New Movie : Masaba Masaba Reviews |

Masaba Masaba Movie Reviews

In Masaba Masaba, the auto-fictional series, starring the titular fashion designer, Masaba Gupta is presented as a Mumbai-based Carrie Bradshaw. She’s not a writer, but we hear the voice in her head. At times, there’s an overlap and you don’t know if she’s speaking or thinking.

 She’s newly single. She runs her own label.Every man in her life is neatly packaged: You get the gist. The flimsy ex-boyfriend, the tender ex-husband, the eccentric artist, who rolls his own cigarettes and the socially awkward boss.She has a girl gang of sorts. She makes up with her loved ones, by posting supportive Insta stories about them. She also has a bittersweet equation with her mother, the Hindi film actress Neena Gupta, whose also playing herself. 

 The writing would like to have us believe, that a woman losing control, is endearing and sexy.The background score would like to have us believe, that every day brings with it, a quirky set of new circumstances and the acting would like to have us believe, that privilege is a complicated mistress. Yet, it’s tragically ironic that a series unfurling on the fringes of Bollywood, has the depth of a Page 3 article. The easy vibe of a romantic comedy, is deceptively difficult to pull off. The narrative style – that merges life with a young perception of life – always relies on timing, rhythm, energy and extravagance. But Masaba Masaba tries too hard: to be funny, to be cool, to be introspective, to be natural. Almost everything about it feels derivative and awkward.

 Nobody except Neena Gupta looks comfortable on screen. The cameos are particularly strange. Kiara Advani, as herself, plays a diva on the lines of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham's Poo, but instead of parodying the character, she sounds like she’s parodying people who parody the character. Farah Khan too plays a director, whose obsessed with losing weight and so on. The screenplay too is too shallow for a 2020 production. For example, the first episode is based on a blind item of Masaba’s crumbling marriage.Yet, so many aspects of the series  – like a paranoid superstar wife, cum live coach in a bungalow called Jannat, invoke the essence of this blind-item entertainment. You can almost hear every other scene ask: Guess who? Then there’s the visual grammar.Husband and wife get into separate cars that take opposite turns at a T-junction, to depict their separation.


Masaba’s voiceover goes “Love doesn’t always follow a straight line”and then we see her walking down a straight road, after announcing her divorce.When Masaba feels like a child again, we literally see a little girl reacting in some shots.Terms like “Big Dick Energy” and “Hot Mess” are paraded around with the spirit of millennial's educating boomers.Even chaos and conflict feel like hashtags. It’s all too #basic. It’s all so 1998. Not surprisingly, some of the nicer moments of Masaba Masaba feature her mother.The parallel thread has Neena Gupta doing her own little biographical jig – as an overbearing mother yes, but also as a 60-year-old actress struggling to land meaty roles in a male-dominated industry. 




Her arc is lovely, and its true to the actress’ sprightly social media presence: Her post asking for work goes viral, she lands a priceless hip-hop video with digital star Mithila Palkar, and then a co-lead with Gajraj Rao, which is the only cameo that matters in this series, in the film Badhaai Ho. It all happens simultaneously to Masaba’s designer universe, and I couldn’t help, but wonder why the makers didn’t just switch perspectives and make a series instead called Neena Neena. That’s the story I’d pay to watch. Given Masaba Gupta’s primary complaint in the series – that the mother never allowed her to live life on her own terms – I almost feel cruel to say that. In a better series, this might have passed off as method storytelling. But in this one, it’s just unfortunate poetry.

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