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Primetime with the Murthys director Arvind Sastry: The desperate need to turn eyeballs have turned humans insensitive

Primetime with the Murthys director Arvind Sastry opens up about making a series that is set during the lockdown, tapping in the social media culture and more.

Primetime with the Murthys director Arvind Sastry: The desperate need to turn eyeballs have turned humans insensitive

Primetime with The Murthys

Last Updated: 09.40 PM, Jul 07, 2024


Primetime with the Murthys, a family drama set during the lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic, premiered recently on JioCinema. The drama, which stars actors Sukhita Aiyar, Pritam Koilpillai, Sanjana Doss, and Amrith Jayan in prominent roles, talks about the internal conflicts a family of four faces, while being stuck together in their apartment due to the restrictions. Having to deal with their own set of issues, and have the primetime news channels as their only companion, the series explores the family dynamics, rising social media influence, media trials of hotshot cases, and its impact on the household.

In conversation with OTTplay, director Arvind Sastry, who is best known as the youngest recipient of the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Original Screenplay, and helmed the show, talks about constructing the series.

Primetime with the Murthys director Arvind Sastry interview

“I came on board after the writing was done. I was given a screenplay and asked to adapt the idea that was already chalked out. Unlike an independent film project, I was brought on board as a technician and about 1.5 months before the shooting was scheduled to begin. I had to learn the idea and convert words into images,” Arvind says. However, the director reveals that he worked on the structuring of events, the opening and ending of episodes, and connecting the subplots, which made it challenging.


The show takes the reference to suicide and subsequent media reporting of Hindi actor Sushant Singh Rajput to build a narrative. Asked what kind of steps were taken to make the approach more sensitive, Arvind says, “We were trying to tell the story of what happened and what happened was not decent. The sensitivity was not there when news reports were going on. We were realistic about it. The news was not presented right, and it did affect people’s minds. At the same time, the story is about the family and how insensitive reporting can affect people and their trust. So, we brought out news reporters out of the television as a narrative device to reiterate this. It was a theatrical device we used.”

Is it a satire?

Asked if satire was a form they were going for, the filmmaker says, “I am not very sure but it is leaning towards that. The desperate need to turn eyeballs have turned humans a bit insensitive and that is what we have seen with the characters, especially with the daughter who is a social media influencer.”

Primetime with the Murthys is set during the first lockdown induced by the Covid-19 pandemic. On why the makers chose to go back to this time, Arvind says, “For us, the story is essentially about the four people and lockdown was merely a setting.” On the other hand, speaking about how the show treats social media as a narrative, the filmmaker mentions that they wanted to highlight both the pros and cons of it. “We are living at a time when we need to be conscious of how much we use it. Anything in excess is bad. These characters are also in the process of figuring it out.”

Asked about the second season, Arvind says that the team is indeed looking forward, but they will have to also consider many practical possibilities before the launch of second season.

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