Sixteen years after director Shekhar Kapur made a ‘biographical’ film on the Bandit Queen from the Chambal valley, UP, producer Siddharth Tewary of Swastik Pictures, is gearing up to start shooting Phulwa-Choti Dulhan, his daily soap loosely based on the life and times of Phoolan Devi, the dacoit-turned politician, who was shot dead nearly two years ago.
Industry sources indicate that the show will be shot in the valley itself, apart from other locations, which have been finalised by the production house and Colors, the channel that will air the show.
As of now, the first promo of the show, portraying a girl emerging from a river near the Chambal Valley, just went on air last week. The show is expected to arrive either in the last leg of the year or early next year. It’s also learnt that Phulwa will occupy a slot between 9 and 10 pm, which will be vacant once Bigg Boss 4 reaches its finale.
Ashwini Yardi, the head of programming for Colors was unavailable to comment. When asked, Tewary, the co-owner of the production house confirmed that the show is loosely based on the dacoit’s life: “It’s a very touchy subject and it’s like walking a tight rope with such concepts. I’ve had it in mind for a very long time, but it’s only now that I’ve finally managed to get it going. We’re planning to shoot portions in Chambal but that’s not the only location. The slot and the launch date haven’t been frozen yet.”
“I read the details of what had happened back in the 1990s, when Phoolan Devi was still alive, and the cases filed against Bandit Queen as part of my research,” Tewary says. “So, we’re playing it very safe.”