Breaking free

Breaking free

Stills from Masaba Masaba

Film: Masaba Masaba

Director: Sonam Nair; Writer: Sonam Nair, Nandini Gupta, Anupama Ramachandran

Cast: Masaba Gupta, Neena Gupta, Satyadeep Mishra, Neil Bhoopalam, Rytasha Rathore


Unless you live under a rock, you definitely would have heard about Neena Gupta and her daughter Masaba! Theirs is a story that has been played in the tabloids and that’s what Netflix web series Masaba Masaba brings to you. Not only is it about a mother-daughter bond, but also a commentary on the times we are living in.

The opening credits call it fictional, but through the six episodes, there are scenes and circumstances that one has seen play up over the decades. The story is rather linear — a daughter dealing with personal mess and a mother trying to get out of a professional lull; both taking refuge in social media.

As reel and real merge, one does at times step into the shoes of the protagonist and walk that ‘not so conventional’ path. The series opens on a promising note. One feels for Masaba and her situation. The stories we live or see around — broken bonds, parental issues, personal-professional balance. One wonders if the lead actress would be able to live up to expectations, considering that in her debut she’s paired opposite Neena Gupta! Call it strength of the script or the screenwriters’ focus, Masaba actually shines. She is smart and sexy, poised and practical. Sonam Nair — the writer and director of the series — sure offers a slice from their lives.

Amongst the highs is a compelling story that belongs to our times, when it’s all right to scribble one’s joys and sorrows on social media. Also, it’s all about a resilient spirit; breaking the patterns not serving any purpose, facing the music and starting afresh. There is humour, especially how Masaba keeps going back to her life coach (played by Pooja Bedi), a star wife, who on record has more issues plaguing her life than Masaba’s! There are moments that shock you, such as the new collection launch at a boat and the epic disaster that waits.

Surprise, however, is not the strength of Masaba Masaba. Neena and Masaba’s life have panned out in the open. One wishes one got to know more about Neena Gupta though!

To see or not to see... Well, if you want to pick up something light and familiar, Masaba Masaba is for you. Just go with the flow, don’t expect any revelations, though. It’s a story we already know — child-parent quibbles, fake drama that carries on in the life of glamour, celebs donning role of social media influencers. But at the heart of it is a mother-daughter duo who can quip and quiver, but are indomitable, united to face the world.

While the issues collected over the five 30-minute episodes come clean in the last one, one wishes it was this easy for everyone else too! But then, when has life stopped being a shocker?