Preetisheel Singh D’souza, India’s most sought-after character designer, is garnering widespread acclaim for her prosthetic and special effects makeup in the new Amazon Prime Video web-series ‘The Village’.
The series marks leading Tamil actor Arya’s streaming debut. Directed by Milind Rau, it follows Arya’s character Gautham, a doctor who takes a fateful detour through the rural village of Kattiyal while on a road trip with his wife Neha (Divya Pillai), their daughter Maya (Aazhiya) and their dog Hectic.
Once in the village, the family encounters a series of gruesome disappearances and spine-chilling horrors, including detached heads, oozing guts and lurking monsters. With its abundance of gore and scares, ‘The Village’ plunges viewers into a nightmarish world that promises to haunt their dreams.
Preetisheel has created unique and intricate prosthetics to bring into being the eerie inhabitants of the village. In addition to grotesque looking props, bodies and appliances, she has also curated life-like body-suits for some of the characters, something that has never been done at this scale in India before.
As noted by the leading website Scroll in their review, “Preetisheel Singh D’souza’s make-up is a major contributor to the overall vibe of creepiness.” The Film Companion has also praised the show’s writing, production design and visual effects. “It also helps that the show is based on a graphic novel (of the same name), written by Shamik Dasgupta, because the worldbuilding in ‘The Village’ is exquisite,” says the review on the site.
It adds, “We don’t just see a mutant monster lunge to kill a person, but also see them pick apart the corpse to feed his brothers. Preetisheel Singh D’souza’s makeup artistry and Rembon Balraj’s production design are phenomenal in a show that deals so often with bloody mutated creatures and abandoned villages with Demogorgon-like trees, a premise that could’ve easily become tacky. But the technical team ensures we glue our eyes on the screen with every slime and splatter of blood.”
Another publication, Pinkvilla, too is all praise for the character designs saying, “The action sequences and the gore the series has had were a fun sight to watch in certain portions and offered engaging and thrilling gasps while viewing. The horror element of the story was heavily attributed to the stunning jump scares it gave from time to time, with the responsibility highly riding on the scores and sound design of the series. The efforts made by the make-up department have to be appreciated as well.”
Behind the scenes, Preetisheel has been transforming actors for around a decade. Together with her partner Mark D’souza, she runs the renowned state-of-the-art studio ‘Da Makeup Lab’ in Versova, Mumbai. The premier studio has become the go-to destination for filmmakers seeking the best in makeup and prosthetic services, and has earned industry-wide respect as a pioneer in prosthetic design and special effects makeup.
The two-time National Award-winning character designer has spearheaded the makeup and prosthetics for superhits like Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Housefull 4, Pushpa: The Rise, Gangubai Kathiawadi and Jawan.
With ‘The Village’, Preetisheel has once again showcased her exceptional talents to transport the audience into a terrifying world straight out of a nightmare. Her unprecedented character designs continue to elevate the artistry in Indian filmmaking.