Exclusive: 'I Believe In Treating Sensitive Issues With A Sense Of Normalcy' — RejctX2 Director Goldie Behl

Shubanka Sridhar , 08 May 2020
Goldie Behl; RejectX2 Poster (Source: Instagram | @goldiebehl)
Goldie Behl; RejectX2 Poster (Source: Instagram | @goldiebehl)

Working from home has become the new normal for most of us right now. It is, for filmmaker and producer, Goldie Behl as well. The second season of his web show on Zee5, RejctX is up for release and he has been virtually in touch with his entire team to have the show up and running. Ask him how he is coping with it and Goldie says it is stressful and frustrating, but it’s a new way of working from him and his team.

Goldie’s production house, Rose Movies produced the famous show, Remix, in 2004. It was a musical that revolved around a bunch of high-schoolers. Cut to him returning to the genre as the director for the web show, RejctX, which also deals with high-schoolers, but is a modern and edge-of-the-seat crime thriller in that. He spoke to me about how he grew as a filmmaker through the process of shooting RejctX season 2 to how he handles sensitive issues in his narratives.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Speaking about the experience taking the RejctX series forward, he says:

It’s a pulsating show, and one that audiences, especially the youth, instantly connected with. While the first season was more elaborate with longer episodes, this season has shorter, crisper episodes with double the dose of thrill to pack in more punch! Season 2 dives right into the story and the plot. In-between all the crazy crimes that the students are dealing with, there is inspector Rene (Esha Gupta) who is set to uncover all their mysteries and secrets. So, yeah, it’s an exciting genre and one-of-a-kind, in India at least and I think we got the element right.

The show tackles some deep rooted concerns and issues with respect to teenagers. It can be quite a sensitive space. He agrees and says,

You know, it has definitely been dealt with compassion. If we speak about something like sexuality or being homosexual, previously it was always to do with the negative or comical characters in films and television. Now, what I have noticed is that they are looking at it in better light, but are sometimes too sensitive and careful, giving it too much importance and attention in the narrative. But I like to treat such subjects like I would treat anything else in the film, with a sense of normalcy. Like one of the characters on the show, Sehmat. I am dealing with her religion, her gender fluidity, but what I am really concerned with is whom she loves.

While producing Remix in 2004, he was at a similar age. With RejctX now, he says he looks at the young actors from a different perspective.

I think the actors in this generation are more fearless. They don’t lack opportunity. They are all new, so we had a lot of workshops and rehearsals. We start from the basics, which was great for me too. As a filmmaker, after working for many years, you tend to move away from the basics and complicate the simpler things. Here, the newcomer forces you to come down to your basics.

OTT platforms and its content is on an all-time rise right now. He agrees, saying it’s a great space to put out young content. 

OTT is always great. I want to put out content which is you know, racy, edge-of-the-seat, thrilling and power-packed in its writing. That’s the genre I am interested in. We are dealing with such restless audiences, I don’t believe in slow-paced films and shows. In OTT you can really work on your characters, plots, twists and create 4 hours of footage. We are doing Hello Mimi on MX Player, and we are in talks with some international players as well.

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