Futuristic but rooted, high-tech nonetheless very Indian and entertaining but thought-provoking… is how Disney+Hotstar packages its upcoming sci-fi sequence, OK Laptop


Gurnaaz Kaur

On a quiet, smoggy night in a quaint coastal town in North Goa, when a self-driving taxi crashes into a pedestrian, killing him instantaneously, a vexing question presents itself to the authorities–who is to blame? Is it the CEO of the taxi company? Or, the programmer? Or, could it be the car itself?

You’ll get the answers to these questions in the upcoming sci-fi series OK Computer set to launch on March 26 on Disney+Hotstar. Set in 2031, it stars Radhika Apte, Vijay Varma, Jackie Shroff and many robo-sapiens.

Yes, it is a world of robots and they aren’t derived from the western world or show a grim picture of what the future looks like… this one is a peek into an India in the coming times. Written by Anand Gandhi and directed by Pooja Shetty and Neil Pagedar, the team promises OK Computer is futuristic yet rooted, high-tech still very Indian and definitely entertaining and at the same time thought-provoking.

Anand Gandhi, who is known for his choice of subjects and his treatment, says he has been living with some very pertinent questions for years. The questions of identity, of consciousness, of human relationship with the future. His thoughts are deep and intuitive, coupled with a research of over five years. He says, “So, what you are going to see in OK Computer Season 1 is only the first glimpse of that universe, there is so much more to it. This was an opportunity for us to start a dialogue that we want to have with the world here. We want India to have a seat in this global dialogue and within India, we want people, who have not had the access to some of these questions, to come on board and participate.”

Incredibly humorous, out-of-the-world, mad and constantly surprising are some of the adjectives that Anand has used for the show as he goes on to praise directors Pooja and Neil. The collaboration of like-minded people speaks volumes. “We are all big fans of science-fiction and so we thought as artistes it was our duty to bridge the gap between science-technology and humanity,” says Pooja.

In this world of AI, Jackie Shroff essays the role of Pushpak, who is against technology and vehemently one with nature. Talking about his character he says, “There is a child in him, he is an absolute puritan, very clear-hearted person, wants to leave a better planet for the future generation. Pushpak is afraid of technology because he thinks it may cause destruction. Nuclear is an example how dangerous it can get.”

In real life though, Jackie appreciates technology but thinks we need to look for balance. “If there wasn’t technology, we wouldn’t have been doing this online conversation, so that proves how much we need it. Be it a tooth extraction or a surgery, technology is a must and its use is only growing. At the same time, in the name of progression, we must not regress nature. We should be able leave clean air, food and water for the kids around us.” The actor is proud of the progress we Indians are making and he thinks OK Computer is a step in that direction.

Quite opposite is Lakshmi, played by Radhika, who is all for robots. “My character thinks robots are far more reliable than humans. They never disobey, are truly loyal whereas human beings are not. Lakshmi has grown up with robots and she feels they are the future. She cannot for one second believe that they could be blamed for something like a murder,” she says.

Personally, Radhika is far from being tech savvy. “I don’t even know the functions of my phone. I am not a sci-fi person either but I have really enjoyed this show and I am totally on board with trusting robots over human beings. I am falling in love with them,” she smiles.

As far as Vijay Varma goes, this series is a deal breaker of sorts for this intense actor. “This is one of those projects that will be a deciding factor going forward in my life because I feel like I want to do more comedies because I got introduced to the genre with such a great script. ”



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