“The Railway Men,” the first production from YRF Entertainment, the streaming production arm of India’s Yash Raj Films, was a carefully considered choice from studio head Aditya Chopra, director Shiv Rawail has revealed.
The four-part series is a tribute to the unsung heroes of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy and marks the first venture in a multi-year creative partnership between Netflix and Yash Raj Films.
In 1984, a cloud of toxic gas escaped from an American pesticide plant in the central Indian city of Bhopal. It killed and injured thousands of people. The protagonists of “The Railway Men” are workers at the Bhopal railway station who saved thousands of lives.
The cast is led by R. Madhavan (“Rocketry”), Kay Kay Menon (“Bambai Meri Jaan”), Divyenndu Sharma (“Mirzapur”), emerging talent Babil Khan (“Friday Night Plan”) and Sunny Hinduja (“The Family Man”). The series marks the directorial debut of Rawail, who has had previous stints as assistant director on Yash Raj Films productions “Dhoom 3,” starring Aamir Khan, and “Fan,” starring Shah Rukh Khan. Rawail was first AD on “Befikre,” starring Ranveer Singh, which was directed by Chopra.
Rawail said, “The one thing that I know about my mentor, Aditya Chopra, is that he would never make anything that he doesn’t feel is not compelling enough for audiences to watch. I think this is why YRF has managed to influence pop culture and shape the content choices of people for so many generations.”
“Aditya Chopra handpicked ‘The Railway Men’ to be the first series that YRF makes for streaming. We worked on the script and the pre-production process for over two years before Adi decided to even green light the series. He was that particular. His reason was simple – Adi wanted the same values of YRF to reflect in the ethos of YRF Entertainment – its OTT [streaming production] arm and the projects that it produces,” Rawail added.
“Adi wanted to recreate the Bhopal of 1984, scaling up the feel and aesthetic of the times. He was willing to wait and better ‘The Railway Men’ constantly till he was confident that we were putting our best foot forward in attempting to deliver clutter-breaking entertainment to audiences,” Rawail said.
“The Railway Men” streams on Netflix from Nov. 18.