Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar on Tuesday said that Made In Heaven season two will continue to train its lens on issues revolving around women and LGBTQ community through its two protagonists, who run a wedding planning agency for big-budget weddings in India. Set against the backdrop of quintessential Indian weddings, the first chapter revolved around two wedding planners — Arjun Mathur’s Karan Mehra and Sobhita Dhulipala’s Tara Khanna — navigating the big fat and often complicated Indian weddings, while simultaneously balancing conflicts in their own lives.
The second season of Made in Heaven, according to Akhtar – who has created the series with Reema Kagti – will see Dhulipala and Mathur’s characters with a strong moral compass. “The central two characters of the season are Tara and Karan, they are non- conformists and quite grey. They come with a sense of protectiveness, in a sense, about someone that comes to their lives, they have a strong moral compass. We also lens this show through women, through LGBTQ community, so it’s an expansion of that, thematically. It’s been about fitting into a society,” Akhtar told reporters here at the trailer launch of the Prime Video series.
Kagti said they are ‘obsessed’ with exploring different experiences of women in society. “We are trying to explore different aspects of female experience in a society like us, which is rooted in culture and is changing and modernising. I think we are obsessed with exploring different female angles,” she added.
The seven-episode second season is directed by Kagti and Akhtar along with Alankrita Shrivastava, Neeraj Ghaywan, and Nitya Mehra. Shrivastava said that although they carry forward the core theme of Made in Heaven in season two, the scale is bigger. “We carry forward the things and core of the show but our endeavour with season two was to be more grand with the wedding and deeper with the characters. So, it is a more nuanced and layered look at the themes that we did in season one. It’s more of what you saw and is more poignant and more fun,” she said.
“There is love, family, togetherness and romance that one holds dear but there is also much to change, (like) actualisation of how women are changing and (we) explore how tradition meets modernity,” she added. The first season of Made in Heaven was released in 2019 and received critical-acclaim for its storytelling and performances by the lead cast. The show earned Mathur an International Emmy nomination for best actor for his portrayal of a closeted gay man grappling with a troubled childhood, depleting finances, and social stigma around his orientation.
Akhtar said that the team didn’t expect the first season to be widely loved by audiences and thanked people for patiently waiting for its second chapter. “Nobody knew how it will land. We were extremely nervous when it came out. But it picked up, and picked up. It has got a loyal fandom, no matter what I post, I am asked about ‘Made in Heaven’. Now, it’s been so long, I’m being trolled, so I wanted to drop because they were getting irritated. I’m thankful to them that they have held on to it and haven’t forgotten it.” For, Mathur, who is also known for Luck By Chance, Bara Aana, My Name is Khan, Ankur Arora Murder Case, the show turned out to be his big breakthrough.
He said he didn’t expect his character to make an impact on the lives of people but it did. He credited the writers for giving him a well-defined role. “When you start doing something, it is never with expectations of how much the audience will really connect with it or not. I am grateful for that but a lot of credit goes to writers. I didn’t expect it to connect the way it did. I was quite overwhelmed. All the personal stories that came to me and how it enabled so many people and gave them strength to kind of accept themselves or members of their families,” he said.
Dhulipala said it has been a privilege and honour to play a woman like Tara, an ambitious go-getter struggling to navigate her marriage and a fledgling business. “In the second season, while she continues to fulfil her role as a daughter, daughter-in-law, business partner to the best of her capacity, I do think she is up for a major identity transformation and charting that journey is what we will see in season two. It’s her coming-of-age, coming into her own in a new capacity, and that’s very thrilling.” Besides Dhulipala and Mathur, the series also features Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin, Shashank Arora, Shivani Raghuvanshi, and Vijay Raaz. The newcomers include Mona Singh, Ishwak Singh and Trinetra Haldar.
Made In Heaven season two will premiere on August 10 on Amazon Prime Video. It is produced by Excel Media & Entertainment and Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti’s Tiger Baby.