Art & Entertainment

Reema Kagti: The Idea Behind ‘Dahaad’ Was Creating A Strong Woman Character; Zoya Akhtar And I Love Suspense Dramas, Thrillers, Crime

Filmmaker Reema Kagti says after teaming up with Zoya Akhtar for years on critical hits such as "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara", "Talaash", and "Gully Boy", they have developed a smooth and efficient working dynamic, similar to a well-functioning machine.

Zoya Akhtar And Reema Kagti
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Filmmaker Reema Kagti says after teaming up with Zoya Akhtar for years on critical hits such as "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara", "Talaash", and "Gully Boy", they have developed a smooth and efficient working dynamic, similar to a well-functioning machine.

Decoding their successful creative partnership that also produced movie "Dil Dhadakne Do" and web series "Made in Heaven", Kagti said it begins with a seed of an idea and then progresses to world-building.

"One of us would get enamoured by just a line or idea and then we start talking about it. We research and spend a lot of time building the story, before we get into the screenplay. So, that is the time when you build the world. I guess we are like a well-oiled machine now,” Kagti told PTI in an interview.

Kagti's directorial debut "Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd." was co-produced by Akhtar. The duo served as a co-writer on "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara", "Dil Dhadakne Do" and "Gully Boy", which were all directed by Akhtar. They started their production banner Tiger Baby Films in 2015.

Their latest project is Prime Video series "Dahaad", starring Sonakshi Sinha, Vijay Verma, Gulshan Devaiah and Sohum Shah.

As a fan of crime drama shows, Akthar said they were both keen to explore the world as storytellers.

"It’s a genre that we both like and watch incessantly. So when you start talking about something that we have seen or read, you are like, ‘This would be interesting, it will be a great show’.

"So, it basically starts because we are viewers and we then become creators because you want to make what you like to see,” Akhtar said.

Serial killers are scary but they are fascinating as a viewer to watch, she added. "It just happens that these stories intrigue you. It is human nature, you feel intrigued to read what happened and who did it."

Set in a small town in Rajasthan, the eight-part crime drama follows sub-inspector Anjali Bhaati (Sinha) and her colleagues investigating the case of several women mysteriously found dead in public bathrooms.

It is created by Akhtar and Kagti, who also directs the show with Ruchika Oberoi of “Island City” fame.

Kagti said they started working on "Dahaad" in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It was well before the two COVID-19 lockdowns. The idea behind it was creating a strong woman character. Besides, I love suspense dramas, thrillers, crime and so does Zoya. That’s how it started,” she said.

Akthar added though "Dahaad" is a serial killer drama, the show also focuses on the "societal pressure of marriage that can make women very vulnerable".

Produced by Excel Media & Entertainment and Tiger Baby, with Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Kagti, and Zoya Akhtar as executive producers, the series premiered on Prime Video Friday.

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