'Tandav' about ambitious people and pressure: Saif Ali Khan
Mumbai, Jan 04: Actor Saif Ali Khan on Monday said his upcoming political drama series "Tandav" delves into the psyche of people caught in the greed for power.
Created and directed by filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar, the nine-part political drama features an ensemble cast headlined by Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Kumud Mishra, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub among others.
Khan said the show would have been equally impactful with a theme other than politics as it speaks about the Indian society in general.
"This is primarily for me a show about people and pressure. What happens to ambitious people when you give them goals they really want? It''s a complete cross section of Indian society. It didn''t really have to be on politics. It could''ve been on something else.
"But we are a political nation and we like discussing it, so it''s a really good idea for a show. This is a fantasy show, a fiction. It''s dressed up and has influences from all over the place," Khan said at the virtual press conference for the launch of the show''s trailer.
Set in Delhi, "Tandav" aims to take viewers inside the closed, chaotic corridors of power and uncover the manipulations, charades as well as the dark secrets of people who will go to any lengths in pursuit of power.
The Amazon Prime Video series marks the digital debut of Kapadia.
The 63-year-old actor quipped that she is now "flavour of the season", thanks to her Hollywood debut with filmmaker Christopher Nolan''s "Tenet".
Kapadia said she was instantly drawn to the fascinating story of "Tandav" and its rich ensemble cast.
"To get an opportunity to work with Ali Abbas Zafar was a major draw for me. My character is well etched and I thought it was interesting and a lot of fun. Web gives you more screentime, so your character can be developed a lot more. It''s great to be in this space," she added.
The series also marks the digital debut of Zafar, known for directing blockbusters such as "Tiger Zinda Hai", "Bharat" and "Sultan"
The filmmaker said he initially wanted to make "Tandav" as a film but soon realised that only long format would justify the material they had.
Two weeks after the release of his blockbuster Salman Khan starrer "Sultan" in 2016, Zafar met Aparna Purohit, Head of India Originals at Amazon Prime Video to pitch the show.
"We kept going back and forth. ''Tiger Zinda Hai'' happened, then ''Bharat'' released and the show kept getting pushed. But post ''Bharat'' I realised I had to jump into it. That''s how the journey started," he added.
Purohit said the show fit perfectly in the streaming platform''s catalogue stories from the Indian soil.
"We were riveted when Ali narrated us the story. We felt the story was like a peek into the world that we read about in newspapers, see on TV but know little about. It was an easy decision to make. We are incredibly proud of the show and the journey it has had."
Writer Gaurav Solanki, known for penning Anubhav Sinha''s acclaimed "Article 15", said he lived with the show''s characters for 18-20 months, which helped him capture their complexities and ambitions.
"The show is about power and why people need so much of it, what happens to that young idealism when you face the real world with all its beauty and ugliness. I got to explore several characters and their shades through the show," he said.
Produced by Himanshu Kishan Mehra and Zafar, "Tandav" also stars Dino Morea, Sunil Grover, Gauahar Khan, Amyra Dastur, Kritika Kamra, Sarah Jane Dias, Sandhya Mridul, Anup Soni, Hitten Tejwani, Paresh Pahuja and Shonali Nagrani, among others.