• Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Ankur Rathee and Shriyam Bhagnani headline Nagesh Kukunoor’s City of Dreams 2

Ankur Rathee and Shriyam Bhagnani in City of Dreams Season 2 (Photo credit: ITAI DOSHIN MEDIA)

By: Mohnish Singh

Acclaimed filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor’s show City of Dreams 2 is now out on Disney+ Hotstar. The political drama series, which revolves around a power struggle between a father and daughter, has opened to great response, with everyone praising the performances of actors Ankur Rathee and Sriyam Bhagnani. It is an interesting fresh pairing and both the actors have played their parts to a tee.

Speaking about his co-star Shriyam Bhagnani and director Nagesh Kukunoor, Rathee said, “Honesty and humility are so crucial for any actor, and Shriyam was beaming with both in our scenes together. There is a gentle earnestness in her eyes, one that occasionally even diminished my need for a vivid imagination to get into character. A simple look into her innocent gaze would transport me into the scene and evoke the required vulnerability. It’s a rarity and blessing to find that in a co-actor. As for Nagesh Sir, I have yet to discover a more symbiotic relationship with a director. There were many instances where I would finish a take and suddenly be struck with an idea. No sooner I would notice Nagesh sir walking over who had already picked up on my creative impulse. A mind-reader! I would begin explaining an idea and he would finish it. Sometimes he would utter only a few words and I knew immediately his train of thought. Few words. He didn’t want to intellectualize the emotional space with too much conversation. He’d give just enough direction so that I could run with the idea and make it my own. I felt like clay.”

Shriyam is also full of praises for her co-star Rathee. “Ankur is mad! I don’t think there is ever a dull moment when you’re around this man. He has a switch that goes off once the director says cut and suddenly, he is a child on set. He truly brings life on set – he will be singing, dancing, making conversations with people or sometimes even working secretly in his van for his other projects. He is very supportive and will stay behind for the reaction scenes even when he isn’t supposed to and that’s what makes him such an amazing co-actor and even after doing so many projects, he comes on set as fresh as ever with so much curiosity,” she said.

Speaking about her director, she added, “Working with Nagesh sir has to be one of the best professional experiences I’ve had so far. There is so much to learn and absorb on his sets – from an amazing crew to the set design, to the script, everything reads out a passion for filmmaking. He has this undying focus and clarity of thought while working which I find extremely inspiring. He knows exactly what he wants from a scene, making the actor’s job very easy. People call directors the captain of the ship, and he truly was in every sense, the best captain one could start off on this journey with.”

City of Dreams 2 also features actors Atul Kulkarni and Priya Bapat, returning as a father-daughter duo, Ameya Rao Gaikwad and Poornima Gaikwad. Eijaz Khan, Sachin Pilgaonkar and Sushant Singh also play pivotal roles.

Eastern Eye

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