In 2009, Paresh Mokashi’s Marathi film, Harishchandrachi Factory, that depicted the struggle of Late Dadasaheb Phalke in making Raja Harishchandra (India’s first full-length feature film) in 1913, received tremendous acclaim, and even bagged the National Award for Best Feature Film In Marathi. Now, after six years, the director is set to make his Hindi debut with a film, tentatively titled Bhaykatha Heer Ranjha Ki.
The movie is a satirical take on how politics affect the lives of common people living near international borders. “The film is not an adaptation of Heer-Ranjha’s love story. There is an element of romance, but the film is essentially about people who unknowingly trespass on enemy land, and are put in prison. They are treated like terrorists or spies for no fault of theirs,” says Paresh.The director, Paresh, who is currently shooting at the Wagah border, says this is the first time he has visited the border. He says, "I find all borders funny because, in the bigger scheme of things, it really does not matter who is on the other side of the line... nature strikes all equally."
Paresh Mokashi's debut Hindi film is tentatively titled Bhaykatha Heer Ranjha Ki. (Photo: HT Photos)
While both his films revolve around different subjects, Paresh draws parallels between the two movies saying that just like Harishchandrachi Factory, while he is talking about a grave issue in his Hindi debut, he has treated it in a lighter vein. "The film uses a sarcastic tone when it comes to politics and has a fun take on romance too," he says, adding, "The present atmosphere is more accepting. Producers are ready to support such projects because even the audience is receptive ofsuch portrayals of the Indo-Pak relations."
Sangeeta Ahir, of Mangal Murti films, who is producing the project, feels that even though the film doesn’t have a big star cast, Paresh’s passion will result in a great film. She adds, "The film-making process in our country needs an overhaul. If only producers invested time in finding out good scripts rather than unnecessarily increasing the budget to accommodate bigger stars or exotic locations."