Ashish R Shukla presented the second season of ‘Undekhi’ a few weeks back and it brought about the same thrill that the first season did on SonyLIV. With new characters and the centrestage story moving on, Shukla’s direction brings about some interesting scenes for the audience to get their teeth into.
BizAsia caught up with the director to talk about this second season.
With S2 of ‘Undekhi’, you’ve brought back some great characters, which made S1 so enjoyable. How did you seek to develop them from S1?
We wanted to take the story beyond the marriage ceremony in the Atwal family. We wanted to show what Atwals do in their day to day life or their core business. Also, the murder of the dancer should have had some repercussions in their life; thus, the character of Samarth or Arjan Singh came. Rest they were so unstoppable in the first season that they took their enemies for granted. We wanted them to haunt Atwals in the second season. So, this season, they’ve made enough enemies to corner them and put them on the back foot.
With the new characters introduced, did you and the team have any particular actors in mind to cast?
We always go through auditions and cast the new entrants as this show doesn’t work because of the star cast but the content. All the new characters have come through the same process.
How much did you feel characters such as Rinku and Teji should take centre stage for and against the Atwals?
As the promise of the first season was revenge, we wanted the protagonist and the antagonists to face each other and challenge each other. No one greater than a person from the family would have done justice to it. On the other hand, we had Saloni-Shahshwat, Koyal-Abhay, and Samarth to amplify the damage to Atwals.
What do S3’s chances look like? Will the story continue?
It seems to be happening. The story will get bigger and move forward if it will.
How much have you enjoyed or been challenged shooting for both seasons?
I enjoyed both the seasons equally. The biggest thing was that I was born and brought up in Mumbai, and the show had Punjabi where every character spoke various levels of Punjabi, apart from their Punjabi mannerisms. But somehow, I understood the swag of Punjabi, and I kept taking the help of my assistants who were from Delhi to correct if anything sounded off. We worked a lot on performances with all the actors and their styles, which became new and paid well.
Also, I love creating great villains and am pretty glad that our villains are getting appreciated. This season was shot right after the second lockdown, which was a bit of a setback for us in terms of season development, but we pulled it off smoothly. We shot many of our interiors in Mumbai, but it’s challenging to figure out for the audience when we shift from Manali to Mumbai.
What would you say is the one memory you will take away from the S2 shoot?
We shot the first season in winters and this season in Monsoon. So you’ll see many actors without jackets this season though it’s a forward story as it was too hot and humid in Manali. And when it rained, there used to be landslides. Many of our essential sequences, including the fall of Ambulance or Koyal dipping in the lake, have inconsistent rain in the background. Then one of our prime locations from the first season was utterly demolished, and some were converted to Covid centres. So, we had to cheat those seamlessly.
BizAsia thanks Ashish R Shukla for taking the time to talk to us. ‘Undekhi S2’ is available to watch on SonyLIV.