Trending true sto­ries: Ac­tors are play­ing them­selves in web biopics

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Shreya Mukher­jee shreya.mukher­jee@htlive.com

Move over true-story films. This is the sea­son of bio­graph­i­cal web se­ries. From Shama Sikan­der’s Ab Dil Ki Sunn, Sunny Leone’s Karen­jit Kaur - The Un­told Story of Sunny Leone to Ku­naal Roy Ka­pur’s Side Hero, web se­ries based on the true sto­ries of these ac­tors have be­come im­mensely pop­u­lar. Af­ter the suc­cess of sea­son one, Sunny Leone has re­leased the sec­ond sea­son and Shama is also work­ing on the sec­ond part of her se­ries.

“I wanted my story to be as close to the truth as pos­si­ble. I was de­ter­mined to not sen­sa­tion­alise any­thing. When it’s my own story, I thought what can be bet­ter than me be­ing a part of it. While part one is all about why I’ve taken cer­tain de­ci­sions in life, the sec­ond sea­son is my crazy jour­ney along fam­ily, friends, ac­quain­tances and meet­ing Daniel [We­ber]… It’s very emo­tional,” says Sunny. Through her story, Shama Sikan­der wants to en­cour­age peo­ple bat­tling men­tal health is­sues to open up about their prob­lem. “My per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence helped in mak­ing it au­then­tic,” she says.

Un­like Ab Dil Ki Sunn and Karen­jit Kaur, Side Hero blends re­al­ity with a dose of fic­tion. “While a part talks about how this fel­low, who is con­nected to the film world be­cause of his broth­ers and sis­ter-in-law, plays side heroes , the rest is fic­tion­alised. Ku­naal and I thought who can do it bet­ter than him. He can take jokes on him­self. Noth­ing can be more au­then­tic,” says Ro­han Sippy, who di­rected Side Hero.

Sunny and Ku­naal agree that the web plat­form gives them bet­ter scope than TV or films to tell such sto­ries. While Sunny feels her story is too long for a two-and-half-hour long film, Ku­naal be­lieves that TV or film does not of­fer the aes­thetic and sen­si­bil­ity re­quired for such shows.

Web also al­lows one to ex­per­i­ment. “Censorship af­fects the essence of a story but that’s not the case with web. Also, one reaches out to a wider au­di­ence. Plus, no one judges you on the web,” says Ku­naal.

En­cour­aged by the response that Side Hero gen­er­ated, Rid­hima Lulla, chief con­tent of­fi­cer, Eros Group, says that they will pro­duce more such con­tent. “In less than a week’s time, Side Hero trailer re­ceived over 10 mil­lion on­line views, mak­ing it the most watched trailer of any In­dian OTT orig­i­nal,” she says. Tarun Ka­tial, CEO, ZEE 5, says that Karen­jit re­ceived an over­whelm­ing response be­cause such sto­ries are re­lat­able. “Au­di­ences like sto­ries which are rel­e­vant to them,” he says.

Sunny Leone’s Karen­jit Kaur ­ The Un­told Story of Sunny Leone, Ku­naal Roy Ka­pur’s Side Hero and Shama Sikan­der’s Ab Dil Ki Sunn fea­ture the ac­tors them­selves

PHOTO: RAAJESSH KASHYAP/HT

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