SimplyBhangra.com's Kulwinder caught up exclusively with Punjabi superstar Diljit Dosanjh to talk about his new movie 'Punjab 1984'.
After the hits such as 'Proper Patola', 'Kharku' & 'Lak 28' and having successful comedy films such as Jatt and Juliet and Disco Singh, the biggest name in Punjabi cinema is back again! Diljit Dosanjh has teamed up again with director Anurag Singh & Gunbir Singh Sandhu for the film 'Punjab 1984' - set to hit cinemas June 27th. Read our exclusive interview now!
So tell us what is your role in the film Punjab 1984?
My character is called Shivjeet Singh Mann. I am a simple boy in the film, a typical village boy. In the film my role is of a family son.
Without telling us too much about the film what is it about? How easy or hard was it to play your character?
We have been inspired from the event, the character which I play isn't of a certain person, and it is just based around the event which took place. Playing my character well I just feel the character I was given. In my previous films I've never known if it has been rom-com, comedy or serious. I just present what I am feeling during the shooting. It is a story of an ordinary guy, a story about the people of Punjab. It is about what happened after the event of 84. The story is about relationships, love and how life changes instantly and unexpectedly and how individuals were segregated from their loved ones. It is a mother and son story. The mother and son story is the backdrop, whilst showcasing what was happening in Punjab in 1984.
Why is it important to make a film about 1984?
I really want the youth to go and see this. I actually myself don't know much about the events. I feel that a lot of the young generation should know about the events. They should be aware of the history. It is all for the best to know, to make your future bright. The events of 1984 should never be forgotten. The story isn't about fighting nor does it show any violence.
Many youngsters do not know much about 1984. Is the film aimed for the youngsters?
Not at all, it is aimed at everyone it is a family film, but we would really like all the youngsters to go and watch it.
What attracted you to act in this film?
My birth was in 1984, whenever I told people that my birth was in 1984 I would get strange reactions and people would be like, 'oh you were born then' so whilst growing up I wanted to know more about it and why people reacted like this. I was very curious. Then Anurag brought the script to me and the storyline was appealing and I liked it a lot. The main thing which attracted me a lot was that the film isn't made from any political angle; it is made from a community angle. Anurag was researching the film and it was important to not just name the film Punjab 1984. We wanted to make sure we had a proper film.
When shooing Jatt and Juliet that is when Anurag brought the script over to me. It was then a dream project for me, the reason being that it is a mother and son story. At this time I wanted to take the offer of the film as I wasn't sure whether I would get another opportunity.
What was it like working with Kirron Kher?
She is a great actress as seen on screen many times. I had many opportunities to learn from her which I will reinforce later in the future.
Was it emotional whilst shooting?
No doubt it was, it wasn't a film where you would be serious in the morning whilst shooting and then have a laugh, off shoot. The scenes and feelings were inside me for a long time and in fact they still are.
Have you learnt anything new whilst making the film?
Defiantly, Well I was born in the year 1984, so I was not aware of what had happened and how things were impacted upon until recent years. A lot of research was done; I met a lot of families' saw their emotions, watched many documentaries and spoke to elders who went through the dramatic experiences. It was my curiosity to know as much as I could and I know my knowledge on this subject isn't very high.
Tell us about the music in the film?
A lot of people have appreciated the music. We worked a lot on the music and have had very positive feedback. From my previous films this film music has been mostly appreciated and liked. The music of the film is very unique from what I am used to singing. Singing these types of songs was an honour, I didn't think I would ever sing in this style and I'm happy that Anurag had faith in me.
How were you and your family affected by the 1984 riots?
All of Punjab was affected. The whole of Punjab still is affected by this; it has hurt them a lot. Every person has a connection to what happened.
You have worked with Anurag Singh and done many comedy films, how different was it this time?
It is a Whitehall production, the whole teamed worked very hard once again. It was both Anurag and my first time making a different genre so it was good to try something new.
What was your challenging scene?
I think it will only be difficult if you don't want to do it. Because I was determined I was passionate about this story I didn't find anything challenging. I wasn't nervous on the set as I have worked with Anurag before so I was comfortable and I could be myself.
How long did it take to make this film?
55 days to shoot, but we have been working on the film for 3 years, on the story, research screenplay and dialogues; we are currently still working on the film. To this date this has been my longest film.
Wow, 3 years!
Yes, Anurag has been researching the subject for 3 years.
Why should we as an audience go and watch the film?
We have worked so hard, once you have watched the film I think everyone will appreciate the effort which has gone into it and our efforts will shine out.
Do you find doing comedy easy or a serious role?
I love working; I don't take things for granted, so I just love to do what I do whilst it lasts.
You have made a few films now are you focusing on your films or singing?
A lot of focus on films now, as well as my music too.
What other projects have you got in the upcoming future?
For now just 27th June, Punjab 1984
Any message for your fans?
I would like to please request everyone to go and watch this film. The film is about humanity and human relations. I really want everyone to go and support this film. It is a story of us Punjabi's a story about you. I want people to appreciate the film please watch it on the 27th June. If you as the audience appreciate this, then we will be motivated to produce more films on serious topics.
I really enjoyed interviewing you and I wish you all the best in the upcoming film.
Thank you I really enjoyed myself too, and please go and support the film too.
Punjab 1984 is out worldwide 27th June!
Interviewed by Kulwinder Kaur Kainth