Dibakar Banerjee’s Netflix movie — Freedom — has finalised its cast. It will star Naseeruddin Shah (A Wednesday!), Manisha Koirala (Dil Se..), Huma Qureshi (Leila), Kalki Koechlin (Margarita with a Straw), Divya Dutta (706), Zoya Hussain (Mukkabaaz), Shashank Arora (Titli), and Neeraj Kabi (Talvar). Directed and produced by Banerjee, Freedom begins 25 years into the future and “traces the history of a family in three stories that are intricately interwoven with the personal, ideological and sexual history of India and how desire plays a common role in each.”
“Freedom is the story of us regular middle-class folks. With family ties, parents, grandparents, children, loves, lies, and secrets lost and suppressed over generations,” Banerjee said in a prepared statement. “It’s about food, ambition, sex, and betrayal. It’s about what we hide and what we wear on our sleeves, and about a past and a future that we call India. As a filmmaker, I want to move away from cinematic stereotypes, and working on Lust Stories and Ghost Stories with Netflix gave me renewed hope about creative expression in India. Freedom is the next step forward.”
Banerjee is best known for the 2008 comedy-drama Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, and the 2015 mystery action-thriller Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!. His most recent directorial venture was a short film as part of Netflix’s anthology, Ghost Stories, which was received as the best of the lot.
Shah is a multi-National Award winner, active in Bollywood since the ‘70s. He was last seen in Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi. Born in Nepal, Koirala was absent for much of the 2010s after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her most recent role was in the Hindi remake of Prasthanam. Qureshi made her debut with Gangs of Wasseypur and will be next seen in Zack Snyder’s Netflix film, Army of the Dead. Recipient of the National Award, Koechlin’s next role is in the lead of the indie movie, Emma and Angel.
Dutta has starred in films such as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Veer-Zaara, and Special 26. She was last seen in Jhalki. A relative newcomer, Hussain’s most recent role was in Laal Kaptaan. Arora was last seen in Moothon and will next reprise his role in Amazon Prime Video’s Made in Heaven season 2. Kabi has previously worked with Banerjee on Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!. His most recent appearance was in the Zee5 film Line of Descent.
Freedom will release in 2020 on Netflix.