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Exploring crossroads of change & acceptance

Adeeb Rais' latest anthology film series 'Kaali Peeli Tales' captures the essence of love, relationships and complexities of life in Mumbai

Exploring crossroads of change & acceptance
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Bollywood film director and actor Adeeb Rais' his new directorial 'Kaali Peeli Tales' – an anthology film - is out of Amazon's MiniTv and is getting rave reviews from audience and critics alike.

Known for films like 'Main aur Mr Riight' (2014) and 'Aunty Ji' (2018), Rais in his latest project has put together six entertaining short stories that capture the essence of love, relationships and complexities of life in Mumbai.

It features exceptionally talented actors including Vinay Pathak, Gauahar Khan, Sayani Gupta, Maanvi Gagroo, Soni Razdan, Hussain Dalal, Sharib Hashmi, Priyanshu Painyuli, Tanmay Dhanania, Sadiya Siddiqui and Adeeb Rais.

The actor recently engaged in a heart-to-heart chat over 'Zoom' to share their experience of working in the anthology.

"The show revolves around young, urban characters who are at the crossroads of change and acceptance. When I talked to Adeeb about my part in the story and the whole anthology, I realised this is something that has never been attempted before on the screen. Moreover, being a part of this anthology I always knew that 'Kaali Peeli Tales' holds all the elements of a great project – be it fresh stories, phenomenal performance by the actor or the direction," said Gauhar.

She added, "The character that I play in the film - Anu - is an interesting one. She has got her own share of struggles. How she fights the problems and comes over the struggles is going to be a treat to watch for the audience."

Gauhar says she aims to play roles that make an impact not only on the audience but herself. "In my career, I look forward to roles for which I want to be remembered by the people," shared the 'Fever' actor.

Sayani Gupta, who stars in the part titled 'Single Jhumka', also shared her experience of working under the direction of Rais. "Adeeb's personality, as a director, is full of energy and that gave me a reason to become a part of such a beautiful film. Besides, I found the script very interesting and immediately agreed to come on board. To shoot scenes early in the morning was like jamming with my old friends, which I enjoyed thoroughly."

The stories are titled 'Single Jhumka', 'Love in Tadoba', 'Marriage 2.0', 'Fish Fry aur Coffee', 'Harra Bharra' and 'Loose Ends'.

Centered on the themes of romance, marriage, infidelity, homosexuality, forgiveness and divorce, each film segment offers a unique perspective on modern-day relationships that take into account the uncertainties of today's cosmopolitan and digital era. The symbol of Mumbai - the iconic 'Kaali Peeli' taxi - presents a common thread across all stories of the anthology.

When asked whether she feels burdened to play serious roles, Sayani further states, "It is upon an actor to choose roles and scripts that catch one's eye. So it is not a burden on me to be attached with an image of playing serious characters. By God's blessing, I have been getting various kinds of roles in my career, which greatly shaped me as an actor. Having said that, I will not mind getting a romantic role or a film where I can dance freely and enjoy myself at the same time."

Another actor Razdan, who is a part of 'Harra Bharra', sharing her experience said: "I did not read the script because it was way too easy for me to understand my part as well as the story. To be honest, I was excited enough to hear that Vinay Pathak is going to be my co-star in this film segment!"

"I'm glad to have had the opportunity to play such a lovely role in 'Harra Bharra'. It is a story of a couple who is no longer married but lives with their daughter. The film shows how despite all the issues, it's a 'happy and complete family," she shared.

Soni said, as long as the script is engaging, it does not matter whether she is doing a short film or a long feature project. "I'm always up for interesting stories," she added.

Razdan's co-star, Vinay Pathak, also shared his experience working with her: "Working with Soni Razdan was the best thing that happened to me as I respect her a lot as an actor and a person."

"It is on actors to plug themselves into the characters given by the directors. As for me, I divide my roles into three parts - extremely serious, comical and the ones I do not understand but pretend to know. For the last one, I'm dependent on directors who tell me how to prep up for that particular role to get a grasp of the whole story," he mentioned while describing his way of doing different roles.

Maanvi, who stars in 'Marriage 2.0' said, "My story is a contemporary take on themes such as marriage, relationships and what the couples want out of their married life."

"Based on my film, I believe the concept of marriage should be only about the two individuals involved in marriage and not the society," she mentioned.

On whether film writers' had to face any challenges, Maanvi admitted, "Yes, it must have been a challenge for the writers to tell the same story in a crisper, concise and engaging way with different emotions for the six short stories. As for us actors, it was interesting to layer out our characters' feelings and perspective on different themes."

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