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‘The Freelancer’ is a journey from renditions to mercenary

Neeraj Pandey: ‘The Freelancer’ is a journey from renditions to mercenary. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Aug 12 : Known for his hard hitting projects like ‘A Wednesday’, ‘Special 26’, ‘Special Ops’ among many others, creator and showrunner Neeraj Pandey, who is now coming up with another riveting thriller series ‘The Freelancer’, said it’s a journey of an ex-Mumbai cop, and how he gets drawn into the big bad world of renditions.

The series is based on the book ‘A Ticket to Syria’ by Shirish Thorat. The show tells the story of a rescue operation of a young girl held against her will in Syria battered by the war.

Talking about the title of the show, Neeraj told IANS: ” ‘The Freelancer’ is the term a nickname that is given to Mohit Raina’s character in the series. We have changed it. In the book it was ‘The Contact’. We changed it to ‘Freelancer’, because it seemed like a more apt name, and also it was mentioned in the book at some point of time.”

Elaborating further on the same, he said, “What we see is that ‘The Freelancer’ had a particular journey, he was an ex-Mumbai cop, and then he gets drawn into the big bad world of renditions. From renditions he becomes a mercenary. So it’s something that you have never seen in either films or web series. It’s a very new world. And I hope it’s an exciting watch for the viewers.”

On what inspired him for the series, Neeraj said: “It’s based on a book called ‘A Ticket to Syria’ by Shirish Thorat. And of course its a real incident. What I loved about the book was that it was so incisive and so particularly detailed, that it just takes you into this big world and goes through what that girl was going through in her days of captivity over there, and all this is indexed against the efforts that were put into rescuing her from there.”

“Shirish has written this book in first person, so everything is through his lens, and based on the conversations he had with the girl, during captivity and all. So it is a fascinating story to tell and share,” he said.

The 49-year-old filmmaker said, “Ultimately we have to research, and so many things Shirish had left out when he was writing the book, because he feared some backlash. But now the world is shaping up, you feel more empowered, you feel more comfortable sharing some other details as well, so he kept on opening up. So, the series combination is both what the book is and the research that we did, and stuff that Shirish had not put into the book.”

If the making of the series took a mental toll on him, Neeraj said, “No, it is a part of the job. At the end of the day you are telling a story. Every story is important. You have to be responsible with it and that’s how you go about it.”

Speaking about the ensemble cast, he said, “I personally have always believed in the concept of ensembles and strong ensembles. Right from the films that we did, to the series we do we have always believed in that principle.”

“And over here we have got Mohit, a debutante Kashmira Pardeshi who has done a fab job, considering it was a very complex role, and the whole show hinges on her and mohit, in one way. The relationship they share over a long distance and one person trying to rescue the other. And plus all the ordeal that she has been thrown into. So I am very proud of her performance on this one. Then you have Manjari Fadnnis, Anupam Kher, and the whole gang,” he said.

Directed by Bhav Dhulia, and Produced by Friday Storytellers, it is helmed by popular actor Mohit Raina and the veteran actor Anupam Kher.

The series also features Sushant Singh, Kashmira Pardeshi, John Kokken, Gauri Balaji and Navneet Malik. It will air on September 1 on Disney+ Hotstar.



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