Taj Mahal 1989 | Netflix
Pushpendra Nath Misra
Director of Photography
Pushpendra Nath Misra, Vikas Gami
Post Production House
Hair and Makeup
Vidya Shankar Singh
Divyaa N Iyer
Tushar Tupe, Jitesh Upade
Graphics and Animation
Netflix’s Taj Mahal 1989 is our maiden web series set in the Lucknow of the 80’s where couples of varying ages explore the politics of love through marriage, budding romance and friendships.
In 1989, love needed intensity and the relationship needed efforts to sustain itself.
Back then, love was a waiting game in which one had to rely on letters, stand in the heat without relief and wait endlessly for your partner to arrive. As a result, time moved slowly and people loved intensely. The simplicity of 1989’s time is connected to the purity of love in the series.
In the times of today and now in this digital age the expression of emotions has changed and is mainly through digitised emojis. The love is quicker and more casual because its disposable. The conversations through years have stayed the same but people are now further apart. Amidst this, they ache for old school romance and the love of 80’s. The old has become the new, as the cycle repeats itself inevitably.
We picked on the strands of 80’s and created Taj Mahal 1989 as an authentic re-creation of the world and films of that age. The pacing, filming techniques and music have been designed to reflect the taste of 1989. We stayed true to the elements’ source and maintained their originality by staying away from adulteration or remixes used to create the ‘retro-modern’.
The writer – director, Pushpendra Nath Misra, borrowed from his childhood in Lucknow and his observed life to create the fictitious world of Taj Mahal 1989. The memories of the city and the time have stayed with him since then and prompted him to revisit it and portray the nostalgic past through his eyes. The cultural settings of the city and the time were used as the foundation upon which the world of possibilities was imagined where a communist girl wins an election and another has a bold relationship.
The show serves as a time capsule of 1989. The production designer, Sonali Bhatia, travelled down the memory lane to pick out vivid temporal souvenirs from her time in Lucknow to create the nostalgic atmosphere of touch, feel, sound and visuals in the show. She reminiscences about her life in Lucknow including its power cuts, the telephones back then, the magazine covers or the stabilisers on the television. She pokes into the specificities of the corners and crevices of yesteryear’s Lucknow and its people to design the details which make 1989 seem real.
Taj Mahal 1989 is a series about love and the characters’ attempt to build a Taj Mahal, a monument of love, for their beloved. It is a love letter to the Lucknow of 80s and an encapsulation of its timeless charm.