‘Showtime’ (2024) Cast And Character Guide

Showtime, the new Disney+ Hotstar original, is all about the Hindi film industry. Apart from the glam and the glitz, there is a lot of hard work and stress that goes into mounting, producing, and releasing a film. Showtime by Sumit Roy plans to cover that and bring forward the story of the countless tasks a producer and a studio must engage in. Showtime is about show business, as understood from the title, and it has several characters that make the series interesting. These characters bring to life the roles that many may or may not encounter in real life. They are the backbone of any show or movie, and they never get enough credit for the hard work they put in. 


Raghu Khanna

Raghu Khanna, portrayed by Emraan Hashmi, is the current showrunner of Victory Studios, who took over the reins from his father when plenty of their films were flopping. Everyone assumed Raghu to be the heir apparent, who was on the way to salvage the production studio he received as inheritance. Raghu Khanna has the reputation of not just delivering hits but understanding the pulse of the audience, and at the same time, he can keep all the actors and their egos in check. 

Raghu’s age is in his favor, and he believes in moving ahead with the times, which sometimes messes with the choices of projects he plans to fund. Since his father had witnessed plenty of flops by the end of his career, Raghu plans to make more money for the studio through films that would attract the audience back into the theater. Raghu’s movies may be controversial, but they work in favor of Victory Studios. Victor Khanna,the legendary producer and Raghu’s father, may have different opinions on the types of films that need to come out of the studio. This results in a clash of mindsets between father and son, and they are unable to keep professional work away from their personal lives. 


Raghu is the neglected child of a megalomaniacal father who still believes he has it in him to choose better films than his son. Nobody is right or wrong here; just the perspectives have changed over the years. Raghu is in a relationship with an up-and-coming actress, Yasmin Ali, whom he has promised will cast her as the lead in a female-led movie. Only time will tell if Raghu is honest about his plan to make a movie with Yasmin or if he’s planning to replace her soon. His biggest obstacle turns out to be his father’s granddaughter, from a family he had abandoned many years ago. 

Victor finds his successor in his granddaughter, Mahika Nandi, in the hope Raghu could be sidelined. Raghu was livid at his father’s decision but chose to chart a path for himself and meet Mahika in the cinema instead of going for a lengthy legal battle. Raghu is confident; his name is enough for people to choose him over Mahika. As the show progresses, Raghu’s skillset as an independent producer will be on display, and he will be given a chance to prove his mettle. 


Mahika Nandi

Mahima Makwana, as Makhika Nandi, is the lead protagonist of Showtime. The character Mahika Nandi moves to Mumbai in the hope of becoming a reputed journalist. The young woman is close to her mother, who lived in another city. Mahika wants to be an independent woman who does not need any help to move ahead in life and finds herself in a spot within a few days of her work. 

As a journalist, Mahika plans to be honest through her words and is given the assignment to review Raghu Khanna’s movie positively. There is a bribe that is offered to her to make sure the deal is secure between the channel she works for and the producer himself. The young woman with a lot of integrity takes offense at the way her job was taken for granted and gives a bad review of his film. Her words not only gain traction but also the attention of Victor Khanna. The legendary producer and Mahika converse over her idea of what the movies should be about. 


Mahika is mesmerized by the attention given by Victor. She was in a relationship with Prithvi, a writer with Victor Studio. Prithvi tries to tread between being a supportive boyfriend and a loyal employee. To Mahika’s shock, Victor passes away and leaves his studio to her in his last will, which complicates the matter. Mahika is in a haze after the whirlwind of information that changed her life. Her mother was Victor’s daughter, whom he abandoned to seek glory in Mumbai. As an outsider who has no clue how the showbiz world operates, she has a tough time fitting in until Rustom and Prithvi decide to help her find her foothold and move ahead. Slowly, she began to make an impact, especially on actresses. Mahika may not be as experienced as Raghu, but she begins to learn on the job and plans to be unstoppable and maybe better than Raghu.


Rajeev Khandelwal, the popular television actor, has forayed into OTT shows and movies, and in Showtime, he is the quintessential Hindi film megastar and actor who has millions of fan followers and maintains a well-thought-out image of himself in public. Arman is a narcissist who only concerns himself with the kind of impact his character might have on himself, his fans, and the public. He creates a nuisance on set and interferes with the making of the film to showcase his importance. Raghu is the only producer who can keep him in check, and Armaan is not a fan of him. Armaan watches the drama unfold as the Victory Studios is handed over to Mahika, while Raghu Khanna has to choose a path for himself. 


As a high-value actor who could star in a film that would make or break Mahika and Raghu at the same time, Armaan has a lot of power and decides to toy with and wait for the two, who are desperate to get him on board for a period film announced before Raghu Khanna’s exit. Armaan chooses to keep Raghu at bay and decides to work with Mahika, as he notices the young woman has plans and understands his value as an actor, unlike Raghu. 

Armaan plays the monkey in the story of two cats fighting over a cake. He is also an egotistical man who sees competition in his wife, Mandira, a successful actress, when she is offered to work in a film produced by Raghu Khanna. Armaan is a shrewd actor and a classic manipulator who understands the heartbeat of the producers as well. 


Yasmin Ali

Mouni Roy, who had a sensational role in Brahmastra, is back in Dharmatic’s Showtime as Yasmin Ali. She is an up-and-coming actress who is Raghu Khanna’s girlfriend as well. Apart from being his romantic partner, she intends to be a serious actress who wants to do quality films. She and Raghu have been together for a while, and he promised her a female-centric action film, and she was confident about pulling off the role with finesse. 

Yasmin chooses to be by his side at the time of his crisis, which involves Raghu walking away from Victory Studios, and yet he finds time to admonish her and find a reason why Mandira replaced her in his action film. From his words, it is assumed that Yasmin Ali’s story is a rags-to-riches tale, but she is constantly reminded of her poor background. She feels betrayed and chooses to keep working, and is unable to make sense of what is right or wrong. 



Prithvi is a writer and associate director with Victory Studios who chooses to stay back and not walk away with Raghu Khanna. This is a tough call for him, but unlike Raghu, Prithvi chooses to stay with his girlfriend and wants to support her as Mahika embarks on a new role as the producer and owner of Victory Studio. Prithivi has plans to direct a movie, and Mahika supports his endeavors and encourages him to write a story that is close to his heart. Prithvi is also a typical male who cannot see signs of abuse; his sister Surabhi is put through it and acts defensively when Mahika questions his role as a brother in the family. Prithvi is soon willing to look at problems, then recognize and acknowledge them instead of brushing them under the carpet. Prithvi is a go-getter and wants to stay that way, and Mahika loves him for being a man who is willing to help find solutions instead of sulking around. 

Victor Khanna

The doyen of Indian cinema Naseeruddin Shah has a cameo as a yesteryear legendary Hindi film producer, Victor Khanna, who started Victory Studios to turn his passion for filmmaking into a reality. Khanna is known to have produced many legendary films, and he basks in their glory. Just like any producer and studio owner, he went through bad times, and Raghu had to take over to make sure the studio never closed. Just like the self-centered actors, Victor Khanna is also known to be full of himself and is surrounded by people who agree with him all the time. 


Victor is always at loggerheads with Raghu as their ideas on how to run the studio clash. The father and son also have different opinions on the kinds of films the studio should mount and produce, and there seems to be no end to their opposite views on everything regarding professional and private matters. Victor has been an absent father, and that resentment is seen in Raghu while the patriarch chooses to ignore it and torpedo his son. Victor meets with Mahika Nandi and has a plan of action set to safeguard his legacy. 

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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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