As a child, Avinash Arun used to wonder about the life of kids in a boarding school, especially because he never studied in one. Years later, he got an opportunity to revisit his curiosity during a film’s shoot, which in turn gave birth to his upcoming series, School of Lies. “When I went to shoot a film in the Himalayas, I experienced the vibe of a boarding school from an outsider’s perspective and found it cinematically exciting,” says the director.
One of the questions that struck Arun was how many children attended such institutes of their own free will. It forms the bedrock of the Disney+ Hotstar thriller — starring Nimrat Kaur, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan and Aamir Bashir — that studies how such institutions demand discipline, and its consequences on children. “One has to leave his home and family to step into another world, and is told to adjust to the environment. You have to learn, study, and discipline yourself. I wanted to see how it affects a child’s psyche. You can call a boarding school a way of education, or what I used to call as a child — ‘a jail’. You can call it freedom or confinement, depending on your perception,” states Arun, who is known for helming Killa (2015) and Paatal Lok (2020).
With School of Lies, the director doesn’t intend to generalise the experience of boarding schools. Instead, the thriller follows a group of kids whose lives are upended when their classmate goes missing. “It’s a unique story about three-four kids who come [into a world] that will make or break them.”
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Originally published at www.mid-day.com