Devyani (Amrita Puri), a pilot, as the future daughter-in-law, but the reality is quite different. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Their erroneous pride about their heritage and their prejudice for people less fortunate than them is exemplified in the treatment of the Mehendiwali by Mr Ranawat, and eventually by Devyani. 14. Love Is What You Make It: Love does not have a textbook definition; it is different for everyone. Everyone loves differently, there isn't a rulebook to be followed. Love also has its flaws; you might love someone to death, and yet love someone else. Or you might betray them, lie to them to save them from themselves. Adil's character is an exemplary example of the fact; he loves both Tara and Faiza in different ways, he doesn't want to hurt any one of them and you can see that his love is true. It is his indecision that makes it impossible to choose between them; a man stuck with two choices and struggling to keep up with the mess he has created. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Faiza loves Adil. Tara loves Adil. But their reasons and their ways of professing that love are different. Joginder and Harsimran also come under this umbrella; Harsimran lies, not just to protect herself but to keep Joginder's ego and sanity in place. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Sometimes, love isn't the only reason to get married; Sukhmani's arc shows us that, so does Angad Roshan and Aliya Saxena's story. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video At times, love isn't enough: Priyanka and Vishal love each other but that doesn't justify atrocious behaviour and coercion on one's part. Love leads you to do things you wouldn't normally do; things you would perhaps never had thought possible or would have dismissed as an old wives' tale, as witnessed in Geetanjali and Nikhil's story (Episode 6: Something Old, Something New). When it comes to love, romantic love always clinches the crowning glory. But the love you feel for your family is not any less than it. And it pushes you to do things far beyond your reach, both good and bad. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video But often, love does conquer all as we see in Episode 9 (The Great Escape), with Nutan and John. Perhaps, the best lesson is that love never fades away, it comes in many shapes and forms; be it in friendship like Tara and Karan, or fear like Karan's mom and him, all-encompassing like Karan and Nawab's. © Excel Entertainment/Tiger Baby/Amazon Video Or else a bit later in life or for the second time like for Gayatri and Bijoy, or in another myriad form as illustrated by the different couples on the show. What did you find intriguing? Let us know in the comments section.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsAfter 'Sacred Games', the only web series to have garnered commercial as well as critical acclaim alike, not to mention enormous popularity, is Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti's 'Made in Heaven'. Arjun Mathur's character 'Karan Mehra' is perhaps one of the most interesting character leads we have seen till now, and Mathur has done absolute justice to the role. However, he has more to him than the amazing acting chops. Our homie here is super fashionable IRL, and here are 10 pictures which prove that. 1. Asymmetrical seems to be his thing, just like the character that shot him to fame. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arjun Mathur (@arjun__mathur) on Mar 13, 2019 at 6:28am PDT 2. That bandhgala though! View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arjun Mathur (@arjun__mathur) on Mar 7, 2019 at 2:42am PST 3. 'Playful Sophistication' done right. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arjun Mathur (@arjun__mathur) on Mar 5, 2019 at 4:30am PST 4. 'Make it royal but edgy'. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arjun Mathur (@arjun__mathur) on Mar 5, 2019 at 4:48am PST 5. The style quotient automatically goes up when the outfit is comfortable. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arjun Mathur (@arjun__mathur) on Mar 4, 2019 at 3:49am PST 6. Subtlety always works. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arjun Mathur (@arjun__mathur) on Mar 6, 2019 at 5:58am PST 7. Striped to perfection. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arjun Mathur (@arjun__mathur) on Mar 5, 2019 at 6:25am PST 8. Maroon (high) five! View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arjun Mathur (@arjun__mathur) on Mar 6, 2019 at 4:32am PST 9. Blues that no one minds. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arjun Mathur (@arjun__mathur) on Mar 1, 2019 at 4:11am PST 10. Gentlemen can rock distressed denims. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arjun Mathur (@arjun__mathur) on Feb 28, 2019 at 3:21am PST
ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsFrom the looks of it, 'Made In Heaven' is about two wedding planners, Tara Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan Mehra (Arjun Mathur) and the shenanigans that come with planning a big fat Indian wedding. But that's just the surface of it all. MIH is just as much about everything else Bollywood has been brushing under the carpet all these years. The choice between aspiration and self respect, the price you pay for freedom and what it really takes to stand up for yourself – MIH is basically Bollywood growing up. Directed by Zoya Akhtar, Nitya Mehra, Alankrita Shrivastava, and Prashant Nair, the show is spread across 9 riveting episodes, each following the protagonists as they sign up for a new wedding, each pulling you deeper and deeper into their personal lives, making you feel their darkest truths so convincingly, you're reminded of your own. © Amazon Prime This isn't your typical 'rich people dealing with rich people problems' narrative. The characters are polished (well, most of them) but the storytelling is as raw and unadulterated as it gets – to the point that it makes you uncomfortable with its unabashed reality. Even though there are a myriad of new characters introduced in every episode, the prolific writing makes them all stand out well. They're not just distinct from each other, they're too damn real, be it the starry-eyed Jazz who fancies everything rich or the already rich Adil who's unapologetic about having an extra marital affair. These are people we know, the people we see, the people we are - in all their glory and all their flaws. © Amazon Prime SPOILERS AHEAD: At one of the weddings, the father of the bride is caught molesting a 'mehendiwali'. The bride offers her Rs 2 lakh as a compensation. Just when you think the show would make a strong point against it, “5 lakh” the mehendiwali blurts out nervously. And that's the kind of bold this show is. Bold not visually, but because they raise uncomfortable conversations that happen around us all the time but are never acknowledged. Can money really buy everything? How far would you go to live a life you've always aspired for? How sacred are marriages really anyway? © Amazon Prime The show not just normalizes relevant subjects like mental health, sexual assault and homosexuality but goes one step ahead in their representation. For once, a gay character isn't reduced to an effeminate caricature used as a device to evoke humour. The gay community is represented as is. Even when the show raises an important point about the criminalization of homosexuality, it does so without seeking sympathy or preaching. There's no deliberate attempt to make Karan's homosexuality a plot twist or use it to titillate the audiences. Gay people are treated just like their straight folks on the show – as people. Karan, one of the two protagonists, is a man who's sure of his sexuality and very much in touch with his sexual desires. Karan's sexuality isn't what the show is about, it's just one of the many parts that make him who he is – and that's normalization in its truest sense. It's not that Bollywood hasn't seen films on this subject before. But MIH gets spot on in the nuanced depiction of how homophobia goes deeper than shame – it sometimes makes you do things that you regret for the rest of your life. © Amazon Prime What the show also gets right is the cast. Each and every actor on the show, however much small their screen presence may be, is splendid. Arjun Mathur's Karan is probably one of the finest portrayals of a gay character ever in Bollywood. Arjun has pushed the envelope and how! His vulnerability moves you to tears. Sobhita as Tara shines as the lower middle class girl who's crossed over to the other side and now, can't decide who she identifies as anymore. Even with all her flaws, she makes you root for her like nobody else. Jim Sarbh is a revelation as Adil. He's so effortless and real, you're convinced of his dilemma even without him having to spell it out for you. Shashank Arora and Kalki Koechlin also do complete justice to the characters they play. Shivani Raghuvanshi as Jazz is a treat to watch. Hers is probably of the most well-written characters and her performance adds several more layers to the writing. The cast also boasts of some brilliant actors like Shweta Tripathi, Rasika Duggal, Deepti Naval, Vinay Pathak, Neena Gupta, Vijay Raaz, and Vikrant Massey who leave a mark even in the little screen time that they get. © Amazon Prime 'Made In Heaven' is easily one of the best shows ever made in India. You've got to watch it to know what Bollywood has been missing out on all these years. It's a master class in screenwriting for the Indian film industry. Thank you for this, Zoya Akhtar!