City of Dreams is out May 3 on Hotstar
Created, directed by Nagesh Kukunoor
Atul Kulkarni, Sachin Pilgaonkar part of cast
Hotstar has released the trailer for City of Dreams, its second scripted series under the new ‘Hotstar Specials’ banner, which also comes with a release date: May 3. Created and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor (Dhanak), City of Dreams is a 10-episode Mumbai-based political drama that centres on two siblings, Poornima (Priya Bapat) and Ashish (Siddharth Chandekar), in the Gaikwad political family. The two vie for control and the position of the ‘rightful heir’ after an assassination attempt on their influential politico father, Ameya Rao (Atul Kulkarni). With the 2019 Indian general election currently in full force, Hotstar seems to be betting that the charged political environment will drive a boost in viewership.
As with Criminal Justice, there are two different versions of the new City of Dreams trailer: a full-length version available on Hotstar and Twitter, and a rushed half-minute one over on YouTube. Hotstar is clearly trying to get the audience to even watch trailers on its platform, since its revenue also rests on a massive advertising network in addition to subscription money. The Disney/Star India–owned streaming service, which runs on a freemium model, also claims that it’s the biggest in the country with over 300 million monthly active users.
City of Dreams has been written by Kukunoor and Rohit Banawlikar (Rann), produced by Kukunoor Movies and co-created by Applause Entertainment, which was also behind the Criminal Justice remake. Applause Entertainment is backed by the Aditya Birla Group.
“I’ve always enjoyed attempting genres I haven’t done before and City of Dreams is one such subject,” Kukunoor said in a prepared statement. “It deals with dynasty politics and the ramifications it has on the entire city. It was terrific working with Applause Entertainment on this project which deals with intertwining stories that affect all strata. With politics being a vital part of the country, I sure hope that the show finds a large audience.”
“City of Dreams has been a very inspiring and rousing journey for me,” Bapat said. “I play the role of a humble and docile housewife who rises to power to defend her father’s legacy and to prove herself in the patriarchal setup. I’m glad Applause Entertainment is bringing a strong story forward and Hotstar Specials is a perfect label to present such stories. Working with Nagesh Sir has been a wonderful experience, his understanding of the craft truly helps to essay the role better.”