A still from Scam 1992 based on 1992 Indian stock market scam committed by stockbroker Harshad Mehta
A still from Scam 1992 based on 1992 Indian stock market scam committed by stockbroker Harshad Mehta

Reality bites OTT: Content creators’ tryst with true tales

Ashram, Scam 1992, Jeet Ki Zid, Avrodh-- what do these web series have in common besides their immense popularity? Well these are all inspired by real life stories and personal stories of tragedy and success and happy events
By Juhi Chakraborty
PUBLISHED ON FEB 12, 2021 07:10 PM IST

Ashram, Scam 1992, Jeet Ki Zid, Avrodh-- what do these web series have in common besides their immense popularity? Well these are all inspired by real life stories and personal stories of tragedy and success and happy events. Ashram was loosely inspired by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Dera Sacha Sauda cult leader’s life, Scam 1992 is based on 1992 Indian stock market scam committed by stockbroker Harshad Mehta, Jeet Ki Zid is the story of Major Deependra Singh Sengar, a highly decorated war hero of the Special Forces and Avrodh is inspired by the Uri attacks and the following surgical strikes.

And the list goes on. Actor Randeep Hooda is also set to play real-life cop in debut web series Inspector Avinash, which is inspired by the life of police officer Avinash Mishra. So what is it about these gritty real tales that are attracting makers to it on web?

Actor Amyra Dastur, who will be seen in upcoming web series on the life of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim – Dongri To Dubai, says, “I am really happy and it is so good to be working in projects like these. Every Mumbaikar knows the story of Dawood Ibrahim, in fact every Indian does. Dongri is like 20 minutes from my house, so I am more engrossed about the story. Even my parents are super excited for it because it is a story that everyone knows and can relate to, that way it makes it a much easier watch.”

Filmmaker Nikkhil Advani is making Mumbai Diaries 26/11, which is set against the backdrop of the terror attacks of November 26, 2008. The series plays out in a hospital and depicts the untold story of doctors, nurses, paramedics and hospital staff, who worked tirelessly to save lives during the attacks that ravaged the city.

“Real life stories are what’s most fascinating to tell. But they are also not easy to pull off because you feel so responsible. The reason the web space is seeing more real life stories is because there is more scope to explore the story at greater length,” Advani says.

Raktanchal is a crime drama inspired by real-life events from the ‘80s of Purvanchal, Uttar Pradesh. Even Undekhi is based on a recent real-life incident in which a dancer was shot by a drunk man during a marriage as she rejected his advances.

Actor Nikhil Dwivedi, who was a part of Scam 1992, adds, “It is more fun being a part of real life stories as there is so much restrictions that it pushes you further to adapt and be a certain character.”

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