Mirzapur director Mihir Desai talks about OTT censorship, varied fan theories about season 3 of the series

Mirzapur 2 was memorable for many reasons. In a broader sense, most importantly because it managed to carry the weight of everyone’s expectations, something that many sequels or second seasons have failed to do in the past. Going into the intricacies, it consistently kept us guessing about the twists and turns in every episode. Various characters, such as Golu, revealed a different side to themselves; Beena pulled out quite a few aces from under her sleeve, and then there was the return of Lilliput, whom all of us had completely forgotten.

But as one watches more content, you realise the real hero is actually the director. In this case, it is Mihir Desai and Gurmmeet Singh, who have proved themselves to be a dynamic duo like Batman and Robin. And, in a bid to understand more about the Mirzapur world, the effect of censorship on the series, we got Mihir to answer a volley of questions. Excerpts from the interview:

Will OTT censorship make an impact Mirzapur?

There are two ways of looking at this: Any kind of censorship will affect authenticity of stories to a certain degree, but at the same time restrictions will only push creators to get more creative. As for OTT coming under the I&B, we have to wait and see what rules and regulations are announced and what kind of censorship will be implemented.

As of now we should continue to tell stories for OTT in its most authentic form. I just hope that freedom of expression isn’t curbed. That will be a big blow. Certain themes in movies and shows which add layers and depth are only because each filmmaker has a voice and is trying to say something through his/her work. Nudity, profanity can be dealt with by filming them in a certain way or not including in scripts. But deeper themes, messages, statements, should be allowed.

Do you think certification is a better option compared to censorship?

Certification is a good way to go, as there are warnings before shows/ movies and that works. But there should be a process in place, something where a show is certified based on the world and time it’s set in, and not by comparing it with other shows. With technology, however (and that’s something OTT platforms rely on), there are workarounds to add features, which will allow content to be accessible for a certain age group, etc. Instead of just censoring things out, I am sure there are ways to work around them using technology and apps.

A creator’s voice only comes through from the person’s work, and everyone has a unique voice. We don’t want all content to look the same. Every story isn’t made for one age group, demographic, etc... every story can’t be polished and sanitised. The vastness and difference in content gives the OTT platform a varied catalogue. I hope all these little things are kept in mind before any sort of mandate is put in place.

Mirzapur and the many fan theories

Ever since season 3 of Mirzapur was announced,various fan theories have been doing the round on several forums on the internet. Speaking about them, Mihir says, “The beauty of OTT platforms is the engagement that begins in no time and constantly evolves as new audiences watch content. These fan theories are so creative, they blow my mind! Sometimes I feel the fans should be a part of the writer’s room, since there are surprises everywhere. My favourite one is that Munna (Divyenndu’s character) is alive because his heart is on the right hand side! It just goes to show that show has become an extension of the audiences’ lives. That’s all we ever want as filmmakers — that our work reaches maximum people and they make it their own. Even the Robin (played by Priyanshu Painyuli) and Kaleen (Pankaj Tripathi’s character) connection (Robin might be Kaleen bhaiya’s son from the previous wife) was extremely creative. I say keep the theories and feedback coming, we love reading them!”

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