Masaba Masaba, the new Netflix original directed by Sonam Nair based on the real-life of Masaba Gupta starring Masaba Gupta as herself, feels like an insufficient attempt to show how she rose from a real low in her life. The priority or the focus of the show felt overtly inclined towards the fun part. And that sort of puts the show in that watch, giggle and forget zone.
So the series is based on some of the real-life incidents in fashion designer Masaba Gupta’s life. Being in the limelight had made life very difficult for her. To be honest, there isn’t much here for me to tell you like a plot of the show. Even though it is about how Masaba handles a tricky situation, the scattered nature of the show somehow makes it difficult for someone to give an answer to the question “what is it about?”
Going into the series, one would have some curiosity to know how this person has managed to cope up with some uncomfortable questions and realities surrounding her. But that’s where the series looks flimsy. Given the series format to articulate the reality of a real person, I was expecting a deep and nuanced take that would help the viewer to understand the personal side of the character. But the series almost felt like a dull Dharma urban comedy. We get that filmy screenplay structure of an escapist female who doesn’t know what to do.
When it comes to writing, the basic idea is a fairly okay one. Establish who Masaba is and then show us the challenge she tackled. You know the typical beginning- conflict- solution format of a story. But for some reason, the beginning portion of this particular story never seems to have an end. Out of the 6 episodes, almost 3-4 of them are kind of dedicated to establishing Masaba Gupta. The girl gang camaraderie is fun to watch and I am pretty sure we all will have a good laugh seeing those moments. But it is the conflict and the way the characters handle the situation that decides whether the series will stay with you or not. And in that aspect, this series that has some caricaturish characters is a letdown.
Masaba Gupta is performing for the first time and there wasn’t much of hiccup in her performance as herself. This is a really awkward moment for a reviewer when he or she reviews someone’s performance as themselves. Neena Gupta as the supportive and over-caring mother who at times slip into that insensitive space was also nice. Two performances I personally loved in the show were that off Neil Bhoopalam as Dhariya and Rytasha Rathore as Gia. The way Bhoopalam handled the awkwardness and Rathore portrayed the irreverence was fun to watch.
The whole show here is just 3 hours long and there is this sitcom vibe to it. If you are looking for some momentary jokes with bright flat visuals, I would say this one might work for you. But if there is a genuine curiosity to know how someone like Masaba who has a very different background from most of us, handled a difficult situation and bounced back, this glossy fast take isn’t going to move you. By the time Masaba Masaba ended, it felt like a tasteless show.
If there is a genuine curiosity to know how someone like Masaba handled a difficult situation and bounced back, this glossy fast take isn’t going to move you.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended