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Crime thrillers can take Indian entertainment global: writer-creator Piyush Jha

His web series ‘Chakravyuh’ received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike.

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MUMBAI: Post the Covid2019 outbreak, the Indian entertainment industry witnessed revolutionary changes as OTT platforms gained massive popularity among audiences. OTT originals which were primarily confined to western countries landed on Indian shores, and this inevitable change motivated many passionate writers and filmmakers to make their online video streaming debut. Piyush Jha is one of those master writers who recently forayed into the world of OTT platforms with his new web series Chakravyuh: An Inspector Virkar Crime Thriller. 

Switching genres from comedy to crime 

Piyush Jha started his career as a writer-filmmaker in 1999 with the comedy movie Chalo America. Later, he made two more movies, King of Bollywood (2004), and Sikander (2009). And now, after an 11-year-long hiatus, Jha has re-entered the entertainment industry with Chakravyuh starring Prateik Babbar in the lead role. Unlike his previous outings which dealt with comedic subjects, Chakravyuh is an edge-of-your-seat thriller unravelling over eight episodes. 

The web series directed by Sajit Warrier premiered on MX Player, and received positive responses from all corners. Based on Jha's book Anti-Social Network: An Inspector Virkar Crime Thriller which was published in 2014, the show portrayed the story of the eponymous daredevil cop who fights against the injustices in society. 

The evolution of a Mumbai-based storyteller

 "I feel great. Audiences (MISSING) have  welcomed Chakravyuh and Inspector Virkar warmly. At this moment, I should thank Kailash Surendranath and Aarti Surendranath of Mayavid who gave us immense support throughout the journey. Until now, Inspector Virkar was only there in the books, and now he has come to the screens," said Jha. 

According to him, Chakravyuh is more than just a crime thriller, as it is a character-driven story. Jha revealed that the upcoming two seasons of Chakravyuh – also based on his books – will explore the character of Inspector Virkar in different dimensions. 

Jha also lauded Prateik Babbar for portraying the role of Inspector Virkar with finesse on screen. 

"As we go to the next seasons, we will see an evolution in his character, as an investigator, as a person who has deep angst in the system, a person who seeks justice in society. All these elements are going to come out. Prateik is actively looking forward to taking this character further," added Jha. 

Crime thrillers are the way to go

Jha held the firm belief that crime thrillers have the potential to elevate the Indian entertainment industry to new heights. The genre has always had a global dimension and quality products could appeal to international audiences. 

"Post the advent of OTT platforms, Indians have been watching crime thrillers from other languages including Spanish, Italian, etc. Crime thrillers always have the ability to appeal to people irrespective of the language barrier. I strongly believe that Indian filmmakers and storytellers should focus on crime thrillers in the future, as quality products will expand the reach of Indian films and series among international audiences," he said. 

On his upcoming projects

The filmmaker revealed that he is currently working on two shows, and also plans to make the second season of Chakravyuh. 

"Apart from the two shows, I am also working on an audio fiction with Amazon audible. That is new territory for me, and I am very excited about it. The audio fiction will be horror-supernatural, a genre that is very new to me. I feel happy as I continue to be a storyteller, and I find myself evolving as time passes by," Jha signed off. 

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