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Posted at: Sep 30, 2015, 12:28 AM; last updated: Sep 29, 2015, 10:40 PM (IST)

Familiar shades of grey

The upcoming Punjabi film Shareek revolves around issues that have long plagued landed families in Punjab and has plenty of grey elements thrown in
Familiar shades of grey
Family Saga: Mahie Gill and Jimmy Shergill

Manpriya Singh

Call it good, bad, odd or even unlikely; comedy is nowhere visible; neither in the promotional trailers, nor in the promised speeches by the makers. What the upcoming Punjabi film Shareek instead banks upon is high octane drama, intense moments and a tale that is the story of every rural household in Punjab. Jatt, zameen te shareek. Also, entangled in the rivalry is the lady love. Just when the plot points towards the presence of a clear cut bad guy, a Knight in Shining Armour and a few decorative side characters! “There is no bad guy in the film. Every character, even the hero, has shades of grey. It is like real people are, very grey,” straightens out Jimmy Shergill, while in Chandigarh for the music launch of the film.

Echoes Mahie Gill, playing the lady love and also probably the women behind the family feud, “When they approached me with this film, I couldn’t say no because I myself belong to a Jatt Sikh family and have seen such issues in households. It is a very real story.”

There must be something to the character to pull her out of the long absence from Punjabi cinema. She points out, “I was waiting for that question. After Carry on Jatta, I was offered a lot of similar films and similar roles but I did not want to jump into the clutter. In this film, I play a bubbly girl but she sobers down with changed circumstances later on.”

As for Jimmy, “This was one of the most challenging roles I have done. My character starts with a 27-year-old. It’s a journey. I had to grow my beard twice for different looks at different age groups. Any actor puts in so much of hard work only when he is convinced about the role. Otherwise I could have easily done paste up jobs.”

Well, he made almost similar promises with his last film Hero. A story that was claimed to be different, unusual and intelligent. “Yes, but I never said, I put in a lot of work into my character. Because I did not as that role was a cakewalk for me.”

Meanwhile, just in case the plot sounds guessable, he declares, “Just in case you think, you have understood, guessed the story of the film, then you are mistaken. We have only told you about the issues in the film, not the story.”

Techno twist

Directed by Navaniat Singh, the film also stars Guggu Gill, Kuljinder Sidhu, Mukul Dev and newcomers Simar Gill and Oshin Sai, among others.

Wherever there are things perceived to be hard-core Punjab, jeep, zameen te gandasa; Guggu Gill’s presence is mandatory. The poster Jatt of Punjab, admits to the inevitable, “That’s how my image has been. I play the elder brother to Jimmy.”

Stories to do with family feud over land have been a familiar tale in Punjabi film industry. He laughs, “But in this film, the budget is way more and the techniques are new, so is the presentation and even the message. Nobody ever got anything out of fights, other than fatalities and court cases.”

With Sadda Haq, Kuljinder Sidhu established his unique identity, which, being an actor he shed just as quickly. Ever since changing looks and locks (they have grown even shorter) pretty much like the roles he has been playing. With the current film, he plays the warring faction, “I play the person who believes he is entitled to the land having plowed it since ages. It is a very loud character, challenging and I absolutely loved it during narrations.” We hope the audience loves it too.

manpriya@tribunemail.com

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