The Super ModelsOn: AppleTV+Dir: Roger Moss Williams, Larissa BillsCast: Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy TurlingtonRating: 3/5
As a tween in Kolhapur, growing up in a family of four that shared one television set, MTV provided a glimpse of the big, wild world of possibilities. And it’s here that I first met Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Tatjana Patiz. They were in George Michael’s iconic Freedom music video.
Did I know of Vogue? Sure. But I had no idea that the original supers had appeared on the magazine’s cover of January 1990—which is said to have inspired Michael to cast them.
For a geeky, bespectacled girl with hair tied in a scrunchie, their combined power of style and sex sucked me into a dystopian fairy tale: can girls look and behave like that? It offered me a kind of agency that I still find inspiring today.
Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington walked for the Versace show in March 1991 lip-syncing to George Michael’s hit, Freedom. Pics/AppleTV+
The original first-name-only supermodels are back in the just-out Apple TV+ docuseries, The Super Models. Watching them together, once again sent me into a woozy trance. This time, though, I was viewing them via the comfort of a personal laptop and from the lens of an experienced fashion journalist.
The four-part series speaks about the values of beauty and power rooted in a certain idea of high-fashion. It uses existing archival material, including Evangelista’s backstage moments with Karl Lagerfeld at the Chanel show and Crawford rapping with actor Chris Rock on MTV’s House of Style, interspersed with video interviews of the women they are now. Directors Roger Moss Williams and Larissa Bills pull in big industry names like Robin Givhan, Washington Post critic; Vogue’s Edward Enninful; journalist Suzy Menkes; designers Marc Jacobs and Kim Jones to do talking-head duties. Even Donatella Versace offers a quote.
It’s a wonderful, crazy and uncontroversial docuseries, in which passion and pain are kept in check but always simmering close to the surface. It includes the big moments, the big scares and the big revelations. There are shocking stories of an industry divided by racism, body-shaming and the abuse of power, but the most smouldering moments are the innocuous ones. Hearing the women talk, seeing them as humane selves rather than clothes hangers, is refreshing.
In one of the segments, Crawford while reflecting on her early days as a catalogue model in Chicago, calls out Oprah Winfrey for treating her like the “chattel”, or “a child, like, be seen and not heard” in her first major TV interview. Winfrey asks the 20-year-old model to, “Stand up just for a moment. Now, this is what I call a body”. “Only when I looked back at it, I was like,” says Crawford in the docuseries, “Oh my gosh, that was so not okay, really. Especially from Oprah!” Stories of fainting on shoots, of getting a haircut without ‘permission’, of Evangelista recounting her abusive marriage to Gérald Marie (former CEO of Elite Model Management, Paris), her botched-up surgery and battle with breast cancer, make this as real as glamour can get. She also addresses regretfully that thing she famously said about not getting out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.
Flashbacks to the quartet’s younger selves appear throughout the docuseries as brief but potent interludes, effectively spotlighting the industry’s push for youth, beauty and body ideals. When they arrive, they ask audiences to reflect on their own love for this era from a grownup vantage point, and leave us to fill in the blanks between the good, the bad and the ugly.
She has been your classic big-screen movie star, her stardom going hand-in-hand with her acting prowess over the past 22 years. How does one then convince Kareena Kapoor Khan to trade the allure of the big screen for OTT? With a solid script, says Sujoy Ghosh. On Thursday, his directorial venture Jaane Jaan dropped on Netflix, marking Kapoor’s foray into digital entertainment. “I didn’t have to convince her. Kareena has an uncanny acumen for scripts. When she read Jaane Jaan’s script, she knew this is what she wanted to walk in with, as her first digital appearance. I’ve gone to Kareena with many scripts, but this worked for her,” smiles Ghosh.
In the Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Varma-led moody thriller, based on Keigo Higashino’s popular novel, The Devotion of Suspect X, Kapoor plays a single mother in Kalimpong who becomes a prime suspect in a murder. Ghosh admires how she brought her own interpretation to the role. “Kareena brought a lot of her life experiences to Jaane Jaan— like looking after her children while being a working woman, and her fierce protectiveness towards them. By the way she delivers the scenes, you know she is a mother. This is not to take away from her as an actor. In a sequence, where Vijay tells her he is leaving for Mumbai, the way she looks at him is brilliant. I didn’t have to explain much to her about the scene, she just got it.”
There’s something else about her that has left him impressed and intrigued. “I’ve never seen Kareena mug up her dialogues on the sets. The whole day she’d shoot with me, then go home to be with her family. So, I want to know when she learns her lines,” he asks, laughing.
The director’s love for mystery thrillers has seen him work with Vidya Balan on the Kahaani franchise. Does he find any similarities between the two actors? “Both are in a league of their own. It’s impossible to compare them. [A similarity between them] is that they are so dedicated to their craft. They immerse themselves into every role they play. They treat acting like something holy; they won’t take it for granted.”
Next, Ghosh is set to helm an action-thriller starring Shah Rukh Khan and his daughter Suhana. While he is tight-lipped about the project, we ask him if he is considering making Kahaani 3. “Not right now, but if I have a good script later, yes. I can make up to Kahaani 10, but I need a good script.”
Jaane JaanOn: NetflixDir: Sujoy GhoshCast: Jaideep Ahlawat, Kareena Kapoor KhanRating: 3/5
Jaane Jaan is an official adaptation of Japanese Keigo Higashino’s book, The Devotion of Suspect X. Which is? Essentially, the daddy of Jeethu Joseph’s Malayalam Drishyam (2013), thereafter remade in Hindi, the rights of which have been further sold for a Korean version, completing a circle of sorts.
The point of the suspense being? A protagonist perfectly hiding a murder committed as accident, or in sheer self-defence. Would it be easier to confess the crime to the police and face trial, since the deceased was such a suspect character himself? Oh, no, what’s the fun in that. And who wants to face the vagaries of law, in any case.
Much better to hide, and hope to move on. But that requires some intelligence, isn’t it? In this film, that ‘shaatir’/sharp brain belongs to an old maths teacher, with an unmatched attention to detail. Only, he’s helping his female neighbour get away. Are they together, or even friends? No. This is just out of unimaginable, unconditional love.
Hence, as an audience, you follow the male lead, first. He spouts arithmetic equations to answer life’s questions. One of them being, if A = B, and B = C, then A = B = C. Which is odd, because if A = B = C, then they would not be different variables. All of them would simply be A, no? But let’s not get too much into these things, including that childhood puzzle about five birds on a tree. If you shoot one down, how many are left? None, the others will fly away; obvio!
You’re drawn to this maths teacher, mainly because of his eyes and body-language so self-effacing and half-dead, that he appears half-blind and wholly vulnerable. Yet, he displays the look of someone so sorted, you know he will somehow protect you, if you’re under his care. You feel that most, when he half hugs his neighbour, the murderer.
Actor Jaideep Ahlawat plays this part. Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor Khan is opposite him. This pairing itself is the best proof of how this is the golden age for actors—hence directors, who have such a wide choice to cast from.
Kapoor, in particular, has been extremely choosy, throughout her career, over who she’ll star with—Ayushmann Khurrana, for instance, was reportedly not good enough for her, during the casting process of Udta Punjab (2016). This makes Ahlawat a legit star of OTT, already. This is Kapoor’s digital debut.
It’s equally remarkable how she solidly underplays herself to suit the quieter medium. This character has an unknown past, chiefly as professional stripper/pole-dancer, although I haven’t met one such in my life in India so far. Vijay Varma, another hero of sorts, in his own right, is the devoted cop investigating the murder.And yet, don’t miss that dead-body, in the sense of the performer, who gets killed. That’s Saurabh Sachdeva, who we last saw, only the same week as this film, singularly killing it as the dignified don Haji in the series, Bambai Meri Jaan (Amazon Prime Video). He just so naturally gives out the druggie vibe, it’d be amazing if he’s a teetotaller vegan in actual life!
Can’t go wrong with actors so on the ball, can you? The script itself has been doing the rounds with several directors in Bombay for so long that, for some reason, even I had a copy of it lying around at home, once—gifted to me, to randomly read for fun. That Sujoy Ghosh was the filmmaker finally picked for this film is thanks to Kahaani (2012) and Badla (2019). Both movies equally in the mystery/thriller space, with a female protagonist.
Ghosh does well to set Jaane Jaan in the serene hills of North Bengal, somewhat bearing the look and feel of Aranyak (Netflix), that was set in Himachal Pradesh, if I’m not mistaken, and was, similarly, the ’90s star Raveena Tandon’s OTT debut.
So, between three alluring characters and a murder to hide, where do you go from here? Not too far, really. There isn’t much suspense, since you know the leads will get away with murder; what’s the point, otherwise. How? You stay for the punctuations, and the process.
This is the kind of high engagement, low risk, lower return genre, that you click on a streamer—knowing that, like a breezy sit-com, you will be suitably entertained. And you are. What was my unrelated takeaway from the pic, a call to action, as it were? Really wanna visit Gompu Bar & Restaurant in Kalimpong!
The day Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story (2020) dropped online, Tushar Hiranandani watched it in one go. He was so taken by the series that he called creator-director Hansal Mehta at 5.30 am to congratulate him. Three years later, as Scam 2003: The Telgi Story premièred earlier this month, the roles were reversed. Hiranandani recalls, “I had switched off my phone because I was scared [of the reactions]. The moment I switched it on, the first call was from Hansal sir. He said, ‘Are you mad? Don’t switch off your phone. Buy five more phones now. The reviews are fantastic.’”
Scam 2003, based on the stamp paper fraud by Abdul Karim Telgi and fronted by Gagan Dev Riar, has Mehta as the creator-showrunner while Hiranandani serves as the director. Was he apprehensive about stepping into the Scam universe, considering the 2020 offering was a runaway hit? “How could I be scared? It couldn’t get worse than sitting at home. I knew what I was getting into, but I never took the pressure of it. After going through two years of COVID-19, the excitement to do any kind of work was enough for me,” he says.
The director is grateful to Mehta not only for trusting him with the show, but also for giving him a free hand. “Hansal sir is the baap of OTT. He has reached this position because he is so giving. He told me to make Scam colourful and commercial. He gave me absolute freedom to bring my take to the script. [For a sequence set in a dance bar], he said, ‘I don’t know the world of dance bars. I haven’t even been there.’ So, I assured him that I’d shoot in such a manner that he would enjoy watching it.”
Undoubtedly, the series’ biggest victory is its leading man. So compelling has been Riar’s performance that it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else as Telgi on screen. And yet, Hiranandani admits that he was initially concerned whether Riar was the best choice for the role. “Initially, Hansal sir didn’t let me meet him. Then one day, he called us over for dinner. Gagan was supposed to be there too, and I was told he was putting on weight for a year. When I saw him, I couldn’t hide my disappointment. I said, ‘He doesn’t look like Telgi.’ I believed he was talented because Hansal sir chose him, but he didn’t look the part. I took Gagan to a fitness trainer, who made him put on 15 to 16 kilos more.” The director says the biggest validation came soon after, as even the team working on the show couldn’t recognise Riar. “When the marketing team of Applause Entertainment was given the first look to be put out on social media, they asked, ‘How can we put Telgi’s picture? Where is Gagan’s picture?’”
Bhuvan Bam’s debut OTT venture Taaza Khabar seems to be a gift that keeps on giving. In July, Ormax reported that it was the third most-watched Hindi web series of 2023 so far. Now, the Disney+ Hotstar offering has earned Bam a nomination in the Best Asian Actor category at the Septimius Awards 2023. Vying for the award along with him are Iranian actor Mohsen Tanabandeh, Yemeni actor Khaled Hamdan and fellow Indian actor Tovino Thomas, among others.
The Septimius Awards, to be held on September 26 in Amsterdam, will celebrate excellence in feature films, documentaries, shorts, animation films, television series, and screenplays. It aims to promote diversity in the entertainment world by honouring actors across different continents. For the Internet content creator-star, bagging a nomination at the international awards gala reaffirms his decision of switching gears to acting. From his humble beginning with YouTube sketches to leading his own web series, it has been a rewarding journey for Bam. “It’s a recognition of the hard work that went into creating Taaza Khabar. The show was something we all believed in. Every recognition and even a nomination at this international platform is rewarding for my OTT debut. It [motivates] us to bring a better second season,” he says.
The second instalment of the fantasy comedy series, which revolves around a sanitation worker who has the power to see into the future, is in the works. Bam adds, “There is an excitement in the writers’ room, given the validation we have had. The writers are jamming on ideas every day.”
ZEE5 announced the second season of the much-awaited series, ‘Duranga’ with a motion poster. The official adaptation of the Korean show, ‘Flower of Evil’, Duranga S1 went on to become a much-loved romantic thriller series. It kept the audiences hooked to their screens with the constant twists and turns. Now the second season will see the return of Gulshan Devaiah, Drashti Dhami, Barkha Sen Gupta, and Rajesh Khattar reprising their respective roles and it will see Amit Sadh play a critical lead role.
Produced by Goldie Behl’s Rose Audio Visuals and directed by Rohan Sippy, Duranga S2 will witness the real Sammit Patel [Played by Amit Sadh] wake up from a coma and go after Abhishek Banne [played by Gulshan Devaiah] who has been living as Sammit Patel. Amit Sadh will be seen portraying a critical role, challenging Gulshan Devaiah to put everything at stake to protect his family. These three central characters' aims will collide during this season and keep the viewers on the edge of their seats.
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Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 India said, “Duranga season 1 was loved and appreciated by our viewers and critics alike. With popular demand, we are happy to bring Duranga back for another season; and this time, the thrills, twists and turns are more complex ensuring an engaging and enthralling romantic thriller. We are looking forward to delivering another top-notch thriller to our audience."
Nimisha Pandey, Chief Content Officer – Hindi Originals, ZEE5 said, “Building on the resounding success of Duranga's debut season, we are glad to present the sequel of this captivating romantic thriller. The upcoming season raises the thrills while the relationships become more complex, as the narrative takes unpredictable and riveting twists. As the first Indian adaptation of a Korean drama, this franchise received immense love from our viewers last year. Goldie Behl, Rohan Sippy, along with the writer Charudutt have created an intriguing story for the sequel that we hope will entertain the audiences across the globe”.
Producer Goldie Behl said, “I am grateful for the overwhelming reaction to season 1 of Duranga. I am even more excited for season 2 which is sharper, stronger and has far more twists and turns. Season 1 ended on a cliffhanger where we saw the character of Amit Sadh coming out of a coma. Season 2 takes off from there but in a far more complex and entertaining manner. It’s been a pleasure collaborating with Rohan Sippy, Drashti Dhami, Gulshan Devaiah and Amit Sadh; all brilliant at their craft. A heartfelt thank you to ZEE5 and Nimisha Pandey who have been excellent to work with. I cannot wait for the audience to savour this season”.
Director Rohan Sippy said, “I’m very thankful that I got an opportunity to work once again with Rose & ZEE5, this time to take a successful franchise like Duranga forward. The cast and crew have worked very hard in all departments to add even more excitement and emotional engagement this time around, and we can’t wait to share it with the audience very soon!”.
There might have been scores of stories centred on Mumbai and yet, every few years, a filmmaker has something new to tell about the city. Last week’s release Bambai Meri Jaan, in that sense, is familiar yet novel. The gangster drama, reportedly inspired by real-life characters, sees Kay Kay Menon play Ismail Kadri and Avinash Tiwary, his on-screen son Dara Kadri. The real names must not be taken, the act of Voldermort-ifying it almost adding to the hype. Instead, we have reference points that are quite telling—Menon’s Ismail Kadri is an honest cop while his son Dara rises through the ranks to become the city’s most dreaded gangster. Tiwary immediately discourages us from connecting the dots, as he begins, “It is a fictional account of all the stories we have heard of the underbelly, and we have added our own colours to it. It’s a new painting!”
For co-creator and director Shujaat Saudagar, Bambai is the show’s primary character along with the protagonists Ismail and Dara. The Amazon Prime Video series, set in the ’60s and ’70s, harks back to the city it once was. “We had to visually get Mumbai right, but more importantly, we had to capture the experience that the city is. There is a pulse and euphoria to it,” says Saudagar.
In fact, the co-creator says he witnessed the “euphoria” second-hand through his US-based DoP (director of photography) John Smith, who first arrived in Mumbai in February 2020 to shoot the series. “We shot the first schedule over 20 days in February right before the lockdown. We restarted a year later on January 31, 2021. [Then] John got COVID and was stuck in a hotel room for nearly two months. We had to fly him out because it was monsoon by the time he got better [and we couldn’t shoot in the rains]. When he came back to shoot the next schedule, he was hit by dengue.” Despite Smith’s harrowing time in the city, he is smitten by it, laughs Saudagar. “John jokes that he still wouldn’t mind settling in Mumbai if his wife agrees.”
Kritika Kamra in Bambai Meri Jaan
A long road ahead
Saudagar’s tryst with the gangster drama began in 2019 as he developed the story with co-creator Rensil D’Silva, and wrote it with Abbas and Hussain Dalal. He took it on floors in February 2020, unknowing that he was embarking on a tumultuous three-year journey. The first wave of the pandemic hit in March 2020, stalling his production. A mammoth set of old Mumbai that had been built in Madh Island lay unused for months, shooting up the show’s budget. “During the first wave, for five months, we had no idea what was happening. There were fears we wouldn’t carry on at all. We had not shot in the Madh set for a single day. We rebuilt it twice over [over the subsequent months],” says the creator-director, who then filmed the show intermittently through 2021 and 2022.
He wasn’t alone in living with the story for years. It was an equally demanding process for actors Menon, Tiwary and Kritika Kamra. Menon says that staying true to his role for over three years has been an elaborate process of switching on and off. “If there is a long gap between two schedules, it’s no longer about the continuity of what you are wearing. It is also about the continuity of the character’s headspace. It is a re-investment of everything an actor puts into the character. I believe that an actor primarily is in the business of emotions. [You have to] re-process to immerse yourself into a scene whose last beat was shot a while ago,” says Menon.
Tiwary’s approach, however, was different. Contrary to his co-actor’s on-and-off process, Tiwary had become Dara for the past three-and-a-half years. “My mind hadn’t stopped thinking about Dara. For over three years, this was the only thing I had. When I chose it, I felt it needed an immersive dedication. I feared letting go of the character, because if I did, I would never be able to find that magic again,” recalls the actor. In hindsight, he admits he could have “chilled a bit”, before telling Menon, “I want to get to a point like you where I can switch off and on.”
It helped that everyone on the set was on the same page. Tiwary recounts, “There were 300 people cheering for the same thing. I remember there were days I would walk in and they would call me Dara bhai. As an actor, I tend to do better when I am looked at in a certain way. It was fun getting the lingo right, and I enjoyed the touch of brotherhood, where every [line] ended with bhai.”
Humanise, don’t glorify
When telling a story about the mafia, novelists and filmmakers are sometimes faulted for glorifying them. The examples are many—from Gregory David Roberts’s ever-popular book Shantaram, to Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games. Bambai Meri Jaan too adds a tinge of heroism to its morally ambiguous characters. Point this out to Saudagar, and he views it differently. “Storytellers are merely telling a story, and there is a human fascination with the world of crime. Martin Scorsese’s entire repertoire is replete with great gangster films. The fascination exists because these are regular people who did deviant things and one wants to live vicariously through them. As a filmmaker, I don’t want to glorify or judge them. I want the audience to judge the characters. I only want to humanise [the characters]. It is futile in any society to glorify crime. There is a moral framework in this show where you see two men struggling to find their version of right and wrong. Here, we are telling the story of a family, the choices they made and how they dealt with its outcome.”
Friday Storytellers' action thriller 'The Freelancer' was released on 1st September and gave the audience an absolute dose of action and adventure. While the 4 episodic series have been immensely loved by the audience, now the superstar Hrithik Roshan has also joined the baton when he watched the show and couldn't resist praising the team and the show. While praising Friday Storytellers' action thriller 'The Freelancer', Hrithik Roshan took to his social media and wrote the caption, "Just got done watching The Freelancer on Hotstar - which is yet another brilliant work of art by Neeraj Pandey, Shital Bhatia, and team. I thought 'Special Ops' was peak, but you all have me in awe with this one too. Unbelievably thrilling!
"Firstly, what a novel concept.. watching the show just made me realise this is an unexplored universe with so much potential. I cannot wait to watch the upcoming episodes. Anupam Sir, Mohit & Kashmira and all the cast members are simply outstanding. Guys.. if you'll haven't watched The Freelancer on Hotstar yet.. please add it to your watchlist immediately! This is one web series you must not miss," he added.
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'The Freelancer' has been garnering immense love from all across ever since its release. Well studded with a talented star cast of Mohit Raina, Anupam Kher, and many more. Coming from the house of Friday storytellers, who have always given the audience some fresh and original content, 'The Freelancer' is definitely a must-watch content available only on Deinsy+ Hotstar.
From Special OPS 1.5, Kaun Praveen Tambe?, Khakhee- The Bihar Chapter, Secrets of Kohinoor, Bande Mei Hai Dum, and many more are some of the content that are the most enjoyed ones from the house of Friday storytellers.
Meanwhile, Hrithik Roshan, will next be seen in the film 'Fighter' scheduled to release in January. The film, an aerial action drama, also stars Deepika Padukone and Anil Kapoor. The film directed by Siddharth Anand of War and Pathaan fame will bring Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan on the screen together for the first time.
There are two elements that are recurrent in Saurabh Sachdeva’s current cinematic line-up—all of his roles are diverse, and each of his co-stars is a phenomenal talent. After starring in Nawazuddin Siddiqui-led Haddi, he will now be seen in Sujoy Ghosh’s Jaane Jaan, with Kareena Kapoor Khan, and in Ranbir Kapoor’s Animal, which releases in December.
The actor’s cinematic choices, he says, are determined by the diversity of the roles that he is offered. “The decision to be versatile comes from me spending years on [improving] myself as an actor, and my teaching abilities as an acting coach,” says Sachdeva, who wanted to “surprise” viewers with his act as a transgender person in Haddi. “I am happy that I didn’t make a mockery of the character.”
Both Siddiqui and Kapoor are bound by their commitment to the craft, he says. “I have seen many actors, who are great on stage, but, on camera, they freeze. But Nawaz and Ranbir own their space.”
Amazon Prime Video today announced the Indian reboot of the popular '80s Japanese game show, Takeshi’s Castle, with actor and content creator Bhuvan Bam taking on a new role of a commentator. The eight-episode series will stream exclusively for viewers on Prime Video India. The brand-new season will retain the eccentricities that people saw in the original version - swashbuckling adventures, fun set-ups, and challenging games coupled with hilarious commentary.
As contestants travel from one terrifying escapade to another, Bhuvan Bam will be providing a uniquely Indian perspective and add elements of fun and laughter as one of his most-loved characters – ‘Titu Mama’ from BB Ki Vines. Actor Javed Jaffrey used to be the commentator for the show in the '90s.
Recapturing the essence of the original series, viewers will get to watch over 100 contestants - the "attacking army" - attempt to storm the impenetrable castle, fighting off all kinds of guards, devils, and giant foam mushrooms along the way. Only the bravest and luckiest will make it through to take on Takeshi himself, and potentially bank 1 million yen.
"Takeshi's Castle is certainly one of the most iconic shows in India's television history. Not just in India, but across the globe, Takeshi's Castle has a huge fan following,” said Manish Menghani, director - content licensing, Prime Video, India.
"As a global streaming service, our mission is to curate diverse content from all corners of the globe, while preserving its relevance and resonance with our local audiences. We are thrilled to announce Bhuvan Bam as the voice of the brand-new season of Takeshi's Castle. We are sure that his uproarious and off-beat commentary of this iconic Japanese game show will have the viewers in splits. This show promises to rekindle nostalgia and offer an entirely fresh and exhilarating experience to younger audiences."
it's happening, the most awaited comeback of all times 🤩Takeshi’s Castle ft. #BhuvanOnPrime, coming soon! 🏰 pic.twitter.com/StZC5RrO9G
— prime video IN (@PrimeVideoIN) September 14, 2023
Commenting on the involvement in the iconic show, actor and creator Bhuvan Bam said, "Since the original version of Takeshi's Castle was on television, I have been an ardent fan of the concept, execution and the hilarity of the game show. It’s highly nostalgic for me to have grown up seeing the show and now voicing it, is genuinely a full circle moment. I don’t think there is anyone in my generation who hasn't loved and enjoyed this madcap comedy. Being a part of this incredible game show is a privilege and an honour. As an entertainer, my viewers have always appreciated the unique yet relatable characters that I’ve portrayed, and I am happy to bring a bit of my creative self as 'Titu Mama'. I am hopeful that the younger generation will love this show as much as we did."
At a time when his long-in-the-making Excel Entertainment project Bambai Meri Jaan continued to face setbacks during the lockdown, Bejoy Nambiar’s new project offered respite to actor Avinash Tiwary. “Kaala came my way at a crucial period in my career. Something that I had been working on was stuck, and I had been prepping for it in a different way. My character in Kaala may seem conventional, but it is a layered one. Behind the traditional cat-and-mouse chase, I am certain that people will see the depth of it,” he shares.
Nambiar’s offering explores a parallel economy that sees the conversion of black money to white money, and then to black money again through the process referred to as reverse hawala. It wasn’t a subject that Tiwary was cognisant of. “I was bemused to learn about the manner in which a case is cracked. It is thrilling. It was shocking to learn about the enormity of the scam. We have showcased not only the details of the scam but also the stories of the people involved in cracking the case.”
At a time when the global economy continues to heal from the monetary setback it faced in the aftermath of the pandemic, we ask the actor how a show of this nature could be pulled off, responsibly. Tiwary says that the “responsibility of cinema is first on the shoulders of the director”. “An actor is a medium through which a story can reach an audience. My responsibility is to render the director’s vision appropri-ately. We are exposing the underbelly. The writing of Kaala is unique. The audience will be surprised with the way in which the story ties up,” he says of the series that will stream on Disney+Hotstar from tomorrow.
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