The popular YouTube channel Gorilla Shorts (The makers of the popular and award-winning series Love Handles) have recently launched their new Original Series called Offbeats Season 1. Offbeats Season 1 is an anthology of 6 short films, all based on highly unconventional characters and their unusual stories. They are a set of twisted tales that will make you laugh, cry, feel and fall in love with its characters. While all the films are primarily for the Hinglish audience, there's even a comedy film in Malayali.
The shorts films feature a mix of well-known actors and upcoming talents to bring alive the stories. Popular actors like Rajeev Khandelwal, Namit Das, Nitish Pandey, Flora Saini, Smita Jaykar, Bhuvan Arora, Jayaprakash Kuloor, Yusuf Hussain, and others star in Offbeats Season 1. All the films are directed by Ambar Chakravarty, an award winning filmmaker and adman. The Malayali film titled Shavarasam has been co-directed by Ambar Chakravarty and Ajay Govind, an acclaimed Malayali director.
The films pack a complete cinematic experience for the audience in terms of its production value, story, music, locations and cast, in a way that very few short films have been able to do in the past.
The uniqueness of the series also lies in its original songs. Each film will be accompanied by a song sung by a mix of well-known singers like Papon, Salim Merchant and other upcoming talents. In fact, Papon and Salim Merchant have both sung incredibly beautiful songs for the first two films of the series.
The stories themselves are highly unusual and forces the audience to look at life from different perspectives. From the story of an Army sniper waiting to hunt his enemy to that of a lonely station master in search of love; from a tale of an old actor who specialized in the act of dying being recalled for one last hurrah, a New York-based Jazz musician coming back home to his estranged and now dying father; from a lone woman biker to a sexually frustrated housewife, the characters of these short films are all quite 'unconventional'. And they belong to different cinematic genres and bring forth different emotions, fused together by their 'offbeatness'.
They are visually attractive, having been shot extensively on outdoor locales from the backwaters of Kerala to the interiors of Maharashtra. The attention to detail on Art, the use of top-end cameras and Cinematographers, and quality colour grading by one of the best colourists in the country, all result in creating some stunning pictures.
The first in the series of 6 films is "Station Master" releasing on 24th January 2020 featuring the talented Namit Das who has worked in numerous films like "Sui Dhaaga", Wake Up Sid and popular TV shows like 'Sumit Sab Sambhal Lega'.
Director Ambar Chakravarty says that "I have always been attracted to the absurd and the unconventional. Thus with Offbeats Season 1, we have tried to explore stories where unconventional characters find themselves in very unusual situations. The audience will therefore get to see very different sides of well- known actors like Rajeev Khandelwal, Namit Das, Flora Saini, Nitesh Pandey and Bhuvan Arora and veteran actors like Smita Jayakar, Yusuf Hussain and Rajkumar Kanojia. The other unique thing is of course the music and songs sung by legends like Papon, Salim Merchant etc. The songs really stand out on their own and make Offbeats a complete cinematic experience.
"As a director, I think the audience will feel an instant connection with the stories and the characters despite their eccentricities be it Namit Das as the lonely station master, Flora Saini's sexually frustrated housewife or Rajeev Khandelwal's portrayal of an estranged son returning home to his dying father. Because in life you do run into eccentric and offbeat characters. We have even ventured into Regional languages with our first Malayalam comedy film Shavarasam with veteran actor Jayaprakash Kuloor who incidentally plays the role of an actor who specialised in playing dead".
Actor Rajeev Khandelwal says that "It was more than anything, a 'thrilling' experience to be a part of His Masters Voice. Some shorts are actually 'large'. This is what I felt when I read the script. It is a challenge for the director and the writer to put together so many layers and emotions in such a short time and put them so convincingly. I hope the viewers enjoy their time spent on watching it.
Actor Namir Das adds "I'm excited about offbeats season 1 not only as an actor but also as an audience. As an actor the character of Phool Kumar is highly fascinating, it is layered yet looks simple on screen and that is what makes it really difficult to portray. As an audience, Gorilla Shorts gives me a variety of content under one roof. I had a great time shooting with the highly talented director Ambar Chakravarty and even thinking about Phool Kumar, the character I portray brings a smile on my face. I am looking forward to the release of Station Master which is the first story in Offbeat Season 1 slated to release on 24th January."