Television

SET targets the serious viewer with 'ACHANAK' and 'PAR IS DIL KO KAISE SAMJAYE'

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Sony has set its sights on leading prime time ratings every Friday with innovative fare. To this effect it has announced the launch of two shows aimed at having a dramatic effect on the audience.

The first one is a weekly supernatural show with a difference. Achanak the brainchild of writer Shridhar Raghavan will air every Friday at 10:30 pm starting from 22 March. It has the tagline 37 saal baad.

Speaking on this Director On Air Programming SET Anupama Mandloi said, " The name grabs your imagination. This is a psychological thriller. It is like reading a novel on television. The show is built on a solid foundation a great script. It is representative of the faith the channel and the producers have in taking this genre a step further. Most importantly it is created by a team which understands this genre and where its appeal lies for the viewer".

The producers of the show are Pradeep Uppoor and Neo Films. They together with Sridhar have worked on Aahat and CID for the channel. Like Achanak both of them had a lot of suspense. A serial from Pradeep Uppoor and Neo Films Srikant was shown on Doordarshan and Channel 4.

Speaking about the project Shridhar Raghavan said, " Achanak started off a few years ago as a slightly wild outrageous notion, a set of unlinked fragments of ideas. What if you went home and your parents did not know who you were? What if you were happily married and someone from your past told you that it was nothing more than a hallucination?

Achanak is a battle royal between good and evil. But its a long fight, a tough fight mostly a losing fight for good. Good eventually wins over evil but it gets one hell of a bloody nose before it does. Or does it?"

Shridhar also envisioned the setting which is the town of Gahota as a twisted version autHor R.K. Narayan's Malgudi. He sees the project as something unlike anything seen on Indian television. It is weird, bizarre and outrageous with a complex undercurrent running through it.

In the deceptively calm town of Gahota over the past couple of months something evil has been occuring. Murders, suicides and acts of madness have been taking place. An alchoholic journalist Dipankar travels to Gahota believing that he has the explanation for why crimes are committed in the town once every thirty seven years for a period of three months. Once the turbulent period has passed people cannot recollect what happened.

The producers built a real town in Panvel not just a TV serial set. a town square, clock tower, residential areas etc were created.

Regarding casting decisions Shridhar said that some important members do not appear until half the episodes are completed. Also some characters have a touch of eccentricity to them like a professor whose stance shifts with each encounter. There is a hint of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde waging a war within the characters. He also revealed that one of the central protagonists will appear only in the final act. Cast members include Raj Zutshi, Faraaz Khan and Shishir Sharma.

He pointed out the differences between Achanak and Aahat. Aahat was episodic involving a single continous story. Aahat dealt with big issues concentrating more on pace as opposed to plot. Achanak on the other hand is about small things. It is about how decption can hide underneath a sea of normality. It also deals with the thin line that separates sanity and insanity, light and dark, good and evil.

The second new weekly show on SET is called Par Is Dil Ko Kaise Samjaye. It premiers on 29 March at 8:30pm. It deals with how the relationship between two sisters gets affected by a series of accidents brought about through sheer fate.

A woman loses her sister and husband. For companionship and to support her sisters offspring she marries her brother in law. However later on it turns out that her sister survived the accident. Now both of them are married ot the same man. The show is directed by Imtiyaz Punjabi and stars Raj S Verma, Shweta Salve and Pooja Ghai.

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