Review of ‘Made in Heaven Season 2′: Jaya Akhtar and Reema Kagti Lead and Introduce New Characters Well, but the Wedding Feels More Curated than Organic.
‘Made in Heaven Season 2’ events kick off right after the explosive Season 1 finale. Progress seems natural: Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan (Arjun Mathur) are now roommates, Joaari (Vijay Raaz) has acquired a sizable part in the wedding planning business following Tara’s breakup with Adil (Jim Sarbh), and Faiza (Kalki Koechlin) is becoming more intimate with Adil. However, what doesn’t feel organic is the episodic format of weddings. [Read also: Review of Made in Heaven Season 1]
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Certainly, in terms of beauty, locations, and sound, no two weddings are alike. Or, for that matter, even those issues that plague simple marriages. But as the show introduces a new conflict in each episode and rushes towards its resolutions within an hour’s time frame, it starts to feel more forced than free-flowing.
The range of issues such as the bride’s skin color, domestic abuse, polygamy, and parental opposition are worthy of highlighting on a larger scale, but sometimes these details get lost when someone tries to forcefully fit each episode into the same mold.
The only exception to Akshay Kumar/Ayushmann Khurrana-style representation is Neeraj Ghewan’s episode, where Radhika Apte’s Dalit bride takes a bold step to challenge her in-laws, choosing a Buddhist wedding, demanding a modern spin on traditional rituals. Ghewan skillfully presents arguments using the nuances of the character, enhancing her voice, rather than the writer’s or director’s. He not only challenges the orthodox Brahminical notion through an archaic belief but also uses another informed Dalit retort to enrich his discourse, not just reinforcing the traditional system, but also giving more depth to his voice. At one point, she tells Radhika’s character, “Sab jaga jhanda lehraana band karo” (Stop waving flags everywhere), as if it’s a hint to the show’s creators.
The show further excels when it delves deeper into the intricacies of conflicts within relationships. For instance, Neeraj’s episode featuring the real-life couple Neelam Kothari and Sameer Soni, who play lovers getting married to different people and planning their children’s wedding with each other, is simply a delightful foundation. They reside in hidden corners of a royal wedding venue, mirroring the youthful lovers’ disappointment in love. They argue over running away from their children’s weddings, and for me, this is the sweetest love story.
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In Season 2, there’s also a significant shift in the relationship between Jim and Kalki, and they continue to share that cracking chemistry. On the other hand, the Kabir-Jaish dynamic of Shashank Aroda and Shivani Raghuvanshi plays out like an engaging, competitive game of snakes and ladders. Thankfully, despite Shivani’s on-guard responses, we learn more about Kabir through Shashank’s subtle reactions and his expertly produced monologues.
However, apart from Ishwak Singh, there are truly new characters who stand out. Both Mona Singh and Trinetra Haldar are deserving of their spin-offs. Mona, a powerhouse performer, can easily mine gold from well-written characters like Bulbul.
I wish the creators had painted the entire show with the same light brushstroke they used for the character of Mahak, which Shashank had portrayed. ‘Made in Heaven Season 2’ is never consistently didactic but is certainly weighed down by its hefty work. I’d be willing to pay good money to see where Karan and Tara go from here, or where Bulbul and Mahak come from. But when it comes to the episodic issue-based wedding format, if the creators transform their format into a new life in Season 3, it won’t be a loss.
‘Made in Heaven Season 2‘ is currently streaming on Prime Video India.