‘Murder In Mahim’ Web-Series Cast And Character Guide

Jerry Pinto’s book Murder in Mahim finally gets an OTT adaptation, and it covers the very simple subject of homophobia. It explores the matter which is present in various shapes or forms, the distaste for queer men and women is rampant in society, so much so that parents also have a hard time accepting their children. Murder in Mahim gives it a spin by adding a murder to the scenario to bring forward several characters that might or might not have something to do with the crime. It also introduces the audience to a world that many may not have seen, especially post-2009 when the Delhi High Court decriminalized same-sex relations. 

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Peter Fernandes

Ashutosh Rana as Peter Fernandes, is a retired journalist who may have dealt with countless stories and cases regarding the rich and powerful and exposed them through the television channel he worked for. When it comes to understanding his son Sunil, Peter has a hard time and begins to spin the narrative in his head along with his wife Millie, who cannot fathom the fact their only child could be gay. 

Murder in Mahim is set in the year 2013, and Peter’s journey goes from not accepting his son’s sexual identity to finding a way to understand the kind of lives of people from lower strata who come out as gay face and have to deal with the worst kind of ostracization. As a journalist, he puts his skills to use to find out more about the murder of a gay sex worker and is keen to know if his son is in any way involved. His research is a revelation for him, as it opens up his eyes to becoming empathetic and sympathetic to queer men and women who just want to live a normal life like others and be accepted by society. Peter evolves as the stories he comes across help him find a perspective.

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Shivajirao Jende

Vijay Raaz, as Shivajirao Jende, aka Shiva, is the investigative officer on the murder of the gay sex worker. This case brings back memories of his younger days but, unlike him in his prime, Shiva has become short-tempered and has a very complex relationship with his father, who was removed from his job for taking bribes. Shiva and Peter were best friends at one point, but they had a falling out over the latter’s role in his father losing the job. Shiva’s relationship with his son is getting worse and as a father he begins to give importance to pride and dignity which begins to affect his decision-making skills. Slowly, he begins to unlearn many aspects of his life as the investigation into the murder opens his eyes as well. He is willing to look beyond what is told to him instead of being in denial. 


Firdaus Rabbani

Shivani Raghuvanshi as Firdaus, the investigation officer in Shiva’s team, is also a closeted lesbian who has a tough time working in an environment where her colleagues use derogatory words for gay men and women. Just like any woman of a certain age who is doing well in her career, Firdaus is being pressured to get married and settle down, but she is in love with her best friend, Rehana. Both plan to move abroad to be able to live without being called criminals, and that dream is tempting. Firdaus, in the process of the investigation, also learns about gay men and how they meet other people of the same sex for a few minutes of gratification. Firdaus’ key concern is her worry that people, including her family, will never accept her. 

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Sunil Fernandes

Rohan Verma as Sunil Fernandes, is the only son of Peter and Milie Fernandes, whose presence in an LGBTQI+ parade shocked his parents. Sunil is a young, college-going man who has involved himself in many upliftment projects with gay sex workers in the hope of understanding their lives. Sunil is not seen in the show for the most part, but when he arrives, the tension between him and his parents is palpable. His parents stay aloof, and Sunil remains confused about why they are not behaving normally as they did before he left for his college field trip. Sunil is a sensitive boy who wants to be honest with his parents and hopes they will be able to understand him and his life choices in the future. 


Leslie

Rajesh Khattar, as Leslie in Murder in Mahim, is the distant relative of Peter’s wife Millie. He came out as gay many years ago, and ever since, Millie’s family, including herself, ostracized him for living life on his terms. Years later, Leslie is now a famous screenwriter, and he could not be bothered by what people think of him. Leslie is of good help and offers much advice to Peter who approaches him to understand more about being gay and his fear that Sunil might be. Leslie is the source of comfort Peter found. Leslie is a sensitive man himself who is happy to see the beginnings of some form of acceptance taking root, which was nonexistent in his younger days, but still, there is a lot of ground to cover.

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Miscellaneous Characters

Unit: Ashutosh Gaikwad, as Unit, is a disturbed young man, as the world has been cruel to him for coming out as an openly gay man. He comes from a lower stratum and wants to live a life of dignity with the person he loves instead of being ridiculed and forced to do odd jobs, while his boyfriend is resorting prostitution. Unit is working hard to make sure he can move to Dubai and lead a comfortable life. Unit is also in touch with Sunil, who helps troubled men like him get around knowing their mental state. Unit refused to share any information after his boyfriend’s murder, and he had to be acquitted as the police had no evidence to prove his role in the crime. 

Himali Desai: Sonia Balani, also known as Himali Desai, is the wife of the deceased Sooraj Desai, who committed suicide. Peter is the one who got in touch with her in the hope of finding out how close her husband was to Proxy and Danish. Himali is a representation of a society that forces women to get married and prioritizes them having a family over chasing their dreams. She became acquainted with money only after getting married to Sooraj, and this led to her getting used to the lavishness despite having an unstable marriage with him. Himali has a lot to say to people about her past and her choices, and soon she finds herself at the center of attention after Peter baits her with an interview opportunity, which is merely his tactic to find answers about Sooraj. Himali is sadly gullible after Sooraj’s untimely death and hopes someone will see her talent and approach her for some modeling or acting work, treating this interview as a potential stepping stone. 

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Dhular Jende: Shivaji Satam, as Dhular Jende, Shiva’s father, is a typical father figure who, for most of his working life, was an emotionally distant parent, which affected Shiva deeply. Dhular, as a father, lost his job after being accused of taking bribes, and his life has not been normal ever since. Dhular eventually becomes a night watchman in the society he lives in, where he lives with Shiva. Dhular, on the other hand, takes up the job nevertheless, as he feels nobody questions his dignity, which was his issue while working as a police officer. Dhular finds his peace in this job despite protests from Shiva, who comes around to accepting his father’s choice to take up a job that serves his ego. 

Pravin Durra and Vinay Pagmat: Bharat Ganeshpure as Durra and Sanjeev Satya Vijay as Pagmat are the duo who fall in trouble after finding out the identity of the gay sex worker whose body is discovered in the toilet of Mahim Railway station. Their role and connection to two people killed are established, and they feel hunted down. Durra is especially afraid as he has a family, while Pagmat, being a single man, has nothing to lose. Both are embodiments of the corrupt system that exploits and exhorts people for their own gain; their acts of crime finally catch up to them as they become the center of attention during the process of investigation.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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