‘Guilty Minds’ director Shefali Bhushan says the web series is not just a courtroom drama but also a human drama as it has all the shades of emotions.
In a conversation with IANS she spoke about the web show and why she decided to come up with a courtroom drama.
“Firstly I would say ‘Guilty Minds’ is not just a courtroom drama but also a human drama which has elements of comedy, romance and everything,” she says.
The 10-episode series has been created and directed by Shefali Bhushan and co-directed by Jayant Digambar Samalkar. It is all about the journey of two young and ambitious lawyers, essayed by Shriya Pilgaonkar and Varun Mitra,
Shefali, who comes from a family of lawyers with her father Shanti Bhushan, former law minister, brother Prashant Bhushan, public interest lawyer in the Supreme Court, so she finds it natural to create and direct a web series around legal cases and its complexities.
Shefali adds: “I am a filmmaker who has a background in the law, because my family is full of lawyers, I think it was very natural for me to want to create a courtroom drama. There are a lot of very interesting courtroom dramas.
“Even in India, there have been some films and internationally, there’s some very good ones as well. And it’s a very engaging format. I definitely wanted to create something around that. And also wanted to tell stories where we would be bringing up issues that are of relevance to contemporary society.”
Shefali further shares what is going to be the USP of ‘Guilty Minds’.
“I think the USP is that the audience will connect with the show, it is not only lawyers, but they will feel an emotional connection. I think the viewer will connect to the moments, whether they are legal, whether they are personal, whether they are suspense, drama, whether they are comic they are going to connect.”
While talking about the lead cast and how she decided about the same, Shefali shares: “I’ll be honest with you. I didn’t have any faces in my mind. When they started doing auditions, it was very exciting, I would wake up every morning to see because they used to send it to me very late at night, the auditions of the previous days, I would really wake up and the first thing I would do is check all the auditions they had sent for the various characters.
“And I would immediately know if I liked this audition of this particular actor or not and I would make those notes and send them back to the casting team. So, when I saw Shriya and Varun both of them had very good auditions. I do feel that there is a certain charisma that you require, especially when you’re playing headlining roles. So I think both Varun and Shriya really have that screen presence, which is quite impressive.”
Shefali and her team of writers including Jayant Digambar Somalkar, Manav Bhushan, a non-practicing lawyer and Deeksha Gujral, a lawyer had done thorough research and tried to deal with the subject in authentic ways so that it looks more realistic.
The director asserts: “While dealing with the subject we tried to be authentic in execution. For us courtrooms are also characters in a similar way actors are in the series. We tried to get into minute details of every court. Be it Mumbai or any district one. Every court has some distinct traits and we tried to bring out them. You will not see the similar grand courts like you saw in films. It is more simplistic and Varun and Shreya have not got space to deliver those filmy kinds of dialogue. Varun has to stand and just address the judges. In terms of acting and direction we tried to be authentic and realistic.”
At last when we asked Shefali that despite belonging to a family of lawyers how she got interested in direction, she shares: “I came into it because I had a brush with theatre when I was in Delhi, I was associated with a theatre group. I decided I’m going to go into the creative side of things. And if I don’t find success, then I can always come back to law. It’s my backup option.”
It stars Shriya Pilgaonkar, Varun Mitra, Namrata Sheth, Sugandha Garg, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Satish Kaushik, Benjamin Gilani, Virendra Sharma, Diksha Juneja, Pranay Pachauri, Deepak Kalra and Chitrangada Satrupa in pivotal roles.
The web show is produced by Karan Grover and co-produced by Antara Banerjee and Naved Farooqui.
‘Guilty Minds’ will be streaming on Prime Video from April 22.