Reining the Punjabi film industry since 2013, with her first breakthrough performance in Jatt and Juliet to her moving portrayal in Kalli Jota, Neeru Bajwa has given several celebrated characters. In Amritsar to promote her latest film Buhe Baariyan, she talked about her success mantra in life and more.
“We often tend to get weighed down by social pressure and perceptions. I believe in self-love and its power to transform one’s life,” she shared. Buhe Baariyan will see Neeru playing a woman in uniform. Her co-stars include some of the brightest actresses of Punjabi film industry, including Nirmal Rishi, Gurpreet Bhangu, Jatinder Kaur, Rubina Bajwa, Simmi Chahal and more.
“As one can see from the initial trailers and posters, we have not let any men take charge or share space,” quipped Neeru. “It’s a film that attempts to talk about women empowerment not through dialogues, but through its characters. It was a tough task to get all these immensely talented and busy actors lock their dates for the film,” she added.
However, she did add that the film, with all its female star power, was not just for women. “It’s for all to watch.” Neeru also shared how female actors in the industry too are conditioned to accept certain ‘norms’. “Of course, after a few years, once you reach a certain age, you are no longer seen as desirable. But I feel extremely lucky that my audience has stood by me,” she said.
Jatinder Kaur, 80, with 50 years of experience as an actress, has definitely challenged the norms. Starting as a theatre actress, when the profession was not considered respectable, especially for girls, Jatinder has had a long, arduous journey, but a fulfilling one at that. “I started at a time when society used to talk about acting in a derogatory manner. But things have changed now and we should take advantage of our experiences, and talk about subjects that are often silenced through films,” she said.
The veteran actress, who was last seen on Tu Jhooti Mein Makkar, playing the role of a loud, the witty grandmother of Ranbir’s character, said Punjabi cinema must tell more stories with purpose. “Our strength as an industry has been in churning out entertaining films. We should use that entertainment as a tool to make meaningful films.”
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