Jim Sarbh Joins Nikhil Advani’s “Freedom At Midnight” on Sony LIV

The acclaimed actor Jim Sarbh is set to add another feather to his cap by joining the ensemble cast of Nikhil Advani’s highly anticipated web series, “Freedom At Midnight.” The series, which commenced shooting in February, is based on the seminal book by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins. It delves into the intricacies of India’s struggle for independence and the tumultuous period leading up to the partition. With a cast that includes both Indian and British actors such as Arif Zakaria, Sidhant Gupta, Chirag Vohra, and Rajendra Chawla, Sarbh’s inclusion adds a significant gravitas to the project.

Historical Context and Source Material

“Freedom At Midnight” is an adaptation of the book by the same name, penned by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins. The book is a detailed chronicle of India’s journey to independence, focusing on the political maneuvers, the personal sagas of the leaders involved, and the immense human cost of the partition. It provides a comprehensive view of the events from both Indian and British perspectives, making it an invaluable resource for understanding the complexities of this pivotal period in history.

The late 1940s were a time of great upheaval and transformation for the Indian subcontinent. The British Raj, which had ruled India for nearly two centuries, was coming to an end. The process of decolonization, however, was marred by religious strife, mass migrations, and unprecedented violence. This era witnessed the rise of significant leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Mohammad Ali Jinnah, whose visions for the future of India clashed and ultimately led to the partition of the country into India and Pakistan.

The Production Journey

Nikhil Advani, known for his meticulous approach to filmmaking, embarked on this ambitious project with the aim of capturing the essence of this historical period. The production team has been working tirelessly to recreate the late 1940s, paying close attention to detail in terms of sets, costumes, and makeup. According to sources, the makeup of historical figures like Mahatma Gandhi is particularly challenging, requiring extensive research and precision to ensure authenticity.

The shoot, currently ongoing, is a massive undertaking, involving a significant number of cast and crew members. The historical drama requires elaborate sets that replicate the period’s aesthetic and thematic elements. This includes the architecture, vehicles, and even the socio-political environment of the time. Every aspect, from the bustling streets of 1940s India to the grandeur of the British administrative buildings, is being recreated with painstaking accuracy.

Jim Sarbh’s Role and Contribution

Jim Sarbh, known for his nuanced performances in films like “Padmavat” and series such as “Rocket Boys,” has joined the cast in a cameo role. While his appearance in the series is brief, it is described as impactful. Sarbh is set to portray a significant historical figure, though specifics about his character remain under wraps. Given his previous work in historical dramas, his role in “Freedom At Midnight” is highly anticipated.

Sarbh’s excitement about the project is palpable. Having previously collaborated with Nikhil Advani on the critically acclaimed series “Rocket Boys,” there is a strong sense of camaraderie and mutual respect between the actor and the director. This familiarity is expected to translate into a powerful performance, even within the limited screen time Sarbh’s character will have.

The Ensemble Cast

The series boasts an impressive ensemble cast, blending seasoned actors with fresh faces. Arif Zakaria, known for his versatility, brings depth to the cast, while Sidhant Gupta, Chirag Vohra, and Rajendra Chawla add their unique flair to the project. This mix of talent ensures a dynamic and engaging portrayal of the multifaceted narratives surrounding India’s independence.

Each actor is meticulously cast to bring authenticity and gravitas to their roles. Their performances are expected to capture the emotional and political turmoil of the era, providing viewers with a visceral experience of India’s struggle for freedom. The interplay between Indian and British actors also highlights the colonial dynamics and the complex relationships between the two nations during the twilight of the British Empire in India.

Thematic Elements and Storyline

“Freedom At Midnight” is not just a historical recount; it is a deeply human story. It explores themes of freedom, sacrifice, leadership, and the high stakes of political decisions. The series is expected to provide a balanced view, highlighting both the triumphs and tragedies that marked this period.

The narrative will likely weave through the lives of key figures, showcasing their personal and political journeys. From the corridors of power where decisions were made to the streets where common people bore the brunt of those decisions, “Freedom At Midnight” aims to present a comprehensive picture of the era. The series promises to delve into the moral dilemmas, the courage, and the resilience of those who lived through these historic times.

Aesthetic and Authenticity

The aesthetic of “Freedom At Midnight” is crucial to its storytelling. The production team’s dedication to authenticity extends to every facet of the series. The costumes are designed to reflect the fashion of the 1940s, incorporating traditional Indian attire and British colonial uniforms. The sets are meticulously constructed to recreate the period’s environment, from the Viceroy’s House to the humble abodes of ordinary citizens.

Makeup and prosthetics play a significant role in transforming actors into their historical counterparts. This includes the recreation of iconic figures like Mahatma Gandhi, whose appearance is etched into the collective memory. The challenge lies in achieving a balance between visual accuracy and the actor’s ability to convey the character’s essence.

Anticipation and Reception

As the series continues to shoot, the anticipation builds. Fans of historical dramas and readers of the book alike are eager to see how “Freedom At Midnight” will be brought to life on screen. The series promises to be a thought-provoking and emotionally charged depiction of one of the most significant periods in Indian history.

The collaboration between Nikhil Advani and Jim Sarbh, along with the stellar cast, sets high expectations for the series. The previous success of their work together on “Rocket Boys” adds to the excitement. The combination of a compelling narrative, meticulous production design, and powerful performances is expected to make “Freedom At Midnight” a standout series on Sony LIV.


“Freedom At Midnight” is shaping up to be a landmark series, blending historical accuracy with dramatic storytelling. Jim Sarbh’s involvement, even in a cameo role, adds a layer of prestige and intrigue to the project. As the series progresses towards its release, it promises to offer a captivating and insightful look into India’s journey to independence. The dedication of Nikhil Advani and his team to authentically portraying this pivotal period in history is commendable, and the series is poised to make a significant impact when it premieres next year.

Gaurav Manral

I am from nainital, Uttrakhand, India and like to write different type of entertainment news like bollywood, Hollywood, South Indian movies, Life Style etc.