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The Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives: Lot of guilt, not much pleasure

Written by Ishita Sengupta
| Bombay |

Up to date: December 1, 2020 7:10:27 pm





Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives is streaming on Netflix.

In an interview previous to the streaming of The Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives, Maheep Kapoor (spouse of actor Sanjay Kapoor) dispelled a preconceived notion individuals harbour relating to star wives: they don’t lurk behind their husbands’ shadows anymore. She then went on to listing Gauri Khan, Krishna Raj Kapoor, and even Mira Kapoor as cases and inspiration. However the veracity, the assertion lends sure sobriety to their frivolous sobriquet — Bollywood Wives — if solely the best way it brings to focus their decade-spanning existence, lesser-documented ups and downs, and the convenience with which they’ve been missed. Of late, social media has elevated their visibility and offered area to claim an individuality past their surnames. The verification may be the end result of legacy however the photos inform their tales. The documentary-cum-reality outing by Dharmatic Leisure, the digital arm of Dharma Productions, crafts eight episodes round seen but little-known personalities of Kapoor, Bhavna Panday (spouse of Chunky Panday), Seema Khan (spouse of Sohail Khan) and Neelam Kothari (yesteryear actor, spouse of Sameer Soni and an odd alternative on this case), to discover their personalities by way of the prism of friendship. It achieves as little as offering backstories to their Instagram posts.

The present opens with Maheep Kapoor fretting over daughter Shanaya’s look on the prestigious charity vogue occasion Le Bal des débutantes as a stack of bags (Louis Vuitton baggage from a distance) keep parked close to the door. After which as if to remind how fundamental our lives are, the women sit round and rely the opposite Indians who’ve been a part of the occasion– Ananya Panday, Isha Ambani and Shloka Birla. Put up this, it alternates between their common meet-ups, an insane journey to Doha the place their spacious suites put the perpetually space-starved Bombay to disgrace, a struggle at Ministry of Crab (the eatery’s identify in hindsight proves to be extra memorable than the brawl), and talks about an upcoming Gauri and Shah Rukh Khan celebration thrown to have fun their friendship (as a result of, why not).

The Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives is a branded cross between Preserving Up With The Kardashians and Intercourse and the Metropolis, a love-child of privilege and tone-deafness. On the very outset, Seema Khan makes enjoyable of Maheep Kapoor’s home assist as a result of she can’t converse English. The ladies put on boots and Prada outfits to wash the seashore and the redundancy of the act is mirrored within the further phrases of their reasoning, “this technology is the primary technology that has seen modifications in local weather change”. They apply bronzer earlier than getting a tan and refuse to chop greens as a result of it messes up their nails. However right here’s the factor: it’s alleged to be this frivolous.

If you signal as much as watch a present known as The Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives —the telling title setting the tone, drawing boundaries and tempering expectations — you consent being a voyeur. The whole thought of the collection is to bait us with their fabulous existence and capitalise on our funding in them. It’s supposed to offer responsible pleasure — the guilt is in watching one thing so far-removed from actuality and the pleasure residing within the entry. It’s nearly like being added to their WhatsApp teams or being a fly on the wall of their dwelling area.

If you signal as much as watch a present known as The Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives —the telling title setting the tone, drawing boundaries and tempering expectations—you consent to be a voyeur. (Supply: Netflix)

On this regard, there are cases which feed off our perennial curiosity about their lives. As an example, I choked laughing when Chunky Panday admitted becoming cameras in his home to examine who steals his alcohol. Neelam Kothari (astonishingly relatable in her fixed self-doubt) makes us aware about a second all of us unanimously confer with as “going beneath the knife”. Maheep Kapoor admits being an uninvited visitor at Abhishek and Aishwarya’s wedding ceremony (she watched the ceremony by way of binoculars from her verandah) and Seema Khan hints her marriage with Sohail Khan has meandered in a really meandering manner. Additionally it is crammed with star-studded cameos which reveal greater than they cover: Janhvi Kapoor shares Kylie Jenner’s want for her, Malaika Arora offers pep discuss to former sister-in-law Seema and Ekta Kapoor not simply convinces Neelam to make a comeback however in the identical meet-up assures her of a task.

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That is the unapologetic, unabashed “fabulous lives” these ladies, mates for 25 years, inhabit. However aside from being overstretched, the present by no means basks in its flight to ignorance. And that isn’t as a result of it is aware of higher however as a result of it’s always conscious of being a present. Karan Johar, a mutual good friend and producer, retains making transient appearances. He extends his Koffee With Karan gig but additionally tries countering future criticism. “Why ought to I watch a present about 4 ladies who don’t have jobs,” he asks. The one who actually produced that present is him. In one other hilariously orchestrated second, Sanjay and Maheep Kapoor go for a mid-day wine outing (simply after her seashore clear sesh) and he shares lastly getting a task in a Karan Johar movie. The scene serves no different goal apart from legitimising the impotency of nepotism. All of it comes collectively on the much-anticipated Gauri Khan celebration the place Shah Rukh Khan (as if straight out of Zoya Akhtar’s Luck By Probability set) channels his appeal and praises every one in all them. The 4 ladies do the identical.

The Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives then is simply too guarded to be flamboyant and too cagey to be outrightly callous. It straddles between making the ladies look ridiculous and honest (the present’s thought of displaying these ladies have careers is showcasing them speaking to one another at their respective workplaces). It commits the cardinal sin of actuality reveals by being always on the fence about its personal obliviousness. If there may be one factor price studying from Sima aunty it’s to talk like nobody’s watching. Sadly, nobody gave them this memo.

(The Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives is streaming on Netflix)

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