Taking a cue from umpteen sitcoms and English series, director Balaji Mohan has come up with a web-series in Tamil titled As I’m Suffering From Kaadhal. This series, consisting of 10 episodes (20 minutes each), will be aired on June 18 in Hotstar. The prime cast includes the director himself along with Dhanya Balakrishna, Nakshatra Nagesh, Abhishek, Sananth, Sanjana, Sunder Ramu and Baby Yuvina.
Speaking to DC about his web-series, Balaji reveals, “Initially, I wrote this script for a feature film and later I felt that it is conducive to a series format. Also, the events in the story will suit the episodic nature of a series. I’ve always wanted to do a web-series as you have a lot of freedom and you can try out different things that you are not allowed to do in feature films.”
The Maari director says that he will launch all the 10 episodes at once on June 16. “If I’m an audience, I would want to binge watch a particular series. I was discussing this idea with Dhanush and Soundarya Rajinikanth and decided to fund it myself. This project also marks the launch of my production house Open Window. The content of the series is relevant to people of 18 years to 35,” he adds.
Balaji also asserts that doing a web-series was like taking a trip down the memory lane — “It is like going back to the short-film days. Right from budget control to writing dialogues, I was handling all the departments. And it was quiet overwhelming since I had to everything. It is a different platform and I’m confident that it will set the tone for other filmmakers.
The director also plans to continue doing web-content in the future. “Either I may direct or produce the venture, but my production house will nurture new talents,” he shares. Hinting at a possible second season, Balaji quips, “The story has the potential, but we wanted to put it out to see the reception. As I’m Suffering From Kaadhal is a mature version of my debut flick Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi.”
Dhanya, who plays Balaji’s wife in the series, explains, “Now, web-series has become a parallel market and it is exciting to be a part of it. I play a level-headed, yet arrogant woman who is always at loggerheads with her husband. I’m nothing like her in real life and barely gets angry or foul-mouthed. The icing on the cake was that I was also the associate writer — so I got hands-on experience in writing. Balaji was very open to ideas. We dabble with it and then figure out whether an idea would work or not. An advantage is that you get a lot of freedom that you don’t enjoy in mainstream cinema.”
Photographer and actor Sunder Ramu who plays a father in this web-series is excited on doing something remarkable. “The platform is wide and it reaches a lot of people. I wanted to work with a bunch of directors and Balaji was one among them. When I told my friends that I am going to be a part of the series, people said that it is a step-down in my career and I may be typecast as a father thereafter. But, I want to be experimental and in eight years of my career, I have played different characters. Normally, the content that is dealt with is usually serious in nature, but this one will deal with relationships on a lighter vein. It will also answer several underlying questions on live-in relationships, married life and that of a single parent. There is nothing archaic and it is a contemporary take on love. If it hits the chord, it will open up different avenues for directors,” he discloses.