“I don’t believe in weddings,” and one might just agree with Shashank Arora’s character, Kabir Basrai’s thoughts via voiceover – at least in the ones that the series covers. Made in Heaven returned with its second season in a flamboyant manner along with the rapid fires of life lessons and a few problems that become too repetitive, making you wonder – are weddings really this messed up?
After a shower of good responses that the first season received, the announcement of the second season didn’t even take the blink of an eye to gather eager viewers. However, one might just be compelled to switch it off after a huge load of life lessons that become too much to fit in a brain or seven episodes.
The second instalment carries its usual style statement with its top-notch wardrobe collection, which just never runs out. Next to that will most definitely be the cast that this season is packed with. Made in Heaven 2 has significantly levelled up their cast this season, with the likes of Dia Mirza, Radhika Apte, Mrunal Thakur, Neelam Kothari and Pulkit Samrat; and locations like the French Riviera, which gives an international taste to the series.
Now let’s get down to the real deal.
The series nails its production design by doing full justice to the word ‘luxurious’ in ‘Luxurious Weddings’. Starting with set designs with the proper use of colour could be up there as a reference for Indian OTT series to follow. One thing is for sure – you would most definitely go to sleep with a comfortable set of eyes (can’t say much about the brain though).
The very next thing would go to the Mona Singh-Vijay Raaz duo (Bulbul and Mr Jauhari), who are definitely the most underrated characters of the show. The personal arc of these two is the only one that one wouldn’t mind watching apart from the lavish, problematic weddings. The depth that these two take us while handling their family’s future, which is on the verge of going down a problematic and familiar road, is one of the key takeaways from the episodes.
Mona Singh’s addition to the main team of Made in Heaven 2 has been one of the few good decisions by the creators.
The next on the list would be the point from where Radhika Apte takes over the wheel. The fifth episode was definitely one of the best of all seven, in spite of the fourth (Pulkit Samrat) episode being the most talked about, because it takes the team to France and also because the direction for it was done by Zoya Akhtar herself.
The fifth episode, The Heart Skipped A Beat, directed by Masaan director Neeraj Ghaywan, is one societal problem that the series handles in a close to perfect way. Radhika Apte and her OTT experience was again the highlight of the episode, which showed a Dalit woman fighting for her rights as an equal with a visually amazing Dalit-themed Buddhist wedding.
Now, the next one is a bit of tackle. Arjun Mathur (Karan Mehra) is the most mishandled character in the entire series and the reason he is on this section of the list is solely due to his acting brilliance. The actor who plays a gay man, struggling to win the approval of a dying mother, does his job of acting with everything he has, irrespective of his part of the script being overcrowded with elements.
The episode starring Sameer Soni and Neelam Kothari is up there amongst the best of the seven as this is the only episode that maintains a steady pace through the long hour. This is also one of the episodes that contains very little of the personal arcs and focuses mostly on the problems of the extra-marital affair between the two leads (an overly excited Sanjay Kapoor gets his shot to tickle you too).
The series ultimately becomes a thick book of morals just a day before your exam. The amount of messages that this series carries per episode becomes too much to handle after a couple of episodes. After the fourth episode, each episode consists of two weddings tackling two separate societal problems.
Imagine an hour-long episode which tackles two societal problems, three different personal arcs and a mandatory filler segment for the less pivotal characters of the story. That is a glass filled with water till its brim. The series often feels overcrowded, which makes you think you have already finished two episodes while you are only on the 30-minute mark of one.
The most hyped episode starring Pulkit Samrat and Elnaaz Norouzi (and a not-so-surprising director) is probably the most forgettable one amongst the rest. This Zoya Akhtar-directed episode’s only contribution to the series is that it takes Made in Heaven to an international scale with a destination wedding at Nice, France. The other not-so-necessary contribution of this episode is that it becomes the canon from which the series goes into full chaos mode.
The very next on the list are the unnecessary personal arcs of the characters and topping that will be the Kalki-Jim Sarbh-Sobhita arc which, in all honesty, stops making sense after a certain point. On the one hand, Jim Sarbh’s character Adil Khanna cannot find an end to his house of problems and on the other, Sobhita Dhulipala’s character Tara, forgets the beginning of hers.
Amid all of that, Kalki Koechin’s character, Faiza shows multiple shades of frustrations with her having to stay at a five-star hotel, than for the fact of being pregnant with the child of a married man.
The sole reason for this additional section is the utter unsuccessfulness of finding a better way to describe the most problematic element of the series.
The series practically dismantles the true concept of homosexuality by giving it a cocaine-high stereotype that the makers presumably wish to erase. The majority of the screen time for Karan Mehra (Arjun Mathur) is filled with him matching the number of cocaine lines he snorts, with the number of random men he hooks up with.
According to the makers of the series, a gay man is one who hops from one rave party to another to snort away his sorrows of disapproval from his mother.
If this was an attempt by the makers to remove all stigma from the society regarding homosexuality, they fail miserably.
The next addition to this section is almost at par with the first. The second episode of the series starring Mrunal Thakur, should have come with a “senses were excluded” and a “trigger warning” card in the beginning. Mrunal Tahkur plays a successful supermodel who is marrying a life coach with a dark undertone, which is certainly not dark enough for Thakur’s character to stand up for herself.
The makers of this episode leaves you confused, thinking about what’s the actual message that you should take away with yourself at the end of the episode. Add to that Shashank Arora’s supremely preachy mansplaining/summarisations of the episodes and you have a full cringefest here.
Though the series is a visual spectacle, the long list of elements that it includes per episode becomes too much for the brain to handle, making it a lengthy watch.
We will go with 3 stars out of 5 stars for Made in Heaven Season 2.