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Exclusive! Jai Mehta on fearing comparison with Hansal Mehta: 'Why would I...'

Pirates, ships, ill-fated people—these words always excite us, and Hansal Mehta's son, Jai Mehta, has combined all of these to deliver a spectacular crime drama, ‘Lootere’. The series, which marks Jai's directorial debut, has been receiving a good response from audiences and critics alike. Now, as the series garners rave reviews, midday.com sat down with the producer of the show, Shaailesh R Singh, and the captain of the ship himself, Jai Mehta, to discuss several things—from how Jai decided to make his debut with ‘Lootere’ to any fears of comparison with his father, Hansal Mehta. As we started off the conversation, we learned that ‘Lootere’ is Shaailesh's brainchild, which he entrusted to Jai. When asked why he trusted Mehta to direct the series, the producer of the show said, "Because I've known Jai for almost 20 or 30 years, and I knew he would make a fantastic directorial debut. It's also my OTT debut, so I wanted someone whom I am comfortable and confident with, someone I can trust 100%. I couldn't find someone better than Jai and Hansal. As it's my first time, I really wanted someone I could rely on. So, that's why I approached Jai and asked him to read it and come on board if he liked it." When you have a father who is known for his craft as a director, the fear of comparison often comes to mind, but with Jai, that was not the case, as he never felt like competing with his father, Hansal Mehta. "I don't fear comparison. If I make half of what he makes, it means I have achieved a lot. There is no comparison, no competition, and no pressure. Why would I want to compete with somebody who has taught me? Why would I want to compete with my father? We work together. We are not competitors. Honestly, there is no competition. We constantly share our learnings with each other. Whether I need to get in touch with any actor, I will call Shailesh ji or Suparna or Hansal sir. We are constantly sharing things with each other," Jai said. When we delved deeper into the conversation and asked him about feeling pressure to deliver the best, Jai told us, "When it comes to delivering, you know, a lot of people don't know where we come from. We don't come from a family which has a film background; we are all first-generation filmmakers, sort of. And my relationship with Hansal sir is... I have been working with him for as long as I have also been his son. I have been his assistant for 15 years; our working relation is as long as our father-son relation." He further continued and said, "What is the worst that will happen, yaar? We have been poor before; we will be poor again; there's no big deal; it's okay; at least we tried." To note, Jai Mehta's directorial debut series is available on Disney plus Hotstar. The series has been streaming on the platform since March 22nd. Hansal Mehta is a showrunner for 'Lootere'.

15 April,2024 09:43 AM IST | Mumbai | Shachi Chaturvedi
Sharmistha Chatterjee

Sharmistha: ‘Adapting world music for a Hindi series was his master stroke’

Recognised as the first Indian lead singer to feature in Coke Studio Pakistan, Sharmistha Chatterjee is set to present her latest work in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Heeramandi. Asserting that “the music of the tawaifs” has been an abiding interest of hers, Chatterjee, who rendered Tilasmi bahein, says the music “revolves around the genre that I explore”.  “This belongs to [the genre of] world music. The style that we explored is a fusion of elements from the Middle East and Spain. There’s a bit of Arabic or Bulgarian music too. When I first went into the studio, I was told to explore the song as I desired. Initially, the lyrics didn’t sit well, and I had to work on a part of it. But, because I was associated with the song from [the beginning], I could truly enjoy rendering it. The emotions of the character were conveyed to me. I was made to understand that it was about the power of womanhood, and celebrating it.”  Sinha stars in the song composed by Bhansali Chatterjee’s association with Bhansali traces back to 2006 when she came on board as a backing vocalist for Saawariya. “That was my first time working on such a large [set], and recording with a large group.” To be “pulled out from a bunch of voices” and chosen as a solo vocalist for his film is certainly a defining moment for her. “For this number, the idea was to completely surrender to the director’s vision. Doing that was important in this case because we didn’t have the visuals before us. The song was shot after I sang it. I am experimental and enjoy world music. And while there may be many people who are skilled in it, adapting the genre to make it appropriate for a commercial Hindi project is something only Mr Bhansali could do. It was his masterstroke. He has an amazing ability to understand the audience, and is extremely passionate about everything that he does, especially the project’s music. Even though he has heard a lot of Bollywood music, he has the mind of an explorer and wants to [know more about] the classical and semi-classical genres. He will use his vision to find something new and extraordinary each time.”  It’s perhaps his tendency to introduce a hint of novelty in his work that enables Bhansali to lead singers out of their comfort zone. “In the industry, singers are usually [bracketed] and called for the same kinds of songs. But, because of him, I got the opportunity to do something I hadn’t done before.”

15 April,2024 07:13 AM IST | Mumbai | Sonia Lulla
Bhuvan Bam

Merit is the only currency

Bhuvan Bam’s journey probably wouldn’t have started without social media. The content creator became an internet sensation thanks to his hilarious YouTube videos. But to credit it alone to the power of social media is seeing half the picture; after all, it was his flair for comedy that resonated with audiences. As he currently shoots for the second season of Taaza Khabar, he says his talent helped him graduate from YouTube star to an actor. “I believe in being cast for my talent, not for my number of followers,” he says.  At a time when the industry is casting social media influencers in acting parts in the hope that their popularity will help their projects grab more eyeballs, Bam asserts that wants to continue building his career on his acting talent. “My social media career, built on sketches featuring multiple characters portrayed by me alone in self-recorded videos, has provided me with invaluable experience in front of the camera. I approach each role with dedication and passion, aiming to earn recognition in the industry based on merit.” Thrilled that his maiden web series Taaza Khabar got so much love, he is enjoying reprising his role in the second edition. “My character Vasya holds a special place in my heart. Exploring his psyche further has been a rewarding journey for me.”

15 April,2024 07:07 AM IST | Mumbai | Mohar Basu
A still from Chamkila

Chamkila Web Review: Dil jit liya, Paaji!

ChamkilaOn: NetflixDir: Imtiaz AliCast: Diljit Dosanjh, Parineeti ChopraRating: 3.5/5 Imtiaz Ali’s Chamkila is a full-on musical—down to translations of songs in Punjabi, flashing across the screen in Hindi, in Roman letters.  If I recall right, Ali’s Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017) was the first mainstream movie to use Hindi subtitles in Roman script. Also, in this film’s opening credits, characters break the fourth wall—looking straight into the camera—while the song is on. The tone is sufficiently set.  This is also a musical in a western sense, wherein the lead actor is also the lead singer. That is, Diljit Dosanjh, performing live, as the eponymous Amar Singh Chamkila, the most popular musician around the pinds of Punjab. Like Dosanjh himself! Opposite him, as Chamikla’s onstage duet partner, Amarjot Kaur, is Bollywood actor Parineeti Chopra. Leading up to this film, Chopra had been quite badly trolled—catcalled “Lata Mat-gayakar”, “Very talented, but keep it hidden”—as a clip of hers screwing up Fareeda Khanum’s Aaj jaane ki zid na karo, at a full-fledged concert, emerged online. Chopra can sing to save her life, in Chamkila—enough to even reprise the hard life of Kaur. No, she can’t match the hero, of course. But that’s smartly built into the character, as Chamkila works on the voice of his singing partner, later wife—firstly, to rid her of the “shehri lehza” (urban twang).   Kaur lost her life, along with Chamkila, to alleged terrorists, right before their concert, in 1988. That’s the opening shot. The picture focusses on his life, until their death; 1977 onwards.  Flitting between childhood, chronologically flashing back to his youth, shifting to the present dead-body and those left behind, juxtaposing music, with graphic art, clever sound-cuts...  This is a smartly edited film (Aarti Bajaj). It’s hard to figure, though, how many more minutes should’ve been hacked, further, to arrive at a much tighter narrative still.  That said, there’s something instantly meditative about the moments, when Dosanjh strums the opening riffs of a ditty on the single-stringed toomba, before a live audience, in a village of a finely preserved, ’80s Punjab, that’s looking on, the same way, as those before the screen on Netflix! As if experiencing Chamkila himself. To begin with, this is hardly possible with desi flicks, when a song so weirdly modulates between actors and their playback voices. But that’s not all.  It’s also the naturally sweet, innocent Dosanjh, so seamlessly transferring his soul to an imagined star, Chamkila, a fellow-singer, he probably himself grew up idolising. Feels as authentic as it gets. Chamkila wished to see himself on the screen once, his character says in the movie. So does the fellow he’s speaking to: “It’s a Punjab thing, I guess!” Dosanjh has over 80 credits on IMDb, many of which are blockbuster-budget music videos he’s starred in. Like most top Punjabi musicians.  Among films, his other biopic in Hindi, Shaad Ali’s Soorma (2018), also set around Punjab violence, remains his most underrated/under-watched.  I’m tempted to click on Ali Abbas Zafar’s Jogi (2022), that’s showed up on my Netflix timeline. Certainly not Dosanjh’s Jodi (2023), also based on Chamkila! Couldn’t even sit through the trailer. And that’s fine. Seldom do so many things fall into place, so aptly. The subject matching the star. AR Rahman delivering music, that’s totally as per the script’s milieu/brief. Rather than a generic, multi-genre soundtrack. Irshad Kamil on the writing keyboard—no lyricist could exude the earthy, ’80s pind better.  And of course, Ali, co-writer (along with brother Sajid), and director—fully in control of the material—who’s similarly delved into vital questions of art vs artiste, fame and its pitfalls, within the phenomenal musical, Rockstar (2010), inspired by the Punjabi legend, Heer Ranjha.  Ali’s had a strangely cold streak, aforementioned Jab Harry Met Sejal onwards—in particular, Love Aaj Kal (2020), or even stuff helmed as producer, Thai Massage (2022), series such as She (2020), Dr Arora (2022). Maybe he had little/nothing to say, besides the thought of getting on set, per se. Through the folk singer, Chamkila, known/derided for his vulgar lyrics—such a common motif of folk music, after all—Ali gathers a courageous voice to question, who defines obscenity, anyway?  Apart from religious fanaticism and violence, the caste angle—although only briefly touched upon—lends Chamklia’s story an added layer. Dhani Ram, aka Amar Singh, aka Chamkila, belonged to the low/chamar caste. Something that must’ve permanently defined his position in a pind. Intense popularity, from sheer talent, helped him transcend his circumstances. The world is what it is. He learnt to be. And then they didn’t let him be.  Honestly, I don’t know what to make of “sexila, tharkila, ganda banda” Chamkila—whether to see him as Ismat/Manto kinda iconoclast, or simply a chart-busting Bhojpuri, Lollyop singer, providing visceral joy to a willing public. I’m glad the film doesn’t influence you either way. Besides to see him in the context of a musician, dealing with stuff in his 20s. He died, 27, like the infamous 27 Club (Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain).  I didn’t know Chamkila, growing up in Delhi, when Gurdas  Maan, Malkit Singh, were more popular.  Punjabi music itself has only lately become immeasurably western mainstream, where Dosanjh gigs at Coachella, or jams with Ed Sheeran. That we access Chamkila through him should give this precious piece of pop-culture history an even greater global relevance/appeal.

14 April,2024 03:51 AM IST | Mumbai | Mayank Shekhar
Anushka Sen in Dil Dosti Dilemma

Anushka Sen headlines Prime Video’s new web series Dil Dosti Dilemma

The premiere date of the original series Dil Dosti Dilemma has been announced by Prime Video today. Adapted from the popular book ‘Asmara's Summer’, published by Penguin Random House and authored by Andaleeb Wajid, this heartwarming young adult series has Seema Mohapatra and Jahanara Bhargava serving as Creative Producers under the banner of Ten Years Younger Productions. It has been directed by Debbie Rao, and written by Anuradha Tiwari, Bugs Bhargava Krishna, Raghav Dutt, and Manjiri Pupala. The series boasts a talented ensemble cast of emerging and seasoned actors, with Anushka Sen, Kush Jotwani, Tanvi Azmi, Shishir Sharma in lead roles, and Shruti Seth, Vishakha Pandey, Revathi Pillai, Elisha Mayor, and Suhasini Mulay in pivotal roles. Dil Dosti Dilemma will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in Hindi, with dubs available in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada.           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by prime video IN (@primevideoin) Dil Dosti Dilemma invites audiences into the world of Asmara, a popular, witty, and charming young girl. Her summer takes an unexpected turn when she is sent to her grandparents' neighborhood as a form of punishment. To maintain appearances with her friends, she pretends to be in Canada. Will this experience become a nightmare, a journey of personal growth, or both? Packed with plot twists and heartwarming revelations, join Asmara as she navigates a journey of self-discovery, nurtures family bonds, forges genuine friendships, and experiences the magic of first love, amidst the enchanting bylanes of Tibbri Road. "Young adults are in a phase of life where they are discovering themselves, facing multiple challenges and forming their identities. When they see their experiences reflected on screen, it validates their feelings, helping them feel understood. We have noticed a significant rise in our young adult viewership, both in India and globally. This success in the realm of young adult content strengthens our resolve to prioritize content tailored for this key audience cohort," said Aparna Purohit, Head of Originals, India and Southeast Asia, Prime Video. "We're thrilled to unveil our upcoming series, Dil Dosti Dilemma, a heartwarming exploration of the memorable teenage years that intricately examines the beautiful journey of relationships formed during these formative years. Collaborating with Ten Years Younger Productions has been a delight and we’re excited to present this captivating coming-of-age narrative, evoking familiarity and warmth that will undoubtedly strike a chord with not just our young audience but also resonate with their families." "Dil Dosti Dilemma holds a special place in our hearts for several reasons. To begin with, it marks our first collaboration with Prime Video, the preferred home for talent and creators to showcase their craft and creativity. We are thankful to the entire team at Prime Video for believing and embracing our vision for this series, and providing us the platform to reach millions of viewers worldwide. Further, this series reflects our dedication in bringing engaging stories that capture complexities and diverse experiences of today’s youth. These stories aim to entertain while also inspiring individuals to not only advocate for change but to actively embody it through their beliefs and actions," shared producers Seema Mohapatra and Jahanara Bhargava of Ten Years Young Productions. “Emphasizing universal themes of self–discovery, and relationships, Dil Dosti Dilemma reminds us of life's true priorities beyond material possessions. Heartwarming yet thought-provoking, we are sure that the series will connect deeply and emotionally with audiences worldwide. We are looking forward to its worldwide premiere on Prime Video, on April 25!”

12 April,2024 05:02 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Akshay Oberoi; Sonali Bendre; Jaideep Ahlawat in the show

With the noted in the newsroom

The newsroom is expanding with Akshay Oberoi joining the second season of The Broken News. The actor plays Ronnie Sabarwal, the CEO of news channel Awaaz Bharati, in the Jaideep Ahlawat, Sonali Bendre and Shriya Pilgaonkar-starrer. What drew him to the ZEE5 series? First and foremost, the opportunity to reunite with director Vinay Waikul. “I had worked with Vinay on The Test Case. I had a great time then, and an even better time now. It’s always fun to collaborate with directors you have previously worked with and trusted. You know each other well enough to hit the ground running,” says the actor.  It also offered Oberoi a chance to collaborate with actors he admires. Though he doesn’t have any scenes with Ahlawat, he feels honoured to be a part of the same show as him. “I don’t need to say it; the world knows that Jaideep is a tremendous talent. I have a lot of scenes with Sonali Bendre and Shriya. Sonali has done such good work, I’ve seen it over the years. Shriya has [shone] in the last couple of years. The experience of working with them was everything I thought it would be,” he smiles.

12 April,2024 07:16 AM IST | Mumbai | Priyanka Sharma
Munawar Faruqui

Munawar Faruqui unveils teaser of his debut web series ‘First Copy'

Widely loved for his rap and music by millions, musician Munawar Faruqui has the perfect Eidi for all his devoted fans today, as he announced his acting debut in a web series titled ‘First Copy’ on this special occasion.  A one-minute, forty-three-second teaser transports us back to the year 1999 when DVDs were a big trend. While movies hit theatres on Fridays, many eagerly created a ‘first copy’ of the film on DVD on Thursdays before the official release. Speaking of Munawar Faruqui, the musician is impressive in the teaser as an actor, portraying a grey character from the world of piracy, adding another feather to his cap. Taking to social media, Munawar unveiled the official teaser of the series, leaving fans thrilled and excited. He shared the same saying “Eid Mubarak🌙” Check it out here:              View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Munawar Faruqui (@munawar.faruqui) Talking about the show, Munawar Faruqui said, “Over the years, my fans have always stood by me and supported me in everything I have done. Hence, I wanted to present them with a special gift this year by announcing this project where they’ll witness a new side of me. I’m eager to see everyone’s response to it.” Written and directed by Farhan P. Zamma, produced by Kurji Productions, and co-produced by Salt Media, the ‘First Copy’ teaser has received a positive response from netizens all across. Further, fans will have to wait a little longer to learn more details about the project. About Munawar Faruqui:  Munawar started his journey as a stand-up comedian. He drew attention when he got arrested for a joke he allegedly did not crack. In 2021, he was accused of making malicious jokes about Hindu deities. He spent over a month in jail. After his jail term, he landed in the reality show 'Lock Upp' hosted by Kangana Ranaut. He won the show and hearts of many. He also made and starred in multiple music videos showcasing his musical talent. In 2023, he lifted the trophy of Bigg Boss 17 after a very controversial journey on the show hosted by Salman Khan. He often dominates the news with his appearance in the city and for the fan following he commands. 

11 April,2024 01:56 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
File pics

Mid-Day Premium Meet the quiet strength behind the Mahatma

It’s tough to separate Kasturba Gandhi from the shadow of her distinguished husband, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, looming large over her. But Hansal Mehta’s web series, Gandhi, attempts to dissect both—the man behind the Mahatma, as well as the woman who stood steadfast by his side as he led India’s fight for freedom against the British Raj. On her 155th birth anniversary today, Gandhi’s makers have shared the first look of the reel Kasturba, essayed by Bhamini Oza. What makes Oza’s casting interesting is that it marks her first on-screen collaboration with actor-husband Pratik Gandhi, who plays the titular role.  “Stepping into Kasturba Gandhi’s shoes feels like a beautiful twist of fate in my acting journey. Working with Hansal Mehta is a dream come true, especially alongside my husband Pratik,” says Oza. With her roots firmly in theatre, the actor has featured in television shows and films, including Kathal: A Jackfruit Mystery (2023). It was her long-time wish to share screen space with her actor-husband. “Now it’s finally happening. My attempt is to bring honesty to the character and a genuine connection to the story,” she smiles. Pratik Gandhi and Hansal Mehta The ambitious show is based on historian Ramachandra Guha’s books, Gandhi Before India, and Gandhi: The Years That Changed The World. Beginning with the Mahatma’s early years and his experiences in South Africa, the multi-season series will span decades, showing his evolution as a national leader and the price it came at. Through his incisive lens, the director will also capture how Kasturba played a pivotal role in shaping the Mahatma’s journey, and how his story is incomplete without her. The team is currently shooting in Film City, Goregaon.  Having seen Oza’s work on the stage, Mehta knew she was an apt choice to bring Kasturba’s strength and grace to the screen. “I have known Bhamini as a terrific actor; she is formidable on stage. To showcase her playing the character of a lifetime is a privilege. Kastur is special, and to discover her through Bhamini’s performance is even more special,” he says. Sameer Nair, managing director, Applause Entertainment, adds, “The decision to cast the real-life couple adds a layer of authenticity to our series. Their shared understanding brings the depth of realism to the portrayal.” 

11 April,2024 06:19 AM IST | Mumbai | Hiren Kotwani
Fardeen Khan in Heeramandi

Heeramandi actor Fardeen Khan gets emotional says, ‘I couldn't have hoped...'

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar’ has made a wide and massive buzz across the country and the world as the show is all set to stream on Netflix next month. This series will see the comeback of many actors, including Fardeen Khan. It was just yesterday when the magnificent trailer of Bhansali’s ‘Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar’ was launched during a grand event in the city. After the trailer launch event, the cast of the series interacted with the media. During his interaction with the media, Fardeen got emotional and talked about his almost 14-year-long hiatus. While talking about the long gap, Fardeen said, “Firstly, it's been a very long gap for me. It's been almost about 14 years, to say the least. I'm extremely grateful for this opportunity to work with this stellar star cast and a platform like Netflix and the man himself, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. I couldn't have hoped for a better opportunity as an actor to return to the screen.”           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Netflix India (@netflix_in) “For me, this was something I have never done and it was the perfect role for me. At the age I am in, to come back to the screen, you come with a certain amount of life experience, wisdom and you know you can really contribute to the layers that Sanjay writes into all his characters. His characters are very intricate, very complex. There's nobody like him who writes characters. He goes across the spectrum and emotions, and he has this intuitive understanding of it. It’s daunting to work with him, but at the same time, when you see it all together, it just all makes sense,” Fardeen continued.           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Instant Bollywood (@instantbollywood) While being emotional, Fardeen said, “I'm getting emotional now… I am extremely grateful for this chance and so happy to be here.” About 'Heeramandi': Heeramandi marks the foray of the filmmaker into the digital space, and the ensemble cast of the show is as magnificent as the idea. The stellar cast of the show includes Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal, Sanjeeda Shaikh, Fardeen Khan, Taha Shah Badussha, Shekhar Suman, and Adhyayan Suman.

10 April,2024 07:53 AM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Richa Chadha in Heeramandi

Ghungroo, grace and grandeur

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known for not only presenting his female actors beautifully on screen, but also giving them author-backed roles.  Richa Chadha says that her upcoming show Heeramandi did that and more. The auteur’s maiden web series, which revolves around courtesans in Lahore, also revived the actor’s love for Kathak as she filmed several dance numbers, beginning with Sakal ban. “Preparing for the dance sequences in Heeramandi was a labour of love. Months of dedicated practice were essential to ensuring that every step was executed with precision. I am thankful the show put me back in touch with Kathak,” she says.  Sanjay Leela Bhansali In her growing-up years, Chadha learnt Kathak under the guidance of Pandit Abhay Shankar Mishra in Delhi. The actor says, “However, life took its course, and my passion for dance was left behind. [Before the shoot], I feared I might have lost my skills. Yet, it felt like riding a bike. This year, I aspire to attain my degree in Kathak, under the guidance of my mentor, Pandit Rajendra Chaturvedi.” She will remain grateful to the Netflix series—also starring Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sanjeeda Shaikh, and Sharmin Segal—for taking her back to the dance form. “Classical dance serves as more than a means of artistic expression; it embodies our cultural legacy. While actresses from the south frequently excel in Bharatanatyam, I’m occasionally dismayed by the limited acknowledgment Kathak receives in our film industry. I believe actresses should explore learning Kathak. It’s often employed as a tool to convey emotions through facial expressions, something we, as actors, often endeavour to master.”

10 April,2024 07:16 AM IST | Mumbai | Mohar Basu
Still from Heeramandi trailer

Heeramandi trailer: Women fight the British to save The Diamond Bazaar

Netflix unveiled the trailer of this year’s most anticipated series from India —visionary director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar. Offering a spectacular glimpse into the world, every frame is steeped in intrigue, passion, and drama, set to captivate audiences from May 1 only on Netflix. “Heeramandi mein Angrezon ka nahi… Mallikajan ka sikka chalta hai!” is just one of the many hard-hitting dialogues mouthed by the primary cast members of this series. The trailer is packed with impactful dialogues that add power to the fight against the British in the pre-Independence era.  The thrilling trailer transports viewers to the sizzling district of Heeramandi, where the one and only Mallikajaan (Manisha Koirala) rules over an elite house of courtesans. She schemes, fearing no one — until the return of her late nemesis’ daughter, Fareedan (Sonakshi Sinha), brings tensions in the house to a boil. Outside, the city is also roiling, with revolutionaries demanding India’s freedom from British rule, with Bibbojaan (Aditi Rao Hydari), one of Mallikajaan’s daughters, joining the fight for freedom. Meanwhile, Mallikajaan’s youngest, Alamzeb (Sharmin Segal), dreams of love with the son of a nawab (nobleman), Tajdar (Taha Shah Badussha), and yearns to break out of Heeramandi.           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Netflix India (@netflix_in) As betrayal mounts and forbidden desires clash with societal norms, the struggle for pre-independent India's freedom comes to a boiling point. Against this backdrop, Mallikajaan and Fareedan are locked in an epic battle for the title of the huzoor, or the lady, of Heeramandi. Who will finally reign? Monika Shergill, Vice-President of Content, Netflix India and Prerna Singh, CEO, Bhansali Productions was present at the trailer launch in the capital today alongside the stellar cast, including Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal, Sanjeeda Shaikh, Fardeen Khan, Taha Shah Badussha, Shekhar Suman and Adhyayan Suman. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali said, “This is a story of love, power, freedom, and extraordinary women, their desires, and struggles. It marks a new milestone in my journey. In Netflix, we found the ideal partner—- one who not only shares our love for storytelling but also possesses the unparalleled capability to bring our series to the most diverse and global audience imaginable." Monika Shergill, VP, Netflix India, said, “We're preparing to unveil our grandest endeavor yet: ‘Heeramandi, The Diamond Bazaar.’ This series, akin to all of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's exquisite creations, is a work of art, offering a stunning visual experience and a visceral world with unforgettable characters. As his first long format series, Sanjay Leela Bhansali creates an immersive world of powerful and universal emotions that will mesmerize audiences across India and around the globe!”

09 April,2024 06:13 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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