Director Ram Madhvani calls ‘Aarya’ a character-driven series

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Director Ram Madhvani calls ‘Aarya’ a character-driven series

Director Ram Madhvani says the intention behind adapting Dutch series “Penoza” for the Indian audience in “Aarya” was to tell a character-driven story that delves into family dynamics. Madhvani’s 2016 film “Neerja”, a biopic on slain Pan Am flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, explored the emotion of loss through the mother-daughter story and in the new series, starring Sushmita Sen in the titular role, the character struggles with dilemma.

The story revolves around Aarya Sareen, a happily married woman whose world turns upside down when her husband is shot. She gets to know that he may have been involved in an illegal drug racket which now threatens her family.

Madhvani said he and his wife loved the story as it had an amazing female character at the centre. “She is strong and there is vulnerability.

As she faces obstacles, she becomes somebody she didn’t want to. It was a character-driven series that attracted us towards it. I am happy Sushmita (Sen) agreed to do the show as she embodies the strength and vulnerability of the character,” he told PTI.

The director, who initially wanted to make a film on “Penoza” after watching it nine years ago, said he has taken the plot from the original and set it in the Indian cultural context.

“It is an Indian family. It was meant to be a feature length film but it didn’t work out. I am happy that we didn’t make it into a feature film. It was a big disappointment at that time but now I am happy,” he said about the series that started streaming from Friday on Disney+Hotstar VIP.


Madhvani, an advertising professional-turned-director, said the thriller format came as a bait to hold audiences’ attention while exploring the family dynamics in the story.

“The good thing about thrillers is that they are plot-driven. As a director, I’m interested in relationships like a hijack film like ‘Neerja’ is a family drama.
Here, it’s a crime thriller in family space. I am interested in family relationships. The thriller element makes sure you don’t switch it off,” he said.

“Aarya” also features Chandrachur Singh, Namit Das, Manish Chaudhary and Sikander Kher.

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Sagar Biswas

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