Bambai Meri Jaan has finally been published on Amazon Prime Video after what feels like months of waiting – but the dramatic production of the crime thriller might serve as another programme in and of itself, after the set was battered by storms and massive Covid delays.
The 10-episode series, which began this week, is inspired on a narrative by investigative journalist S Hussain Zaidi and follows the lives of Dara Kadri, a scary mobster, and his connection with his family, which includes father Ismail, a former police officer.
For the first season, Farhan Akhtar served as producer, with Kritika Kamra, Avinash Tiwary, and Kay Kay Menon headlining a star-studded ensemble.
The show includes themes comparable to Netflix’s Narcos, and the intimate friendship between a drug lord and a police officer has elements similar to Breaking Bad.
Discussing what drew him to the project in an interview Farhan said: ‘I absolutely love crime drama. Be it all the Scorsese work, be it Brian De Palma’s work, there’s a lot of stuff that I’ve seen in the past that I’ve always found fascinating.
‘That world is very intriguing to me, just seeing people with the psyche and the behavior that I could never do, but I try my best to understand through watching. So, when this comes along – like when Mirzapur came along, on some level – it really, really wakes you up as a producer.
‘You’re like, “Wow, this is material that the universe has conspired to bring to me. Let me do something fun and interesting with it.” That’s how I approach it.’
However, the manufacturing took longer than everyone expected owing to complications that no one could have predicted.
The worldwide epidemic shut down the world for months at the start of 2020, postponing every release schedule throughout the sector.
As if that wasn’t enough, producers had to deal with natural disasters as typhoons, hurricanes, and a cyclone ravaged the historical drama’s set.
When asked if they were nervous about the programme eventually airing, show creator Rensil D’Silva acknowledged that it was more of a relief.
‘I think after five-and-a-half long years, with Covid smack in the middle, we’re just relieved,’ he continued. ‘It is quite something really, to put a show of this scale and magnitude together and then have a pandemic in the middle of it, and lots of scary moments with forces of nature and typhoons destroying sets.
‘So yes, relief primarily, but also a certain level of excitement. We want people to react to the show. It has consumed the better half of half a decade for us.’
Farhan highlighted their challenges behind the scenes, saying, ‘Mumbai experienced an extremely harsh monsoon when the lockdown was on. Because our set was erected near the seaside, there was a freak storm.
‘It got hit by some crazy winds, by some crazy rain, and a portion of the set completely collapsed because it was lying there unattended for maybe a month or two.
‘Usually, when you’re on set for that long, there’s always a team in there that is making sure that the safety of the set, the structure of the set, is maintained. But there was nobody there because you weren’t allowed to leave your house, and a section of it collapsed.’
‘It absolutely was [stressful]. Not just once, we had to lockdown twice. So, it started up again, and then we had to stop again. Every time [the production] gained momentum, the rug would be pulled out from underneath our feet,’ he added.
‘Full credit to the team, full credit to the technical crew, full credit to all the actors who really hung in there and stuck with it. And to Amazon, who never for a moment wavered saying, “It’s taken too long now, we can’t spend anymore money on this.” They really, really believed in the show and they didn’t want to cut any corners.
‘For all that belief to be in there, for that commitment to be in there, that’s what you see now, when you watch the show.
‘You can’t tell that this show was shut down for over a year. None of that shows because the actors are so consistent, they just came back and picked it up. That was pretty amazing.’
Bambai Meri Jaan is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.
Source My Celebrity Life.