Seeing Kulbhushan Kharbanda performing on screen is always delightful for a movie connoisseur or a critic. Be it the role of “Shakaal”, a dreaded villain with an evil yet charming smile and conniving side, or Bouji, a weary old man who is confined to a wheelchair and blackmails his own daughter in law to have sex with him. His character aroused feelings of hatred and disgust towards him and came as a shocker because this was implausible to think that Kharbanda who has been very selective about his roles would agree to do this role. But versatility knows no boundaries, and this was made possible by. Gurmmeet Singh, an inventor, writer, and director who conceptualized and directed this character while casting and directing multiple powerful characters in Mirzapur 2, the most-watched web show on OTT. The maestro of ingenuity made sure that all the characters were given meaty roles and equal scope to shine in their respective roles.
Fight for the fiefdom and rivalry portrayed in the background of Purvanchal, Mirzapur season 2, created quite a stir and buzz on the OTT Platform. With a rating of 4.5, The show took the genre of crime and thriller a notch up showcasing a perfect camaraderie between three directors that resulted in exemplary work.
Different episodes or the show were directed by three different directors without any sacrifices being made on creative freedom. According to Gurmmeet, “In the OTT space, the volume of content is very high. You are making upwards of 450 minutes of content. With time and schedule restrictions, it is not feasible for one director to direct all the content on his own. So generally the method that we’ve followed is that one director leads the series and another director supports him and then as a team you grow with responsibilities getting divided as you go into subsequent seasons. It is very different from movies where the director has a lot more autocratic control. In the series space, you learn to work with a Creator/Showrunner/ Co-Director/Producer/ Platform. This is why it is a field for specialists and not enthusiasts. You can exist as a director if that is your area of expertise, unlike a movie wherein the limited content a director can be handheld through a film by various crew and cast”. We also asked him about his views on censorship on OTT platforms, changing trends, and future projects. Excerpts from the interview with Gurmmeet Singh.
Q. From the past 2-3 years, we have seen that violence and mystery have continuously increased and has become an important part of movies and web series. Do you think that this is the x-factor in making cinema work? And is it not narrowing the creative freedom of the filmmakers?
Q. Are you a dog guy or a cat guy because your Instagram photos are filled with both?
Q. One thing that, you would change about Mirzapur or think that could have been changed about it?
Q. Each and every character in Mirzapur has a special place in the hearts of people. From Munna bhaiya to dancing chacha, they all have made Mirzapur what it is today. How hard is it from a director’s point of view to express those characters in such a way that it catches the eyes of the audience?
Q. Your upcoming movie ‘phone booth’ has actors like Ishan Khattar, Katrina kaif, and Siddhanth Chaturvedi. How this movie will be different from other horror-comedy movies?
Q. Your recent Instagram photos are filled with captions #throwayback and #mirzapur. What is the major thing that you are going to miss about Mirzapur?
Q. Bollywood is often compared to a desert where people come and are lost. What are your tips to a newcomer who wants to join the entertainment industry and do something?
Q. Will OTT platforms take over cinema halls in the coming future or the excitement of watching a movie in theatres will prevail in the mind of people? What is your take on that?
Q. Do you think that Mirzapur has redefined the way people saw web series. If yes, what was the reason?
I think Mirzapur definitely penetrated a lot more homes across the country and the world. It opened up the demographic. I think the fact that this was the first show that unapologetically desi really helped. Also, Puneet’s genius is the fact that he can entertain while at the same time maintaining the gravitas of the world. That hopefully has really worked.