Homi Adajania says Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo explores family politics and manipulation
In a group interaction with Hindustan Times, creator Homi Adajania, actors Isha Talwar and Angira Dhar speak on their series about a dysfunctional family.
In the upcoming drama series Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo, the central family members are all hiding something from one another. The Disney+ Hotstar show features Dimple Kapadia as a fierce matriarch who secretly manages a thriving drug empire as well. She has recruited her daughter Shanta (Radhika Madan) and daughters-in-law Bijlee (Isha Talwar) and Kajal (Angira Dhar) into the covert operations, but her sons who live abroad remain in the dark. (Also read: Dimple Kapadia wasn't first choice for Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo, Homi Adajania reveals which actor he wanted to cast)
In a group interaction with Hindustan Times, writer-director Homi Adajania teases the show will surprise audiences in many ways, especially with its portrayal of Savitri, also known as Rani Baa. Homi, who is also creator of the series, said, “What's interesting is that Savitri's character is warm and protective of her family. In the same vein, she is extremely brutal and her ruthlessness has absolutely no bounds. There's a duality going on with her as a character. The only currency she deals in is trust.”
He continued, “All of the family members have a skeleton or a couple of them in their closet. It is all about all these politics and the manipulation that goes on in this hyper-real lawless mad space. You definitely don't want to cross Savitri.”
As the chosen daughters-in-law, actors Angira Dhar and Isha Talwar shared what initially drew them to the project.
Angira said, “The way Kajal was written was extremely nuanced. It was exploring every human emotion that one goes through. There is not just a part of a human being. There's not just a shade or a hue that is depicted in it. You get to play all the colours. I knew that this would be a very nuanced journey which I had to completely experience. There were no two-ways about it. I auditioned for it, but it wasn't served to me on a platter.”
Meanwhile, Isha shared it was her wish of working with Homi that was completed through the series. She also auditioned for the show and got through. She said, “I really wanted to work with him for many years now and I'm very happy that it's come through in this show. Though I've played a strong woman [with] Madhuri Yadav that I play in Mirzapur. Of course, it's physical and the inner strength and the way they show their aggression is also very different.”
Working with Dimple was another plus point for the actor. Like her character, she too idolised the star. Isha shared, “I got to say I got very lucky because I got to spend some time with her. A lot of time with her actually, off set also. We visited a lot of temples and we went to Pushkar and we went to many places and of course, there was a lot of kachodi that we ate together. I'm just very fortunate that I could spend that kind of time with her and it was nice to see a star with no airs."
Both Kajal and Bijlee are not conventional women, the actors explained. They are handpicked by Savitiri to be her bahus and they serve a specific purpose in her world. In their own ways, they have a different kind of freedom, within marriage.
Angira added, “Kajal was not born into [this world]. So for her, freedom was a completely different animal. She feels she hasn't yet explored it.”
The women of Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo are also quite self-sufficient and can fight their own battles. The action in the show, Homi shared, is not over-stylised. He went on to say, “It's hard. It's brutal. When they throw a punch, it lands and it's over. This is pretty much hardcore and these guys are fierce and they'll grab anything they can get their hands on to attack or protect themselves. It is pretty raw. Even the gun combat that they have is at very close quarters. It's not like from very far away.”
Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo, which also features Naseeruddin Shah, Ashish Verma, Varun Mitra, Udit Arora, Deepak Dobriyal and Monica Dogra, will begin streaming on Disney+ Hotstar on May 5, 2023.