Bollywood needs love stories, said filmmaker and television personality Shashi Ranjan.
In Chandigarh to promote his latest film as a producer, Wedding Pullav, Shashi Ranjan was accompanied by his daughter Anushka (who debuts in the film) and actors Diganth Manchale and Karan Grover.
ROMEO-Juliet, Shirin-Farhad, Sohni-Mahiwal… all love stories are the same. The lovers meet, separate and finally unite. Its what happens in between, the situations that cause the tension, the chronology of events that weave these three stages makes one love story different from another,” said Ranjan.
Ranjan, who founded The Indian Television Academy with his wife Anu, made shows like Guftagoo, Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai and others and films like Siyasat.
A romcom, Wedding Pullav is releasing on October 16. Cinematographer Binod Pradhan will mark his directorial debut with the film.
“Binod and I have been together at FTII. Not many know, but three of the Haryanvi films that I had made back in the eighties, had Binod as the cameraman, David Dhawan as the editor and Rakesh Ranjan as the audiographer. When I was working on this idea, I aksed Binod to direct Anushka’s first film and he was game,” said Ranjan, who is also a Panjab University alumni.
It was only after considering a couple of ideas that Anushka and Ranjan settled on Wedding Pullav, which was earlier titled as A Love Story.
“Somehow, Wedding Pullav had a more quirky and fun vibe to it and so we registered that,” said Anushka, who will be seen as a tomboy marking her attendence at her best friend Karan’s (Diganth) marriage.
Anushka added that it was her bestie, Alia Bhatt, who has been pushing her to act and continue with the ‘nautanki’.
Anushka was joined by her ‘fiance’ Jay (Grover). “An artist who paints nude forms is madly in love with Anushka and is intense and fun loving at the same time,” said Grover, who makes his film debut after reigning the small screen for the past 10 years.
While Anushka and Karan make their debut with Wedding Pullav, Diganth is a star down south with quite a number of Kannada films in his kitty. “Mainstream Bollywood was always on my mind and I decided to give it a shot after signing this film,” said Diganth, who will be essaying the role of a Delhi guy and superbike designer in Wedding Pullav.
Diganth will also be seen in another film called Ticket to Bollywood.
While at the outset, Wedding Pullav seems like a Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai déjà vu, Ranjan said it has its share of twists and turns. “One may compare and be critical too, but the reason I chose to produce a love story is because Bollywood needs one. In the recent years, all we’ve got is action masala flicks with set formulas and item numbers in the name of music. One misses the shayari, the poetry, the range of emotions a love story provides. For instance, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was a simple romantic film, but it was the treatment and the music that set it apart,” said Ranjan.
Young people in love, their mulitple confusions, lifelong friendships, family ties, Indian values – all this is integral to Wedding Pullav, added Ranjan.
The filmmaker along with Satish Kaushik will soon announce two Haryanvi films. These films will be made in Bollywood style, said Ranjan, who has made four Haryanvi films, including Bahu Rani starring actress Bhumi Pednekar’s mother, Sumitra Hooda. “Haryanvi cinema is missing government support, tax exemption and assured shows in cinemas. Haryanvi films will flourish in the true sense only if these issues are addressed. We will also talk to the government. But in either case, we will make films with or without its support,” said Ranjan.