Television

'Prithvi Vallabh' is 20% history, 80% mystery: Anirudh Pathak

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MUMBAI: Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is unearthing more lores of the yore. Not too long after the launch of the much-anticipated Porus, SET is taking you back in time with another historical show Prithvi Vallabh premiering on 20 January at 9.30 pm, every Saturday and Sunday. This is the first production to premiere under the sub-brand SET Originals.

Prithvi Vallabh narrates a tale of two arch-rival warriors; Prithvi and Mrinal. Prithvi, the heir of the Malwa dynasty, is an advocator of the ‘philosophy of humanism’, while Mrinal, the princess warrior of Manyakhet, is ‘born out of pure vengeance’. It is a unique story that starts with hatred on a battlefield and ends up becoming a grand love story.

In 1943, the Indian movie Prithvi Vallabh was released, based on the book written by writer Kanhaiyalal Munshi. Writer and producer Anirudh Pathak clarified that the show is not entirely based on the book. “We do not claim that the show is based entirely on history. Prithvi Vallabh is 20 per cent history and 80 per cent mystery, in which, the 80 per cent includes dramatisation and alteration in the story. We have cleared the fact in our tagline ‘Itihaas bhi, Rahasya bhi'.”

The show marks the debut of Pathak of Writers’ Galaxy as a producer. His first attempt at the weekend primetime slot took him six to eight months to write. The finite series has 80 episodes which will be aired across two seasons of 40 episodes each.

Sony Entertainment Television EVP and business head Danish Khan said, “Sony’s strategy is variety. Our motto is to give variety in every half hour. All the 14 shows we have can be watched with family.”

SET and Pathak have picked both Indian and international locations to shoot the series. The show has captured the scenic beauty of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa and the team will be travelling to Gulmarg in February and Poland in March. Around 200 people are perspiring heavily on the sets to make this show a reality.

Comparing the show's production cost with the recently-launched historical show Porus, Khan said, “The economics and structure of Porus and Prithvi Vallabh are different. Porus is 260 episodic half hour show whereas Prithvi Vallabh is 80 episodic one hour show. Both are high budget as well as high archival value shows.”

The set is designed by art director Chokas Bharadwaj who is currently designing the look for the shows Mahabharat and Chandrashekhar Azad. Mythological show sets cost a bomb at Rs 10 to 12 crore.

Pathak has two more historicals up his sleeve for 2018 - Chandrashekhar Azad and Shankaracharya. Star Bharat will launch the former soon while the other is still in the developing stage.

SET is cashing in on India's history, literature and culture under SET Originals. Khan said, “Indian stories have a universal appeal and are extremely relevant to the world if told well. SET Originals is a step in that direction. With SET originals, we take a brave and visionary leap to define the content for the ever-evolving global audience.” The channel will continue its spree of mythological shows this year too.

The show’s stellar star cast includes Ashish Sharma as Prithvi, Sonarika Bhadoria as Mrinal, Pawan Chopra as Singhdant, Shalini Kapoor as Rajmata, Alefia Kapadia as Savita, Jitin Gulati as Tailap, Piyali Munshi as Jakkala, Surendra Pal as Vinayaditya, amongst others.

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