Ganesh Chaturthi

Flawed character, but played with innocence

23 May,2023 09:04 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Mohar Basu

Sohum Shah on balancing the conflict of playing good and bad in Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar’s `Dahaad`

Sohum Shah in `Dahaad`

Sohum Shah outdid himself as Bheema Bharti in Maharani last year, but with Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti's 'Dahaad,' he changes gears to slip into the role of a man trying to come into his own. Playing sub-inspector Kailash Pargi, who struggles between right and wrong, Shah says that his character "is an amalgamation of his own education, or lack of it". "I love the complexities of this character. Pargi is in a world where the lines between right and wrong are blurred, and his worldview is a product of that very cynicism."

The eight-episode Amazon Prime Video series follows a crack team - Sonakshi Sinha, Gulshan Devaiah, and Shah - on the lookout for a serial killer who has killed 29 women on the pretext of marrying them. Shah believes he could identify with Pargi because he also hails from a small town in Rajasthan. "He is a flawed guy, sure, but he doesn't understand political correctness. I tried to play it with a stroke of innocence," says Shah, adding that his Dahaad character questions and breaks out of his own patriarchal conditioning as he becomes a parent in the series. "My mother doesn't like it if I make my own tea. That is her conditioning. Pargi similarly goes through this when he starts working on this case and understands how he must stand as an ally to the women around him. The show's nuances work because it is directed by two women, Reema and Ruchika [Oberoi]. I don't think a male director would have done it as well. Reema encouraged every opinion and thought [I had]. She allowed [me] space to own the material."

The show also throws light on caste politics in modern India, which the actor claims to have been witness to "since birth". "Caste [divide] is a reality. My worldview evolved after I moved to Mumbai. I used to have a chauffeur, who wouldn't sit with me no matter how much I insisted. It was his way of thinking. I feel the first-hand experience I have of a small town helped in layering my character and giving it the balanced perspective and understanding it needed," concludes Shah.

Also Read: Dahaad's Gulshan Devaiah, Sohum Shah and Vijay Varma on playing their characters in the new web series

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