Masaba Masaba is like a tasty, yet, extremely underbaked, homemade brownie. Make of that what you will, this upbeat Netflix Original series, has designer, Masaba Gupta & the delightful, Neena Gupta playing fictionalised versions of themselves. Written & Directed by Sonam Nair, Masaba Masaba, this six episode series comes off as glamorous, yet relatable & moderately entertaining. Even though this series doesn’t offer much originality and has some extremely caricature-like characters, it was short enough to enjoy without really getting bored. And if you find yourself wondering, like I did, whether this series should even have been made? Then, hell yeah! Why not? It’s a fun, upbeat series that can be watched if you have nothing better to do, or you just need a break from a really heavy week.
Watch the Official Trailer of Masaba Masaba on Netflix India:
This series, Masaba Masaba is clearly meant for an audience that already knows the backstory of this dynamic mother-daughter duo – Neena & Masaba Gupta. Infact, it brushes upon the fact that Masaba is the love child of West Indies cricketer, Vivian Richards & Neena Gupta, whom the latter raised as a single mom, very superficially with just one dialogue where Masaba says to her ex-husband, “I’ve been surrounded by controversies right from my birth.” I wonder if it’s an aspect they plan to explore in the show’s Season 2. Having said that, it was fun to watch Neena Gupta & her daughter, fashion designer Masaba Gupta, who marks her acting debut with this series, play themselves. Neena Gupta who has always been considered as an unconventional woman, is seen living in Mumbai even after her marriage, prioritising her career. If you think I’m going to troll that, well you clearly haven’t read much of my work, yet.
In the series, as well as in real-life, it’s always been admirable to see a woman of a certain age break the ageist barrier, and try to fulfill her goals, including that of being the lead in a movie. We see an almost sixty year old Neena Gupta learning how to drive, have a bunch of friends over to cheer her for bagging a music video, putting out an Instagram post asking for work when she sees her contemporaries get roles she could easily have done, and air punch with joy when she’s told that an entire vanity van belongs to her when she gets the lead in a movie. The idea that a mother or a wife is a woman first, is reinstated watching that. What this series does is remind you that women of any age can have dreams & ambitions, and it’s never too late to fulfill them. And if you wonder why these scenes feel relatable, it’s because they are. Celebrity or not, celebrating accomplishments in the face of discouragement is something we all do.
Masaba Gupta comes across as a natural, as she plays the perennially frustrated creative entrepreneur & celebrity, who tries really hard to manage her personal life while being constantly in the public eye. This certainly isn’t an original concept, as any young Britney song will tell you, but they try to make it work by showing her posting her thoughts via Instagram stories & posts. There are some really enjoyable scenes where we see a child playing her, which to me represented how quite a few times while ‘adulting’, you still feel like a kid. We watch as she makes the same mistakes we often make with our exes, parents or friends, the weirdest first dates we’ve all been to, and how so many of us have had days where we just can’t deal with our problems, or we just can’t seem to catch a break.
This series tries hard for you to buy into the idea that being a public figure isn’t as easy as you’d think, and that celebrities face very similar issues as the rest of us do. And yeah, I agree to that to quite an extent. Everyone has a childhood and enough experiences to cherish or be haunted by. However, the moment you feel like the series gets relatable, it does a flip. For example, watching Masaba find it really hard to get a place of her own because she’s a woman & a celebrity, which is a ‘double danger’, but then the very next moment her primary investor helps her find an amazing place. Also, in one scene she buys a ridiculous iron box worth a lakh and a half, but in another scene, her accountant tells her if she is to pay three lakhs as deposit from her own account for a new house on rent, she won’t be able to pay her employees their salary.