Director's Cut: Kaala Paani Creators Sameer Saxena And Amit Golani: Each Actor On The Show Is Exceptional

Director's Cut: Kaala Paani Creators Sameer Saxena And Amit Golani: Each Actor On The Show Is Exceptional

The filmmakers weigh in on the success of their recent Netflix show

Vijayalakshmi NarayananUpdated: Thursday, October 26, 2023, 04:12 AM IST
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Kaala Paani showrunners Sameer Saxena and Amit Golani are certainly beaming from ear to ear. The duo have helmed some of Indian OTT’s most successful shows, ever since they began with Cubicles. The Free Press Journal team dives into their minds to learn how they huddled up to create something different from their repertoire.

From Kota Factory and Panchayat to Permanent Roommates and Jaadugar, Sameer and Amit enjoy a massive connect with urban India. So, how did the idea of Kaala Paani come through? “ The idea came from Biswapati Sakar, who is the writer of the show,” says Sameer. “It's his idea and as storytellers too, it was very exciting for us to work on this because it spells growth for us also to explore this genre. As soon as we heard the idea, we got very excited to make this show.”

Was there an initial inhibition to explore an unfamiliar territory? “I agree that there are different kinds of shows that we have done before,” Sameer adds. “But, this is a survival drama. It has its thrills, but I also feel it's very relatable too. The way some of the characters and stories are being portrayed, you will be able to relate to their themes as a viewer. It's an emotional world set in a very adventurous universe.”

Sameer and Amit on the sets of Kaala Paani

The duo disclose how a chance vacation to the Andaman and Nicobar islands germinated the idea of the show. “When he (Sarkar) came back, he was in awe of the place itself.” says Amit. “ So the genesis of exploring a situation where different kinds of people from locals to travelers and concerned authorities are trapped and how do they survive, led us to make Kaala Paani. This helped us explore an idea which became a welcome departure from the fare we've given in the past.”

Amit further adds, “Also, our OTT partners were also very trusting towards us, given our work in the past. Since we were offering a first-of-its-kind survival drama in India, it naturally became a point for them to gravitate towards our vision and green light a project of this scale for us.”

A still from the show

Given the historical context of the term Kaala Paani, how were the makers looking at presenting their show? “There are two perspectives to view this observation,” Sameer opines. “One is that Kaala Paani is being used as a metaphor given the historical context attached to it. It's a place where people have been sent so that they can't escape. But in the show, our characters are not obviously prisoners, but they are stuck in these islands and either they have to survive or escape. But, for us as filmmakers, the fact that the islands have been largely unexplored is what got us curious to bring it to the big screen. We wanted to show people that there is enough to appreciate about these islands. We hoped to paint the location in a canvas that can make people want to book their next vacation there.”

On a concluding note, a word of appreciation must be reserved for the cast. How do the makers feel about their fine ensemble of acting talents? “With Kaala Paani, we can say that each actor who has been cast is exceptional and outstanding,” Amit raves and concludes.

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