Bhoot Purva is in a breezy, lighthearted zone: Omkar Kapoor
Director Zeishan Quadri and Omkar Kapoor talk about their upcoming web series Bhoot Purva
Back in the 90’s, child actor Omkar Kapoor won hearts for his comic act in Mahesh Kothare’s cult comedy, Masoom. His impish smile and precocious quips soon became a regular feature in popular hits like Judwaa, Judaai and Hero No.1. The millennium turned, and Omkar quit films to finish his education. However, the acting itch persisted, compelling the performer — now all grown up — to return to films. Omkar made his full-fledged Bollywood debut in Luv Ranjan’s Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 (2015), followed by a lead role in the web-series U, Me Aur Ghar (2017). Moving ahead, the actor has starred in ZEE5’s newly released web-show, Bhoot Purva, a supernatural comedy revolving around a young boy and a friendly ghost.
“I feel a lot of déjà vu coming back. I see it as my second innings. I had a long career of 14-15 years as a child artiste before deciding to take a break. It’s been quite a journey,” he says. “The industry has evolved in a better way. Superior content is being made now. There’s more freedom of speech. Earlier, we never really practised the democracy we live in. But now, we are getting a chance to do so.”
In the show, Omkar plays the titular role of Purva, a luckless loser who helps his ghost friend Aarav (Rishab Chadha) win back his lost love, Angelina (Zoa Morani). Their earthly misadventures are further complicated by the arrival of a music-crazed Yamraj, played (appropriately) by Baba Sehgal. “The show is in a breezy, lighthearted zone. The concept is hilarious. Movies like Amar Kaushik’s Stree have created a space for horror-comedies in India. It’s a new, exciting genre,” Omkar adds.
Bhoot Purva is written and directed by Zeishan Qaudri, best known for playing the character Definite Khan in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur. Zeishan says that his years in Mumbai have made him steer away from the gangster genre, a space he previously explored in his directorial debut. Meeruthiya Gangsters. “I have been away from that world for the past ten years now. As a human being also, mein hamesa khush rehna chahata hoon (I want to stay happy). Bhoot Purva is my latest attempt to spread laughter and happiness,” he says.
The writer-director shuns the description 'horror-comedy’, pegging the show more in the zone of Shah Rukh Khan-Naseeruddin Shah’s Chamatkar (1992). “There isn’t any fear factor as such. It’s pure fun. I’ve grown up watching mainstream Bollywood. I’ve been a huge fan of Ajay Devgn, Salman Khan, Sunny Deol and Amitabh Bachchan. So my humour and writing pedigree comes from there. Even in Wasseypur, if you remove the cockiness of the characters, it will be just a dark film.”
Last year, Anurag Kashyap had rubbished rumours of Gangs of Wasseypur 3 being in the works. Zeishan, who was expected to write and direct the sequel, remains elusive on the subject. “I do have some character arcs in mind, but won’t make it just for the sake of it. I have seen Godfather 3, you know…”
A ten-episode series, Bhoot Purva started streaming on the ZEE5 app from May 7.