Manoj Bajpayee, who has amused the audience with his engrossing performance, is back with another psychological thriller. The actor’s forthcoming film, Gali Guleiyan (In the Shadows), which has already earned accolades and awards before the release, would add another feather to his cap.

After essaying complicated characters on screen and thoroughly proving his craft, Bajpayee has now picked a rather unique story. Directed by Dipesh Jain, Gali Guliyaan – a psychological thriller – delves into the unexplored sides of claustrophobia.

In an interview to Thestatesman.com, the actor bared it all and revealed how playing Khuddoos, the protagonist of Gali Guleiyan, took a toll on him.

“I was on the verge of a breakdown. The makers kind of rescheduled everything and tried to finish it three days before the actual date of wrap up,” the actor said.

When asked about what hooked him to the story and accept the role, Bajpayee said, “The script itself; it’s the kind of cinema experience the audience hasn’t received from films yet. It’s something no other filmmaker has attempted in the country. The testimony of that is that the film has been featured in numerous film festivals and won awards, too. So, nine months after completing the film, we decided it’s high time we showed it to the audience.”

Bajpayee has bagged the award for Best Actor at the Indian Film Festival in Melbourne, 2018, for Gali Guleiyan.

Talking about his role, the actor explained that Khuddoos is a character “we tend to fear”.

“Nobody in this world would like to be in the mental state of Khuddoos. He is the kind of guy we always ignore and just pass by. Khuddoos is the character we find on the pavement but tend to ignore. The fear comes to our mind that he might pounce on you. We see these characters on the roads or in some lane, we are suspicious of them, or you declare them as mad guys – Khuddoos is all of these characters,” Bajpayee said.

Gali Guleiyan is the story of a man who is stuck in a self-imposed mental prison and is completely detached from reality.

Khuddoos, the character that Bajpayee portrays, is obsessed with spying on the passersby outside his house. He sets up spycams around his house and starves himself while keeping track of the people he is spying on. His life becomes even more difficult when he discovers that a young boy is being abused by his alcoholic father on a regular basis.

Khuddoos’ struggle to find the boy and rescue him from the clutches of his father becomes his own escape plan.