Deception Point

It is the realisation of a dream that they have nurtured for more than a decade.

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published: March 30, 2012 3:15 am

It is the realisation of a dream that they have nurtured for more than a decade. So when the show Chhal — Sheh Aur Maat was launched by Colors,it was indeed a moment that actress Bhairavi Raichura and director Nandita Mehra wanted to celebrate. And they did. With Abbas-Mustan to do the honours,there was little else that the two women — as the show’s producers — could have hoped for since Chhal conforms to the genre that the director duo is known for — thriller. “Chhal is our tribute to their genre of filmmaking that forces the audience to think and keeps them on the edge of their seats,” explains Mehra.

While Abbas-Mustan’s involvement is expected later in the show,the limelight right now is on the first-time producers — veteran television director Mehra and popular television actor Raichura. “We have launched our production house,24 Frames,with this show,” says Raichura whose character Kajal Bhai in Hum Paanch made her a household name 15 years ago. The two hit it off on the sets of Zee’s Astitiva in 2002,which was being helmed by Mehra,and have since been friends. Of the common opinion that television as a medium has a bigger audience to reach and entertain,the two had been wanting to produce a show for long.

Chhal is the story of Neha — a newlywed bride whose life changes dramatically when on her honeymoon a strange man stakes claim on her as his wife. The dark emotions are highlighted by the idyllic setting of Garhwal’s snow-covered landscape. While Hunar Halli essays the lead role of Neha,Abhishek Malik,who bagged the Mr Delhi title in 2009,makes a debut as Rishi,the man whom Neha marries. The twist in the plot is provided by the third character Kabir (Avinesh Ricky),who claims to be Neha’s husband.

Mehra and Raichura’s choice of genre takes root in the fact that they wanted to go beyond social dramas that populate television today. “It’s a story that will force you to think and make you question whether what you see is really the truth. While discussing the script,we constantly tried to think like the audience to ensure that the story was not getting predictable at any point,” Mehra points out. Chhal’s story,they say,also offers scope for action,where audiences can expect to see an interesting combination of suspense and thrills. For now,the show is yet to pick pace.

Despite the stylised treatment,Mehra has retained the “social” element to the show as well. Since a chunk of the audience is women,especially housewives,they have the usual trappings of family drama to offer. “So,Chhal subscribes to the formula of emotions,love,romance,jealousy,relationships and so on,” explains Raichura.

Despite Chhal being her home production,Raichura has chosen to stay behind the scenes. “Right now Sasural Genda Phool is taking up my time and we are working on getting more work for the production house,” says the actor-turned producer.

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