Disclaimer – The post might make you fall in love with Made in Heaven. Again.
Let’s get one thing clear right off the bat, Akhtar family is inarguably uber-talented! From Javed Akhtar’s Sholay and Mr India to Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai and Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, the family just keeps giving us cult hits.
With the growing interest of OTT services in the Indian market, Zoya Akhtar was the perfect person to helm a web series set in India. And Made in Heaven is the perfect example.
The new but necessary norm in B-town
Made in Heaven, released in 2019, boasts of high-calibre actors like Sobhita Dasgupta, Jim Sarbh, Arjun Mathur, and Kalki Koechlin. The series follows the lives of the wedding planners Tara (Sobhita) and Karan (Arjun) and everyone around them.
But the show was particularly praised for its realistic depiction of a sexually active gay man and the consequences he faces in the orthodox Indian society.
Ah! A token gay character, you’d say. But it’s needed in a society that stigmatises homosexuality in films.
So, when Alankrita Shrivastava puts Vikrant Massey and Arjun Mathur in a bathtub, the scene that comes out on the other side is better than Peter Kavinsky and Lara Jean Covey’s first kiss.
What happens when learned filmmakers direct LGBT+ characters…
In the finale episode, our lead character and co-owner of Made in Heaven, Arjun Mathur, meets up with his high school fling Nawab Khan, played by the gifted Vikrant Massey.
With a truckful of unresolved issues from their high school years, the two actors put up a show for the ages.
What follows next is just brilliant filmmaking by director Alankrita Shrivastava.
They take their rendezvous to a hotel room where they display what can only be described as raw emotions.
This near-perfect sex scene clocked just over 2 minutes, beautifully captures the essence of this couple.
With a passionate kiss, the two start undressing without letting each other go for even a second. You can tell they have waited for this.
The camera then cuts to Arjun and Nawab sitting in a bathtub while the room is lit with a stark red light.
Nawab, ever-so caringly, cleans up Arjun’s wounds while Arjun, almost in a state of disbelief, simply gazes at him.
He’s never been at the receiving end of such attention.
Without a single dialogue exchanged, the scene reaches an oxymoronic sombre crescendo with Arjun uttering, “I’m sorry.”
“I can’t believe I hated you for so long,” Nawab replies.
“I can’t believe I’ve loved only you,” Arjun perfectly encapsulates.
The scene ends with them sitting naked in the bathtub, hugging each other. Raw. Vulnerable.
Made in Heaven is not a perfect show. However, Made in Heaven managed to give us some unbelievably realistic portrayals of human behaviour.
Just like the show, we understand, the characters, too, are far from perfect. But we love them nonetheless.