Apart from the power-packed performance by the stellar star cast, Mirzapur is also winning accolades for its crisp and relatable writing. The Amazon Prime original has been penned by Puneet Krishna and Karan Anshuman, who earlier collaborated for Inside Edge. Set in a world of drugs, guns and lawlessness, Mirzapur stars Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey and Divyendu Sharma in the lead roles. Indianexpress.com recently sat down for an exclusive chat with Puneet to talk about the challenges of writing the series and what can one expect from the next season.
Sharing how Mirzapur was conceptualised, Puneet said, “I have been born and brought up in Uttar Pradesh. I have seen such a world from really close quarters. I remember seeing young boys carrying guns to college during elections. So the seed germinated from there. When Excel Entertainment spoke to us about making a show, we send it across and they liked it. We then worked on the script and developed it further.”
The writer-lyricist is quite positive that the nine-episode series will travel across and relate to all. “The small towns are quite adept with the web world. When we were shooting in Jaunpur, which is a small town close to Banaras, we realised that the youth is consuming a lot of content on the internet. People very well know what is YouTube, Amazon Prime and Netflix. So the penetration is already there. Also, it has happened quite fast in that part of the world,” he shared.
Each role in Mirzapur is defined and distinct. With nine prime characters, we asked Puneet how difficult it gets to write for a multi-cast show. He said, “Oh, it’s fun and challenging. We wanted each of them to have a different persona and mindset. Also, each character in Mirzapur is a hero. What we tried keeping in mind is that when one sees the series, they should feel for every one of them. Be it pain, love, hate or even sexual desire, the characters should take the audience along in every scene.”
As a writer, we discussed whether it’s easier to write after casting is done as you can have a face to your characters. The Bangistan writer on his part said, “It’s quite hypothetical, to be honest (laughs). But yes, when we were writing Mirzapur there was no face attached so there were no constraints. We went all out with it. But now that we are writing the second season, every character now has an actor. So we know how one will enact it and mouth the dialogues. So we tweak it a bit to suit them. I can’t say which one is easier but both has its own pros and cons.”
At the show’s launch producer Ritesh Sidhwani had hailed his writers and even said that if it wasn’t for them, none of them would have a job. When asked if writers have started getting their dues in the industry, Puneet said, “In a place like Excel, yes, we are given our due. It’s amazing the way the company is run. I have met Javed Akhtar and even Ritesh’s father and their philosophies are really very different. I think this is why none of us want to go away. I can walk into Farhan (Akhtar) and Ritesh’s cabin anytime and have an open discussion. And the best part is that I can disagree. A producer who listens and then discusses before taking a call is a boon. And it means a lot.”
Lastly, when we asked him what can we expect from the next season of Mirzapur, Puneet smiled to say, “Oh I am already feeling the pressure. We are still on it but I can assure you that it will be at par. Also, the canvas will be bigger and we would be traveling to different places too.”
Mirzapur also stars Rasika Dugal, Harshita Gaur, Shriya Pilgaonkar and Shweta Tripathi in pivotal roles.