Masaba, Masaba Frothy, funny and outrageous
Both Neena Gupta in her role of an aged actress with a passion for acting and Masaba enacting herreal-life persona as a fashion designer in Mumbai put up sterling performances
The six-part web series on Netflix has been panned for being light and loose, for being casual, gossipy and glamorous and for making use of Instagram as a prop in the plot. The squeamish have also questioned the abundance of casual sex and one-night stands that generation Z in Mumbai especially now seem to be comfortable with. Others have taken umbrage at the use of ‘Hinglish,’ an Indian language that millennials are comfortable with.
But what are seen as weaknesses are also the strength of this decidedly unusual ‘romedy’, actually a parody of the fashion world, which provides a peek into behind-the-scene gaffes in a glamourised world. It is also unusual because it is semi-autobiographical and this is possibly the first time that a mother and daughter in real life have revealed a part of themselves and acted themselves in a film. It is not reality TV and far from the American TV series, ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’. It stands out not only because it highlights how this generation uses Instagram to announce break-ups but also how a 60+ mother uses the social media to look for assignments and gets swamped with offers. Very chic and very contemporary.
The repeated use of a child in situations similar to what the leading lady finds herself into, is also striking. Yes, children can and do behave like adults and adults can and do behave like children at times. It’s a neat experiment that actually works.
Both Neena Gupta in her role of an aged actress with a passion for acting and Masaba enacting her real-life persona as a fashion designer in Mumbai put up sterling performances. Masaba, as has been noted by critics, is a revelation, a natural before the camera. Indeed, producer Ashvini Yardi and writer-director Sonam Nair admit that it was Masaba’s Instagram posts which gave them the idea of making the series
With women dominating the series, the men appear as ‘after thoughts’, caricatures introduced for a laugh. Sweet revenge perhaps by the all-women team behind ‘Masaba Masaba’ for the shoddy treatment of women in much of Bollywood.
Will there be a season 2 for the web series? It seems likely, judging by the largely favourable reviews of the first season that made its debut on August 28.