TVF scores hat-trick with three shows in Top 250 list
Actor Radhika Madan made a successful transition from television to Bollywood after her debut film, Pataakha opened to great reviews. Now, her second film, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (which was supposed to be her launch film, originally), has been making the rounds at various film festivals.
Though Pataakha gained brownie points at the critics’ board, it faced a lukewarm response at the box office. Not at all bothered by it at all, Radhika says, “I got a chance to debut with a Vishal Bhardwaj film! It received good reviews from critics, and I am really happy. To be honest, it [low earnings] did dishearten me on some level, but I was just happy that I got that chance to debut. That superseded everything,” she says, adding that the business aspect is not in the hands of the film’s team.
Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, meanwhile was recently awarded the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at Toronto International Film Festival. Radhika reveals that she was unsure of the film when it was offered to her.
“Nobody [a female actor] thinks of debuting with an action film. I haven’t seen any girl do such action, which Vasan [Bala; director] has made me do, so I was like ‘I have no interest in action’. I told him on the first day ‘Sir, the script is lovely, but I don’t like action. He was like ‘Arre! We are just gonna make it happen’. I had to thus put in double efforts. Abhimanyu [Dassani, lead actor] had learned martial arts. I remember sitting and watching action films for six hours every day,” Radhika tells us.
But the praise made it all seem worthwhile. “We didn’t expect such love and response that we received in Toronto. With this film, we didn’t expect anything, we just had fun. It was a shock for us when the selectors selected us, and we won the award! In December, we will also be going to Macau,” Radhika signs off.
Sameer Saxena has been a known face in the web space for many years now. Having acted in sketches for The Viral Fever (TVF) such as Bhai Ho and Lage Raho Shettybhai, he is also the man behind the latest web series Yeh Meri Family, which brought back the ’90s era, and also redefined storytelling with its simplicity.
The show has gone on to become so popular that it has been ranked #92 on the list of IMDb Top 250 shows, globally. With this show, Sameer has made a hat-trick of having three shows featured in the coveted Top 250 list on IMDb. Starring popular television actor Mona Singh as the strict mother, Akarsh Khurana as the cool father who loves making up for the mother’s strictness, and three naughty but lovable kids with welletched characters, the show is rated 9.6 on IMDb.
Sameer says, “We struggled a lot initially, but we decided to do things on our own, eventually. YouTube was coming up in a big way, we said let’s make use of a platform that gives one the freedom to tell stories as envisioned. And it turned out to be a lifechanging decision for us.”
Other two shows by TVF that featured on the Top 250 list are Permanent Roommates (2014) and Tripling (2016) – shows that have a strong recall even today. After completing his studies from IIT Bombay, Sameer quit a well-paying consulting job to get into TV and films, something that had always been his dream. When starting off with fellow IIT alumni Amit Golani and Biswapati Sarkar, he reached out to television channels for their shows, but they were turned away, for the lack of ‘youthful content’.
“The response to season 1 was so overwhelming that we decided to explore this story further. We released the second season of the show in 2016,” says Sameer on how their concept became a hit in Permanent Roommates, which is rated 8.6 on IMDb, while Tripling is now rated 8.7 on IMDb. “Working with a big bunch of talented people was the best and hands-on way to learn how to work with a team where each member has a different temperament. That experience was just priceless and helps even today while working on projects at TVF,” Sameer concludes.
Radhika Madan’s second movie Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota was recently honoured at Toronto International Film Festival
A still from Yeh Meri Family
A still from Tripling