Interview Marathi

We have already started working on second season of Shantit Kranti, says Abhay Mahajan

The actor plays a character beset by relationship troubles in this SonyLiv original series. 

Abhay Mahajan in Shantit Kranti

Suyog Zore

SonyLiv's Marathi web-series Shantit Kranti has been receiving positive reviews from critics and audiences alike since its release on the OTT platform on 13 August. The show, starring Lalit Prabhakar, Abhay Mahajan and Alok Rajwade, is about three friends who have issues.

Mahajan played Shreyas, who is experiencing relationship troubles. "He was engaged to his long-time girlfriend but for reasons unknown to him, she breaks off the engagement," he said. "Many times, when our relationships don't work, we tend to cast the blame on our partner, but we don't want to introspect and find out how much we are to blame. And my character's journey is about that introspection," he said.

Shantit Kranti review: A compelling and refreshing take on changing dynamics of friendship

Although the three friends are grown-ups and mature individuals, they tend to behave like overgrown infants whenever they are together. The performer said, "I think whenever we are with our friends we do behave like a manchild. It just happens automatically. Whenever I'm with my college friends or friends from my theatre days, I do absolutely nonsensical things. But when I'm with my colleagues I'm very sincere. I think it's universal and that's why these three guys come across this way."

Mahajan is also the co-writer of the series, which is based on his concept. "I came up with it six years ago and we have been working on it for the last five to six years. The show has been made in collaboration with Bhadipa, the biggest channel in Marathi, and TVF, the biggest channel in Hindi. And it has been released on SonyLiv. No Marathi web-series has got such a big release until now," he said.

Generally in Indian films or shows, there is a tendency to show young men as immature, shallow and irresponsible. And by the climax, they mature, but Mahajan didn't want to go down that route. "These guys are serious about their lives and career. Of course, they learn something about themselves and become a better version of themselves towards the end, but they are not immature.  Also, we have three heroes and the series gives them equal importance," he said.

Just like their characters in the series, Mahajan and the rest of the cast and crew couldn't connect with the outside world during the shoot. "There was absolutely no mobile network where we were shooting. Only when we would return to our hotel after the shoot we would get some network. I think the mobile and the internet have become such an integral part of our life that we can't even think of living without them. The internet helps you escape from the reality of your life so when you don't have access to your mobile and internet you become restless because then you are forced to face the reality of your life. Our series also talks about that. These three friends have to find answers to the uncomfortable questions they are otherwise too scared to ask themselves," he said.

Rajwade and Mahajan had worked together on stage but this is the first time both shared the screen with Prabhakar. "I had seen Lalit's work. He had seen our work. So we three were familiar with each other's style of acting. The most important thing was we had immense respect for each other's work. I have seen many times in multi-starrer projects, actors tend to compete among themselves, which is not a healthy thing," he said.

Although the first season has a proper denouement, with no cliffhanger as such, Mahajan and the team have already started working on the follow-up and plan to make many more seasons. "The second season will definitely happen, that's for sure," he said.

Almost every Hindi film or show about friends on a road trip is inspired by Dil Chahta Hai (2001). "It's inevitable. When DCH was released it changed the grammar of filmmaking. I know it was a groundbreaking film for the young generation of that time," Mahajan said.

"A few of my school friends made a group called Dil Chahta Hai. And we would always fight when deciding who among us was going to be Aamir Khan because he was the hero. Nobody wanted to be Saif Ali Khan. That's when I realized nobody wants to be in the supporting role. That's why in our series all three characters have equal importance to the story and an equal number of scenes," he said.

Mahajan came up with the concept a while ago but the series was shot last year November in the pandemic. "Thankfully, our story is such that we didn't have to make too many changes to our script during the pandemic. Luckily, for the most part, the series takes place in one single location. So for us, it was like we were shooting in isolation," he said.

Mahajan first shot to fame with TVF Pitchers. Since the first season was released in 2015, fans have been eagerly awaiting the follow-up and now after six years, their wish is coming true. "We will start shooting in November. It will be available exclusively on Zee5," the actor said.

Even though Mahajan has been busy with films and web shows he hasn't quit theatre. "I have been doing an English play in Pondicherry for the past three years and we will be performing in France and Belgium for the next two months. I'm also writing a film which I might direct," he said.

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