Rathi and Patil, who made their directorial debut with the Marathi film Photo Prem (2021) starring Kulkarni, told Silverscreen India that the upcoming four-part anthology film is a slice of life about “dead people who come back to finish something that is left undone.”
Speaking about it, Rathi said, “These are four short stories about 35-40 minutes in length (each). All of them are a slice of life comedies, and the common thing among them is that dead people come back to salvage something that is left undone.”
The director duo will be making their second collaboration with Kulkarni in their sophomore outing. Incidentally, the duo’s Photo Prem also revolves around death where a woman (played by Kulkarni) in her 50s, is looking to get a good picture of herself taken that can be used after her demise. “The idea of death is amusing and the idea of finality excites us when we are doing fictional works. However, these are not horror, thriller, or ghost stories. They are just sweet stories,” the duo said.
“All four stories are set in different geographies. They are set in Maharashtra, Shimla, Rajasthan, and urban towns like Mumbai or Delhi,” Rathi added.
Rathi revealed that while Kulkarni and Shah appear in the first segment, the second one features Gupta and Rao. “The casting for the rest of the segments is underway and we are trying to finish this by mid February. The first two segments have been shot, edited, and the post-production is going on. We did not imagine having a star cast, but when we reached out to Neena, she suggested we ask Naseeruddin Shah. After we sent the script, he wanted to be part of it and we immediately went on floors for his part, since he had a busy schedule,” Patil added.
The duo wrote and is co-directing the anthology. “The idea came from the third story that we will be shooting. I had written it about four years ago, as a short film. But since I did not know how to go about making a short film, we began to toy around the idea of writing stories around the script and finally ended up putting them together as an anthology,” Rathi said.
Adding on, Patil said, “We wanted to do something small and simple before venturing into another project. We took about six months to completely write this project. It touches upon different generations and issues. Anthologies have given a free hand, in form of creative expanse and time limit, given the OTT platform also gives same advantages.”
The anthology’s working title is Zinda Ho Kya, with Shah’s segment called Woh Baat Nahi?, and Rao’s, Kya Farak Padta Hai?, Pakda Toh Nahi Jaogey? and with the last segment yet to be named. “We are using question marks with the titles because it will make you think about the quality of life, just like Photo Prem,” Rathi said.
Speaking about the release, the duo said that they are still in talks with leading streaming platforms, but are focussed on finishing the film first.
The anthology is produced by Rathi, Patil, and Mehul Shah.