Vikramaditya Motwane’s upcoming web series Jubilee just got a trailer. Ahead of its debut on April 7, Amazon Prime Video has dropped a trailer for the show, a love letter to the Golden Age of Bollywood, chronicling the lives of a rising star, studio heads, a nautch girl, and more, as they chase dreams and struggles to make it in the film business. Although the premise sounds a bit like Damien Chazelle’s BabylonThe tone of the Jubilee trailer is nowhere as boisterous or loud — or drug-fuelled, for that matter. Motwane — best known for Netflix’s Sacred Games — directs the 10-episode series, from a script written by Atul Sabharwal (Aurangzeb). Jubilee’s episodes 1–5 will be out on April 7, while the remaining 6–10 release the following week on April 14.
Set in a newly independent India, the Jubilee trailer opens with a voiceover from an unseen woman: “What’s great about some people? When they are not given their piece of land, they conquer it. Cut to Bombay in 1947, we’re introduced to an up-and-coming actor named Madan Kumar, who is desperately demanded by house production Roy Talkies’ head Srikant Roy (Prosenjit Chatterjee), for a role in one of his films. Enter Binod Das (Aparshakti Khurana), who is depicted as Roy’s “loyal soldier,” who is sent on a mission to escort Madan Kumar from Lucknow to Bombay. However, things go awry on the journey back, when their car ends up crashing and catches fire, leaving Kumar stuck inside the car. Binod, who has always wanted to be a star decides to grab that opportunity, leaving Kumar for dead and returning empty-handed.
While not explicitly mentioned in the Jubilee trailer, it is implied that the incident was covered up and Binod took on the identity of Madan Kumar. (Not sure what they did about his facial appearance?) He is seen gradually rising the ranks — attending lavish parties, signing autographs, and enjoying the sights of the audience repeating his dialogues. Of course, whenever things get out of line, the studio executives are present to remind the star of his true self. “I’ve mortgaged the studio to finance this film, and to make you ‘Madan Kumar,’ Binod,” says Roy, as we’re shown visuals of our fake star meeting up with two other key characters of Jubilee.
Up first is Jay Khanna (Sidhant Gupta), an aspiring newbie director who intends to make a film with Madan Kumar. “If you’re this fond of wasting money, go gamble at a casino,” a stone-faced Madan/ Binod warns him, though it doesn’t even faze the ambitious filmmaker. Then there’s Nilofer (Wamiqa Gabbi), a singer-dancer, who makes her living by performing before live audiences, holding onto the belief that one must surrender their body or their soul to make it in the industry. We also meet another star Sumitra Kumari (Aditi Rao Hydari), who is on a mission to expose the fake Madan Kumar and her husband Roy’s involvement in the cover-up — she was romantically involved with the real one and seeks justice.
“Jubilee for me as an actor was a complete no-brainer. When I heard the story, and especially Binod’s journey, I knew I had to do this. It is one of the most challenging characters I have played to date, but also the most rewarding,” lead Khurana said in a prepared statement. “Vikramaditya Motwane is a maverick, he has been able to bring out the best in not just me, but the entire cast and crew.” Jubilee also stars Nandish Sandhu (Super 30) and Ram Kapoor (Thappad), and features a vintage soundtrack composed by Amit Trivedi.
The first five episodes of Jubilee stream April 7 on Amazon Prime Video.