Directed by Mahi V Raghav, the show stars Rishi, Deviyani Sharma, Lenaa Kumar and others
Shaitan is a crime thriller that marks the OTT debut of Yatra, Anando Brahma fame director Mahi V Raghav, a show that he has also produced under Three Autumn Leaves. The nine-episode long show spanning nearly five hours promises to be raw, intense, gripping and is packed with several intriguing twists and turns. While Mahi is known for his dramas, Shaitan explores a new dimension of his repertoire with a thriller, a genre, which he is reportedly not quite fond of.
A controversial trailer
Shaitan ruffled many feathers with its raw trailer with its no-holds-barred dialogue and gory violent sequences, with many questioning the filmmaker’s intent behind making the show. However, it has equally helped the show grab eyeballs, though it wasn’t always for the right reasons. A few netizens stated that one of its early posters was quite similar to the Kannada hit Dandupalya.
Story about victims-turned-criminals
The show predominantly revolves around a family in rural Telangana and is set in the 90s. It portrays how a single parent, a mother battles all odds to raise her three children and ensure them livelihood. However, in their quest to lead a life of dignity, three siblings and a mother are sucked into a world of crime. Violence remains their only choice for survival and they don’t mind using that trump card.
A significantly non-Telugu speaking cast
The pivotal characters of the show are played by Rishi, Deviyani Sharma, Jaffer Sadiq and Shelly Nabu Kumar - interestingly all non-Telugu speaking actors who were picked after a series of auditions. Manikandan K, Lena, Aneesha Dama, Nithin Prasanna, Manish Rishi, Ravi Kale, Kamakshi Bhaskarla play other important roles in the show.
While the budget of the show hasn’t been revealed yet, it’s likely that it would’ve been wrapped in about Rs 4-5 crores at best. Shaitan has been shot amidst limited locations - mostly exterior and this would have helped the makers keep a lid on the budget. However, they haven’t let these constraints affect the technical appeal of the show.
Mahi V Raghav spoke to people across various walks of life as part of his research for the show and to get a perspective of how criminals view the world and themselves. The behind-the-scenes stills showcase the efforts that went into ensuring the rusticity in the setting and how they stayed true to the conflicts of characters. The show is completely fictional and not inspired by true incidents.
Shaitan, the nine-episode long show, has released directly on Disney+ Hotstar on June 15. The show is available to watch in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada.
Disney+ Hotstar, that also streamed Mahi V Raghav’s production Save The Tigers earlier in 2023, premiered the show.