Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti’s show, with Sobhita Dhulipala and Arjun Mehta in lead roles, has been criticised and loved in equal measure. But you can’t argue that they got one crucial thing right…
The second season of Zoya Akhtar's Amazon Prime Video series Made In Heaven has been mired in controversy after controversy since it’s release earlier this month. Author Yashica Dutt sought credit for one of the episodes; designer Tarun Tahiliani claimed that his outfits were used on the show without giving him his due credit; and Zoya was criticised for portraying Muslim characters in a bad light. Whatever the reason, the hit web series continues to be a talking point for several reasons.
There’s a lot to be picked at with the series, but this isn’t another article about the issues plaguing Made In Heaven. This one’s a shout out to the casting director, Aditya Pandya, and Ashish Kumar, who has been credited for the first episode of season 2.
A round of applause for the casting director, please!
As someone who completely enjoyed watching the first season, I was eagerly awaiting the second. I love that the makers managed to perfectly expose the hypocrisy that many in India continue to live in and consider 'normal' in Season 2 as well, while effectively raising a voice for the marginalised, such as women, the LGBTQIA+ community, and others.
What adds to the richness of the series is the high production value, with beautiful sets, gorgeous people, and outfits that will make you want to work hard enough to be able to afford to buy them. But what really stands out for me is the casting. And I’m not talking about the main characters, who are all, without doubt, good.
Made In Heaven Season 2’s pleasant surprises
When Mona Singh made her entrance in the second season, I must admit that I was a bit sceptical. It took me a while to warm up to her as the sassy Bulbul Jauhari. But with every passing episode, it struck me what a wonderful call the casting director Aditya Pandya made by casting her; she’s so good that I now cannot see anyone else playing Bulbul.
And it’s not just her.
Vijay Raaz’s Jauhari is a pleasant surprise in Season 2, and the seasoned actor does complete justice to his role, just like every other that he has ever been handed.
Mrunal Thakur as the abused supermodel Adhira Arya and Siddhant Karnick as her abusive fiance are so real in their portrayals that it makes you feel uncomfortable — and that's a good thing.
Ishwak Singh totally justifies his role as the gentle and caring Raghav Sinha, Tara's (Sobhita Dhulipala) new boyfriend. Only he doesn't feel well utilised; his arc could have some more meat.
Dia Mirza as Shehnaaz, Wasim's (Parvin Dabas) shunned wife, is another stellar fit.
After playing a gay stylist in the Madhuri Dixit-starrer The Fame Game, Kashyap Harsha Shangari was the ideal choice to play Karan's (Arjun Mathur) fashion designer boyfriend.
Mihir Ahuja as the troubled teen Dhruv Jauhari doesn't just act the part, but convincingly looks the part as well.
Who better to play the fierce and inspiring Dalit woman Pallavi Menke than the equally fierce Radhika Apte? You can’t help but see the role as an extension of who she is in real life
Of course, a lot has been written about Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju as Meher Chaudhry, and all of it is well deserving. The role seems written just for her, and she does complete justice to it.
But here’s where I wasn’t convinced…
Having said that, Neelam Kothari and Samir Soni seem like forcefeeds in the series. Despite being a real-life couple, the chemistry between them is far from sizzling; I was waiting to hear one ‘hiss’ at least. They just did not convince me that they were each other’s long-lost love and were ready to go to rather extreme lengths to be together.
But all said and done, considering the huge ensemble cast, Aditya Pandya certainly deserves his moments in the spotlight and should be celebrating a job well done.