Made in Heaven is the torchbearer for queer representation in Hindi entertainment industry
Excel Entertainment’s Made in Heaven excels in queer representation.
Arjun Mathur received a Best Actor nomination in International Emmy Awards, 2020 for his role as Karan Mehra in Made in Heaven. Karan is a closeted gay man and wedding planner based in New Delhi. Karan along with his friend Tara start Made in Heaven which generally caters to affluent families.
Made in Heaven is a masterpiece created by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti which was released in 2019 on Amazon Prime India. This 9-episode web series chronicles the protagonists' lives and unmasks harsh realities of the Indian society.
In the first few episodes Karan seemed to be a problematic character trying to survive through huge personal debts and personal conflicts. I was convinced that his character wouldn’t grow further. The Hindi entertainment industry has always either cornered or hyper-sexualised homosexuals leaving no space for their character arcs to blossom further. Homosexual characters on the screen are subdued and mocked by the protagonists with an intent to serve humour to audience. But Made in Heaven chose a different path. To my relief Karan’s role was pushed into the spotlight and explored situations that homosexuals face in our country.
From being a closeted gay man, Karan’s character goes through a chain of events. Karan’s landlord Mr. Gupta has an unceasing curiosity regarding his sexuality. His landlord films him with another man and sends it to the police following a confrontation by his wife. His arrest under Section 377, sexual abuse by the policeman and baggage of guilt from the past evolves his storyline. Made in Heaven’s writers ensure a proper journey for Karan. From rejecting his identity back in school, feeling guilty of disassociating himself from a fellow gay person, sexual abuse to filing PIL against Section 377; Never have I ever seen such an applaud-worthy growth of a queer character in Indian entertainment. Karan as a protagonist of Made in Heaven makes an important statement for the rights of homosexuals in mainstream entertainment. By the final episode, I was completely in love with his character.
The makers of Made in Heaven have created a milestone for queer representation in Indian entertainment. Signing off with a hope of getting more such web series and movies which normalise the LGBTQ experience in India.