1984: A tragic story
The cast and crew of much-hyped Punjabi film ‘Punjab 1984’ were in Chandigarh on Thursday to promote the movie. While director Anurag Singh spoke of the film and his choice of a tough subject, actors Diljit (left) Dosanjh and Sonam Bajwa (right) shared their experiences of working in a period film. Gunbir Singh Sidhu of White Hill Productions and Basic Brothers Productions spoke about his expectations from the film.
The movie, to be released on Friday (June 27), chronicles the lives of common people of Punjab after the tragic and turbulent events of 1984. The protagonist, Satwant Kaur, played by veteran actor and Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, is a woman whose son disappears suddenly. Satwant spends her days travelling from town to town, looking for her son.
“This is the story of a mother’s search for her son. It is heart-wrenching and full of pathos. It is a story that will touch everyone. It will reach the viewers’ hearts,” says Anurag Singh. He claims that the subject has been close to his heart for many years now, adding that this has been his dream project.
He says, “A tragedy such as the one depicted in the film is not something to forget, it is something that affects generations. Our film has nothing to do with politics; it is simply a story of humanity. We have built a balanced story. People doubted us, criticised us and discouraged us, saying that the film will not do well, but honestly, I have not made this film for money or profit, I have made it because I wanted to.”
Sonam Bajwa, just one Punjabi-film-old, says that she was not at all scared to work on a difficult subject. She adds that she wanted to work in a good film with a strong and forceful script. “The casting director saw my first film (‘Best of Luck’) and got in touch with me. I liked the script and accepted the role. Anurag is an amazing director. I feel honoured to be part of this film. Working with people like Kirron Kher, Pawan Malhotra and Diljit Dosanjh is a great honour,” she gushes.
With her sights set on Bollywood, Bajwa says that working in a comedy film is as difficult as working in an emotional film. She hopes to try out other genres in the future. “I am a fitness freak and would love to do even action-packed roles,” she says with a smile.
Diljit Dosanjh, the star of Punjabi blockbuster ‘Jatt & Juliet’ and its sequel, claims that his part in ‘Punjab 1984’ is his dream role. He says that the choice of this film was not a difficult one for him. “I have been planning to make a film on this subject myself. I used to think that maybe after a few years, I will make this film on my own. It came as a surprise that Anurag was also thinking on the same lines and when he approached me with the script, I accepted it right away,” he says.
Working with veterans like Kirron and Malhotra did not bother Diljit as he claims that he learnt a lot from them, not just in terms of their work but also their attitude, their humility and their persona. The young man adds that if this film would have been offered to him as his debut movie, he would still have accepted it though he wouldn’t have been able to do justice to it. “I thank God that I got this film at this time and I believe I have been able to do it well,” he says.
Diljit adds that both he and Anurag are perfectionists and would sometimes do endless retakes of a scene to get the perfect shot. “I am extremely confident that this film will be a success. It’s going to move every viewer. Such a film has never been made in Punjabi cinema, it is a masterpiece,” he signs off.