Starting the New Year with a big bang, Amazon Prime Video is all set to showcase the political drama Tandav, directed by none other than Ali Abbas Zafar, of Tiger Zinda Hai, Sultan and Bharat-fame. The show also marks his digital debut and even the teaser has got rave reviews. Produced by Himanshu Kishan Mehra, the nine-part-series has an ensemble cast, including Saif Ali Khan, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Kritika Kamra, Dino Morea, Gauahar Khan, Sarah Jane Dias and Amyra Dastur. Also in never-seen-before avatars will be Dimple Kapadia and Sunil Grover, who are making their digital debuts.
In the trailer, Saif’s character, Samar Pratap Singh, brings into perspective Chanakya’s wisdom, “If you can’t be the king, be the kingmaker.” But in reality, he remembers so very little about the pioneer of politics. He says, “The only Chanakya I have read is in Amar Chitra Katha and that I can’t remember. For me, it is primarily a show about people and pressure. To see what happens when you give people goals and their ambitious instinct kicks in. The entertainment industry in India is going through a renaissance and stories like Tandav are at the forefront of this change. A good piece of dramatic writing and a compelling creation featuring grey characters is always exciting.”
Another interesting fact is that Ali had this script in mind ever since the days of Sultan. “When Himanshu and I were discussing the idea, Amazon was looking for directors and fresh content. We were hopeful that they would have similar kind of sensibility that we have. While we pitched our concept at Amazon studios two weeks post Sultan’s release, it was well appreciated but still did not get the response I was expecting. But a week later, we were contacted and told to go for it.”
Veteran actress Dimple Kapadia adds, “The story is interesting, cast is amazing, and I got an opportunity to work with Ali Abbas sir! There’s nothing more I could ask for a debut on OTT. Anuradha is the kind of character that I have never played before and is very well etched.” The difference in working for a movie and on OTT platform, she believes is that OTT affords more screen time so there is a lot more one can do.
Sarah too narrates her experience, “I have never been on a set where everybody gets together and actually plays cricket. It happened at Pataudi. The best part was that they planned the shoot in such a way that they could eke out time for cricket! That’s just one of the many instances where we got along very well as a cast. We were spoilt and there’s no other set that can be this cool.”
“In Tandav, I will not be seen wearing a saree and making people laugh! Instead, Ali told me to grow a beard for playing Gurpal,” exclaims Sunil Grover. Having worked with Ali earlier, he knew that Tandav would be a compelling story, but at the same time confirmed with director whether he was sure of casting him! “And the rest is history. His belief was mine. Ali has given my character the depth that an actor longs for. Saying yes to this role was instinctive and working with accomplished artistes such as Saif and Dimple ji is a bonus.”