Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt is gearing up for his web series, titled Maaya. The 10 episode series features Shama Sikander in the lead along with Vipul Gupta and Veer Aryan. The trailer of the series has already created a stir. An erotic thriller, Maaya deals with the subject of infidelity and BDSM and therefore, it’s being compared to Fifty Shades Of Grey, the 2015 film which features actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in the lead.
However, Bhatt calls these comparisons sad. Talking to InUth over the phone, the filmmaker said that Maaya is more of a thoughtfully explicit drama than a sexually explicit one. He elaborated:
There’s no nudity in Maaya. BDSM is a control and surrender of thoughts and body and everything. It is not about getting whacked and beaten. It’s a lot more than that. There’s a scene in Maaya where the protagnosit says that it’s (BDSM) a thrill of unknown. It’s about surrendering and not knowing what’s going to happen next. It’s extremely erotic. BDSM is about the mind. It’s not so much about the body.
When asked what actually triggered him to make a web-series on a subject which is yet to be explored in India on screen, Bhatt mentioned two reasons. He said:
There are two reasons. I don’t know how much of this would have been allowed by the Censors (Censor Board). I think with a film, it becomes more of a single screen-multiplex kind of a situation. A lot of this subject is in English and a lot of it is in Hindi. It can’t be all Hindi because the dynamics will be close to being hillarious in Hindi.
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Shama, who is playing the titular character in the series is making a major comeback on screen after long 11 years. When asked what really convinced her to cast the actress in the series, Bhatt quite confidently said:
Shama is a very good actor. She is also someone who has no qualms about doing this kind of a role because there can’t be any negotiations in this role. You can’t say that ‘I will do this and won’t do this. I will show this and won’t show that. My family, my husband or my boyfriend will say things.’ All that nonsense can’t happen. Shama came with a complete quality of surrender to the script and she worked fabulously.
But what about Maaya’s comparison with Fifty Shades of Grey? Vikram Bhatt seemed unfazed as he said:
Sadly, if it’s a story about wrestling, then it’s either Sultan or Dangal. If it is BDSM, it’s Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s sad that people are so narrow-minded. Maaya is about a housewife’s journey into the world of BDSM. She is a married woman and I don’t understand from where do the dynamics of Fifty Shades (Of Grey) come in.
There’s a scene in the trailer which shows Maaya’s inhibitions of not letting her husband know about her sexual preferences. So does the web series also talk about a wife’s sexual commitment towards her husband? Mr. Bhatt had a point of view on the same when he said:
Maaya is about how we feel judged. It’s about how all of us are two people. And the internet gives a freedom to a person. Anonymity allows you to be a real self actually. And is it right that we judge people based on their sexual preferences? Also, the hypocrisy of the society that everybody does everything behind the closed doors but when they are in a group, they want to condemn everything they do. It becomes abnormal or what we call perversion.