Reimagining Fauda for desi audience, Tanaav creator Nair on how the Israel-Palestine conflict has been adapted in the Indian milieu
The first look of Tanaav
Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff and actor Lior Raz created the popular series, Fauda, based on their experiences in the Israel Defence Forces. Director Sudhir Mishra has adapted the political thriller for the Indian audience with Tanaav, featuring Manav Vij, Rajat Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan, Zarina Wahab, Ekta Kaul and others.
A still from Fauda
When Sameer Nair’s Applause Entertainment bought the adaptation rights of the series, the primary need was to reimagine the milieu. The team decided to set the political thriller in Kashmir. “The original is a tale about Israel and Palestine, distinctly a story of Jewish-Muslim conflict. When you set it in Kashmir, the tendency is to make it an Indo-Pak story. We decided that we’ll depict a political scenario happening in Kashmir,” says the producer. Nair asserts that the team steered clear of religious broad-stroking. “Our hero is a Muslim, working for the Indian intelligence agency taking on another Muslim, who works for an independent organisation. Around them are a whole set of people who may be Hindu or Muslim.”
At its heart, the upcoming Sony LIV series is a story about identity. Nair cites an interesting example to establish this. “We have two characters called Malik in the show — one is a Punjabi Malik, the head of an intelligence bureau in India. The other is a man in Pakistan. These nuances were important to establish the idea of how identities are derived from the same nation. Bringing the local Kashmiri culture was pivotal. In Fauda, the terrain is dry and brown. Kashmir is jannat, so the look was [changed].” He is not worried about comparisons with the original that has become immensely popular around the globe. “The idea is to take the germ of the same story and tell it to a wider and new audience. If someone has watched Fauda, they aren’t my audience. The idea is to bring in our actors and our cinematic syntax.”