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The Fabulous Lies Of Bollywood Lives



The Fabulous Lives  Of Bollywood Wives(Netflix, 8 Episodes)

Rating: * ½ 

I sat numbed and wide-eyed  through this vulgar display of wealth and luxury wondering  two things:  are these  people for real?  And  have we imagined the Covid crisis? Looking at the gleaming surfaces and glossy faces  in this series on how the rich and the bored  find pretexts to spend  their time and money, I  came to the conclusion that  somehow all the real hardships  of everyday existence have  bypassed them .

Or maybe these wives bypassed  the hardships as they whizzed by  in their  Rolls Royce?Straight  out of Madhur Bhandarkar’s Page 3, the lives  of the four Bollywood wives in this series comes  across as  selfindulgent and  insulated. And more than a  little frivolous. I have nothing against the  rich and the privileged as long as they  don’t flaunt their  wealth.But this is all about  showing off .For all we  know   Neelam Kothari, Seema Khan, Bhavna Pandey and  Maheep Kapoor are  really  nice people. Here they are on the backfoot from the start, acting out  a weird  variety of “reality” posing as a variation of  Bollywood  wives far removed from what they actually are.

It’s as though Karan  Johar has  just  fraternized  Jackie Collins’ ghost.All the supposedly  private interactions, heavily scripted ,  with their  husbands and  children come across as stilted  and  vain.   The  four heroines come  across as  sad sorry players in their own story scripted by someone who has no idea of what they think and how they talk.

The  brief here  seems to be  to  just  mimic  the Kardashians. So there is  a lot  shop talk, lots of designer  shoes and clothes,  lots of champagne and  lots of bad language.  Mrs Kapoor thinks  calling her pals  ‘assholes’  is cool.  I also noticed that whenever her husband Sanjay Kapoorshows  up  on screen she  is impatient with his  part of  the  conversation,  as if to say, ‘This is my show, don’t you  forget that’

The husbands make brief thankless appearances and then leave the four ladies  to their own fun and frolic which includes  lunch with Karan  Johar(where the conversation is a  little less rehearsed and little more spontaneous   than elsewhere) , partying with Gauri and Shah Rukh Khan and a trip to Doha where the ladies sigh and moan over the infinite  levels  of luxury they are thrown into.

 It’s  all  very showy and flashy and a little vulgar. Just makes no sense to have these women on camera  looking like robotic versions  of their real lives.  At one  point Neelam’s cosmetic surgery  is  discussed.And it  feels  like an out-of-body experience  . Maybe if Malaika Arora and GauriKhan  starred in this  rehearsed reality drama  instead of making guest appearances  things would have  been a  lot  different. 

As things are, the show reveals  nothing  fabulous  about the four Bollywood wives except that  they are all  bad actresses, even the one (Neelam)who has acted  in  movies in the past. Nothing Neelam did with Govinda is as outlandish  and cut off from reality as this.This is neither reality  television nor a tribute to  the Kardashian sisters. It  is just gross.

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