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Posted at: Oct 13, 2015, 12:42 AM; last updated: Oct 12, 2015, 9:42 PM (IST)

Relatively speaking

His last two films didn’t live up to his expectations, but Punjabi film director Navaniat Singh is not the one to lose hope. He now comes back with a content-driven film Shareek

Jasmine Singh

This man here read Newton’s Law of Gravity in school, wrote it out methodically for his school tests only to forget about it, since it didn’t fit into his film making passion. Then one day, after he heard someone talk about two of his directorial ventures not fairing well at the box office, he was no forced to think about Newton baba! What goes up has to come down!

But this was not where the law ended; there was a learning in it, the philosophical one which Punjabi film director Navaniat Singh understood well. Armed with a lesson now he spreads it out to his friends, colleagues and shareek!

He is out full throttle now. “I have always known that a director is known by the last film he made. Here people start writing you off if one or two projects don’t fare well,” shares Navaniat as he readies to hit back with his film Shareek starring Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill, Gugu Gill, Kuljinder Sidhu and Mukul Dev.

Navaniat didn’t get satisfactory results from his last two films, Rangeelay and Romeo Ranjha, but he knew he just needs to learn his lessons and move on. Thus came about Shareek.

“I have wanted to make a high voltage family drama. Shareek is all about it. It is a story of five brothers, each on their own journey. Shareek, in fact, is something that can be heard in every Punjabi household. Each house is either dealing with it or has dealt with it,” adds the director, who worked on the script along with script writer Dheeraj Ratan for a long time.

It is the content that rules the roost, a fact that is now finding a firm footing in the Punjabi films being made at present. “Indeed,” Navaniat agrees to it adding one more word to balance the content- commercial viability.

“Look at the Bollywood films, Rang De Basanti, Mary Kom, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag… all with a rich content which is also commercially viable. You can’t just make a good film with content, it should be packed commercially so that it goes down with the audience, otherwise it will be plain arty,” he adds. Shareek, according to the director, fulfils both the content and commercial aspect.

Presently, Navaniat, who gave a hit film like Mel Kara De Rabba which ignited the slowing down Punjabi film industry once again, is hoping Shareek would stir every heart.

Expectations are high but he keeps his cool. “I am not into box office figures, they are just figures. I know that I had tried to move away to different genres only to return to my own ground. Creatively, this is a new finding for me as well. I am apprehensive as how it works at the theatre. It is a good product and I am confident about it and so is the entire team.”

We pick-up the string from the word ‘team’. Irrespective of hits and flops, Navaniat has always worked with his team, working in close relation to them. “I am glad I have a team where we have Jimmy Sheirgill and others. The differences are always creative, where I have a doubt, I share and likewise fir them,” the director shares candidly.

Unlike other Punjabi film directors, who want to make a dash for Bollywood, Navaniat is holding his fort, which is Punjabi films. “I would want to keep making Punjabi films, I wouldn’t ever want to go away from it. Directors like Mani Ratnam have returned to their ground after moving out of their domain for a while. I am here and I am happy in this space.” If this is some law, Navaniat already has learnt this lesson!

jasmine@tribunemail.com

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