With the internet and digital medium being irreplaceable parts of our lives, we are constantly battling between maintaining two identities, one offline and one online. The transformation of human identity in today’s era and the philosophy of the internet forms the crux of the upcoming web series Chutzpah, written by Mrighdeep Singh Lamba and directed by Simarpreet Singh.
Giving an insight into the show, Simarpreet says, “Chutzpah is a story of four different people, and how their life revolves around the internet. It is majorly on the lines of how everyone experiences the internet in a very different way. The internet is the main character and that is where the story starts and ends. This one has a lot of philosophy behind what’s going on and what is happening behind everyone’s life- be it like a crazy blogger, be the social media star, be it a long-distance couple- what is their backstory? What is the philosophy that each story is trying to present? That’s what is important in this show," adds writer Mrighdeep.
Shooting the series was altogether a different experience for Simarpreet, as besides directing, he had to romance his co-stars as well. He also informed that to date, the actors do not know the stories of the other characters, as he wanted them to feel the same isolation as their characters.
“Due to Covid, it was challenging to find any place to shoot. The screen readings happened online, and even when they came on the sets, none of the characters met each other. For everyone, their other half was acted out by me. Say, when Varun was saying his lines, I played the role of his co-star Tanya and vice versa. All the actors acted in front of their screens, without knowing what they are reacting to or who is reacting back because we wanted to make sure that they feel isolated just like their characters. And that’s the story about how everyone in a room can change someone’s or their own life. So the actors didn’t know the story of any other character; they only knew their stuff, what they’re supposed to do."
Explaining the unconventional title of the show, Mrighdeep says, “We wanted a catchy title. So for a long time, when we were writing the script, we were living with another title, and it was the working title. It was an English title but I was very sure in my head that I wanted a Hindi title. And suddenly Chutzpah came to my mind and there was no reason as to why it happened. But we somehow felt that this word kind of describes the show and describes the world of the characters in the show."
So, will the youth-oriented show revolving around everyone, cater to other age groups? “When we were trying to make it we never thought that we would only keep it for kids or younger audiences or millennials or Gen Z, or whatever the labels are. The majority of the people using the internet in India are aged 25 to 30 above. So it’s actually for everyone who has an experience of being on the internet," answers Simarpreet.
Starring an ensemble cast of Varun Sharma, Gautam Mehta, Manjot Singh, Elnaaz Norouzi, Tanya Maniktala and Kshitij Chauhan, Chutzpah is all set to release on SonyLIV on July 23.