India Lockdown trailer: Shweta Basu Prasad, Prateik Babbar, Aahana Kumra, Sai Tamhankar & Prakash Belawadi bring the stark realities of pandemic in Madhur Bhandarkar’s film

ZEE5, India's largest home-grown video streaming platform, released the trailer of its latest original film India Lockdown. Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, the direct-to-digital movie, is the first Hindi feature film on covid pandemic and its repercussions on the people of India. Written by Amit Joshi and Aradhana Sah with Madhur Bhandarkar, the ZEE5 Original Film stars Shweta Basu Prasad, Aahana Kumra, Prateik Babbar, Sai Tamhankar and Prakash Balewadi in lead roles and Hrishitaa Bhatt in a cameo.

Produced by Dr. Jayantilal Gada of PEN Studios, Madhur Bhandarkar’s Bhandarkar Entertainment and Pranav Jain’s P J Motions Pictures, India Lockdown will have its global premiere at IFFI Goa on 21st November followed by its World Digital Premiere on ZEE5 on 2nd December. Shot in 2021, the film narrates four parallel stories of disparate characters who are catapulted into an unforeseen dramatic situation instigated by the lockdown due to the corona pandemic.

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As seen in the trailer, Shweta Basu Prasad plays the role of Mehrunissa, a sex worker in Kamathipura in Mumbai who is forced to adapt to the changes brought about by the lockdown and experiment with new ways of doing her business online. Aahana Kumra plays Moon Alves, a pilot who is used to soaring high in the sky but is suddenly grounded for months together and who for the first time realizes what it is like to have her wings cut. Prateik Babbar as Madhav and Sai Tamhankar as Phoolmati are migrant workers who lose their bread and butter in the pandemic and are left to starve or to walk back home as trains and local transports are shut. And lastly, Prakash Belawadi as Nageshwar, an aged man who is stuck in a different city than his daughter at a critical time of her life. Scared and helpless, will all of them survive the uncertainty of India Lockdown?

Shweta Basu Prasad said, "We all experienced the lockdown of uncertainty, including sex workers. When people ask me that how did I prepare to play the part of a sex worker, it’s just another role, story of a human being and as an actor it’s a privilege to play so many different kinds of roles. I researched a lot, in fact Madhur sir and the team took me to Kamathipura in Mumbai where I met few sex workers and picked on their lingo, body language and mannerisms. I also realised that human emotions is a universal experience. Whether it’s the reader of this article or a commercial sex worker. Everyone’s stories of the lockdown should be told.”

Aahana Kumra says, "Loneliness became a very important conversation during the pandemic, just like anxiety and depression. My story in India Lockdown highlights exactly that. I play a pivotal role of a pilot, a fiercely independent woman who hustles her way, has a luxurious, thriving career and everything comes to a standstill when the pandemic hits. My story talks about how she overcomes loneliness and how she tries to find companionship during lockdown. It's a very interesting part and I loved working with Madhur sir. He's a feminist and loves portraying women in stories and I'm glad that I got to collaborate with him. It's a dream come true, and I sincerely hope that this film is loved by the audience and people relate with all the characters in the film."

Prateik Babbar said, “We all read about the state of migrant workers due to the lockdown imposed in 2020 but I didn’t expect to represent them 2 years later in a Madhur Bhandarkar film. My role as a migrant worker in India Lockdown gave me an opportunity to come closer to them and feel what they felt - the uncertainties and the struggles unlike ever before - during the 2 most difficult years of their life. I hope that this film strikes a chord with people across the world and that we treat each other with more compassion”.

Sai Tamhankar said, “This film is raw, realistic, and full of emotions. I am grateful to be a part of this film, it gave me an opportunity to work with the genius, Madhur Bhandarkar who understands the pulse of the audience and knows what they like and will relate to. He has the ability to bring out the rawness in actors and push them to be unfiltered and candid”.


Prakash Belawadi said, “Lockdown impacted everybody. We all had to learn to adjust in the lockdown and function on our own without helpers. People had to pick up new skills and manage a lot of things digitally; even get used to virtual interactions instead of in-person meetings. So, this film covers all that and more. I am sure that people across all ages and across the world will relate to this film as covid impacted us more or less similarly”.

India Lockdown is all set to premiere exclusively on ZEE5 from 2nd December 2022.

(Source: Agencies/Viral Bhayani)