Masaba Masaba 2 is delightful, imaginative sequel

Masaba Gupta in Masaba Masaba 2, a worthy sequel. Photo: Netflix

A season that’s as humorous, crazy, whacky and spicy as the earlier one, Masaba Masaba 2, at face value (as in entertainment quotient) goes just that perfectly above Season 1 in being livelier. True, the whole Kashmir episode, though having a convincing end, is too filmi, even DDLJ-esque in parts, and disturbs the otherwise smooth flow of the series, even though they justify it in the end.

But overall, Season Two scores good even in the emotional quotient, with two intersecting love triangles of sorts, between Masaba (Masaba Gupta), loyal business investor Dhairya (Neil Bhoopalam) and her client Fateh (Armaan Khera), and between Fateh, Masaba and hothead Fateh’s fiancée Aisha (Barkha Singh).

All these aspects are interspersed with Masaba’s professional and personal “issues”—some of them quirkily funny, others potentially serious but none so damaging as to darken the fabric of this breezily entertaining show.

For those who came in late (as in missed Season 1), the show is in essence a majorly-fictionalized story with the real backdrop of the resourceful and real dress designer Masaba and her celebrated mom Neena Gupta. But more than that, it examines the professional struggles of working women. Like Neena being disregarded as a older actress who loses her say even when her hugely successful TV serial, Fursat, is being revived with fresh episodes, and having to tolerate unreasonable changes in the tried-and-tested show just because a younger “with-it” team has come in. It also shows how Masaba, despite 10 years in the field, needs to prove and reinvent herself again and again, and more than she deserves.

The show starts hilariously with the good-intentioned but hyper-curious BFF, Gia (Rytasha Rathore) going into panic mode as Masaba does a pregnancy test. Mom Neena overhears, and advises daughter dear on the safety of prophylactics if she must hop into bed with anyone! And then, of course, Masaba’s fashion show loses its luster because the weirdo Qayanaat (spelt with a Q, not K!), played with aplomb by Kareema Berry, gleefully steals her thunder—for the time being with her imaginatively marketed fashion soiree of sorts.

Masaba also has to deal with a pregnant PR person in Nicole (Kusha Kapila), an over-enthusiastic assistant, Gehna (Nayan Shukla) and, later, Gia’s tryst with depression.

Meanwhile, mom Neena has a lot on her plate as well, headed by the selfish ex-flame and co-actor Shekhar Mirza (Ram Kapoor) as seemingly genial as he is slimy within. And then it’s time for both mother and daughter, who have not been able to remain on the same emotional page, finally realizing who and what they are, putting their metaphorical feet down, making up with each other, and taking crucial personal and professional decisions.

A charming and crucial angle is provided by Masaba’s encounters with her childhood self (Amariah Awantaye, a wunderkind among child artistes!), who is delightfully natural, mature yet non-precocious.

Technically upbeat, the slickly directed fun-fest is, like Season 1, laced with great performances. Apart from the redoubtable Neena Gupta, we have Masaba Gupta, a fabulously natural actress, and Rytasha Rathore at her very best as Gia. Neil Bhoopalam plays the low-key idealistic businessman (!) with a lovable air, and as a contrast, Armaan Khera as the aggressively affable Fateh is also brilliant. Barkha Singh as the temperamental Aisha, Ram Kapoor as Shekhar, and the rest of the cast also shine, especially the young nerds who play the makers of the new Fursat.

If you have lots of fursat (free time) do binge-watch these seven episodes. But if not, you must still invest time in Masaba Masaba 2. Every second will be worth it.

Rating: ****

Netflix presents Masaba Masaba 2  Produced by: Ashwini Yardi  Directed by: Sonam Nair Written by: Sonam Nair, Nandini Gupta, Anisha Raisurana & Punya Arora  Music: Starring: Neena Gupta, Masaba Gupta, Neil Bhoopalam, Rytasha Rathore, Amariah Awantaye, Kusha Kapila, Barkha Singh, Armaan Khera, Kareema Barry, Ram Kapoor, Nayan Shukla, Sp. App.: Bappi Lahiri, Kartik Aaryan, Neelam, Milind Soman & others




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