Karanvir Bohra, who has been one of the most popular actors on the Indian television circuit over the last decade or so, has recently taken the leap over to the other side of the camera as well. The actor turned into a director for his latest upcoming show, called ‘Bhanwar’, which premiered recently on the ZEE5 platform.
‘Bhanwar’ is an interesting science-fiction based show, where the two main characters, played by Bohra and Priya Banerjee, find a time-travelling portal in their new house. When they use this portal to go to the future, they witness their own murders, and now must try to return to the present and stop those events from happening. However, the portal does not work as intended, and the rest of the show is then dedicated towards these events and the mystery that unfolds. This marks Bohra’s second venture with ZEE5, with the first having been the show ‘Casino’. ‘Casino’ was a big hit in India, as it was the first Indian show based on Indian real money casino games.
Bohra played the role of the heir to the largest casino in Nepal, who had to fight off the moves and advances of various people trying to take control of this extremely lucrative business. The success of ‘Casino’, and particularly of Bohra in the lead role, gave Zee the confidence to bring him back on board for ‘Bhanwar’. While the shooting and production for ‘Casino’ was wrapped up just before the current pandemic hit, ‘Bhanwar’ on the other hand, was shot completely during this time, which has brought its own set of challenges.
Bohra had recently shared a behind-the-scenes (BTS) look at how he managed to shoot the series during lockdown. In the video, we can see Bohra holding a light and giving instructions to his wife, Teejay Sidhu, while another team member holds a light on the other side. To add to the chaos, Bohra’s children can be seen running about and playing in the middle of the shoot, which is being done in their own house. Bohra said that this video was of the promotional photoshoot for the series, with just two other staff members and Banerjee present alongside him and his wife. In fact, the entire show has been shot with just seven people in total as part of the production team – the four actors (Bohra, Sidhu, Banerjee and Mantra), two production staff members, and one cameraman. The lockdown that was imposed in India for over three months meant that Bohra’s house served as the primary location for these shoots as well.
This BTS only showed just how difficult it has been for media production work, in general, to take place during this global pandemic, and also shows Bohra’s commitment to the cause. Despite being his first venture as a director, he faced challenges which would have been problematic for even the most experienced of directors, and still managed to deliver a compelling TV show, produced entirely during the pandemic and with a skeleton crew. ‘Bhanwar’ is also a ground-breaking show since it is apparently the first Indian TV show to have time travel as a central plot point.
Other shows have featured time travel elements, but those have been incidental to the main plot. Thus, it is impressive that Bohra has helmed and delivered a unique project during such difficult times, and this will only serve to increase his appeal, both among his fans as well as for production houses, who now know that he can be a reliable performer, but at the same time, he can also direct a show with a high level of quality during such a challenging time as well.