Apart from making a mark with Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and Bichoo Ka Khel, actor Mukul Chadda is best known for playing the lead role of Jagdeep Chaddha in the Indian edition of The Office. He will be next seen in Amit Masurkar’s film Sherni with Vidya Balan, and Vikas Bahl’s show Sunflower, slated to stream on Zee5 on June 11. In an interaction with the Cinema Journal, Mukul talks about Sunflower, working in multi-starrers, and more. Excerpts:
Tell us about Sunflower.
l The show is a crime comedy in the backdrop of a housing society. There is an underlying comedy at every stage. It is quite hilarious the way things happen and all this unfolds in the midst of a serious investigation. Since most of the shows on the web platforms are so dark these days, this is going to be a breather for the audience. These are crazy times but we need to stay grounded and in touch with ourselves. Also, if one show is popular there is a trend to have a lot of shows in that genre. This is light and quirky and I hope that people will take to it.
Is it possible to bring out ample nuances of human friction in a multi-starrer?
l It is a tough question to answer. I think the director and the writer would be able to answer this better, in terms of what they are trying to achieve. I don’t believe that with a multi-starrer one is really trying to achieve any one thing. One could be trying to show quirkiness among people from different backgrounds, their striving for a better life, it could be fun to watch how interactions take place. Also, the pettiness and shabbiness of certain people are also exposed in this way. So, a multi-starrer basically brings out a picture of society as a whole.
You also made a short film, Banana Bread, with your wife Rasika Dugal last year. Tell us about it.
l My wife and I co-wrote and shot it together in the first lockdown. People have tried out different things in the lockdown, find innovative ways to create something and reach out to people. It deals with the signs of the times — love and loneliness. We started thinking how a love affair in Covid times would be and you can’t talk of love without talking of loneliness, which is a major part of the times we live in.
Tell us about Sherni.
l The film is centred around Vidya Balan, who plays a forest officer. It was a joy to work with her. She is a very giving co-actor. Working with her, you forget how big a star she is. Amit Masurkar, was the reason I said yes to the film. He was very disarming in the way he narrated the film. My bit was shot in Balaghat, a forest area on the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh border.