10:15 am - Tuesday October 21, 2014

An Interview with Jatinder Mauhar

Punjabiportal Interviews Jatinder MauharSome days back I got to talk with Jatinder Mauhar, the director of upcoming Punajbi movie Sarsa who directed Mikka starring, Mitti, back in 2010. Where on one hand Punjabi cinema today is running after comedy stories, Jatinder Mauhar on the other hand is determined not to follow this trend and is trying to set a new mark. I had always wanted to talk to him and get his perception on these matters and know what goes on in his mind. So finally we met in a cafe house and had a brief chit chat.

Rane Sandhu: What is your perception of Movies?
Jatinder Mauhar: Well, movies are not just about laughter, tears and music. I believe that a film is one of the mediums of dialogue through which one can talk to the people, can initiate a conversation and a discussion. I firmly believe that content based subject can result in a good movie and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.

Rane Sandhu: So content based movies are your choice of medium?
Jatinder Mauhar: Well, there are other dimensions to this. For example Mitti had songs, light moments, drama and most importantly the content which made it different from most of the other Punjabi movies.

For me entertainment is engagement. If Film engages you that’s the success of the maker and the film. It has to be there but it should be presented in an interesting way like our elders’ nighttime stories. We used to listen their stories with much interest even the horrifying ones.

I strongly believe anything which is presented in an interesting way will appeal to the audience for sure.

Rane Sandhu: So is there any comedy in Sarsa?
Jatinder Mauhar: There is comedy in Sarsa but it’s not unwanted. It’s situational comedy, more of dark humor. I’m not against comedy but it should be sensible. But while making an issue based movie one should either concentrate on it properly, or should simply not make the movie about an issue. What I’m trying to say is that you can’t involve baseless comedy just for the sake of it and, that’s what we’ve tried to incorporate into Sasra. Another aspect is that in Sarsa you can’t predict what’s going to happen next. Otherwise most of the movies these days are downright predictable.

Rane Sandhu: Don’t you think it’s risky to make an issue based movie like Sarsa amidst all the comedy movies which seems to be like a trend?
Jatinder Mauhar: No. I would not consider it a risk. We’ve tried to do something good, something different.Everybody who watched Mitti, has appreciated the film but still it didn’t do good at box office. And I take the full responsibility as far as the creative aspects of movie goes, but not for marketing and distribution. As a team member of Mitti, I want to point-out the mistakes. The movie was released at wrong time and it wasn’t promoted well. Moreover the promos were misleading. Such mistakes could have been avoided. It’s not people who are to be blamed for not liking it. It’s us. It’s very easy to blame the audience for not liking the film. People always love to watch good movies. If they don’t like it there definitely is something wrong with the movie.

Rane Sandhu: That’s very courageous of you for taking the responsibility for Mitti’s not doing well.
Jatinder Mauhar: You see Rane, we are not here for just two movies. We are here to make movies that will be remembered in a long run. If you tell people not to watch such and such movie you need to give them an option to watch one as well. If you need to make people not watch senseless comedies, you have to give them many more sensible movies to choose from. So we have to keep on making good movies to create more options for the people to select. It’s not easy. It’s a learning process and I for one, know when to admit my mistakes. I’m here to make movies, lots of them and We will only succeed, if we’ll first have some downfalls. This is my learning process. I want to learn from my mistakes, and never repeat them.

Rane Sandhu: So you will be making issue oriented content based movies, and better every time?
Jatinder Mauhar: People love watching comedy movies these days because they don’t have any option. We don’t expect to change their taste with just two movies. It’s definitely going to take time. And not just me, we have to work hard with full dedication. Our generation has to put on a lot of effort to make that happen. We need to make issue based movies regularly for the next ten years at least to make a change so that our next generation has a good option in front of them. So, yes. I will be doing this surely and I will keep making content based movies. In fact, there are other people, some very intelligent ones who are making such movies for example Daljit Ami and Rajeev Sharma and I just feel happy about that. Even you guys at punjabiportal.com are a part of the equation. In more ways than one, you are also contributing towards good cinema.

Jatinder Mauhar supporting Punjabiportal Puppa
Jatinder Mauhar supporting www.punjabiportal.com

Rane Sandhu: Thanks for that. One major question: I personally don’t feel comfortable while watching movie with abusive slangs in it. Many people say it’s normal and it’s how the youth of today speaks. But, I find it hard to swallow. Nobody at my place speaks such language. I’ve never come across this much of abusive slangs throughout my life as much I have in last 2 years in our Punjabi films. So, on that note I personally felt bad about the over usage of abusive Language in Mitti. Why did you incorporate such a language in Mitti?
Jatinder Mauhar: I came from a village with a lot of restlessness. I thought the characters in Mitti will speak like that. May be I was wrong. I don’t say I’m perfect but I definitely didn’t do it with negative intentions. I did what I thought was right for the movie because I was trying to be honest with my characters. But, in Sarsa I’ve taken care not to make the language sound so crude. There are some characters though, that live in such an environment that their language is not refined. But, I’ve tried to control it this time.

Rane Sandhu: Okay, I will come back to you on that after watching Sarsa then. So, Why Gul panag?
Jatinder Mauhar: When the script was ready and we started looking for characters. The only female lead that came to my mind for the character of ‘Beant Kaur’ in the movie was Gul Panag. Our character has this attitude. She has cut down her hair and she rides a Bullet. And, Gul has all these features in her real life. That simply says it. I just wanted her in the movie and the film was actually delayed as Gul didn’t have dates available and I didn’t want to do it with anyone else. She is very professional and follows your directions without any objections.

Rane Sandhu: I think everyone must be wondering if Sarsa is based on real events?
Jatinder Mauhar: It is not based on real events, we’ve taken references from the incidents occurred in our surroundings, you’ll be able to draw parallels with the real life incidents, but it is a fiction. I felt the need to talk about political upheavals that are surrounding Punjab at present times. No one is ready to talk about it openly but we need to discuss the matter. Honestly speaking I’m worried about the current situations in Punjab and what they might lead to in future. And it’s not just about student politics. It gives an idea of what student politics may result into. And one more thing that Sarsa is not based on Punjab University, Chandigarh’s elections. We’ve used PU just as a backdrop. Student politics is based on general idea of politics that youth get involved in while studying.

Rane Sandhu: And why the name Sarsa then?
Jatinder Mauhar: Sarsa is a tributary of the Satluj. When Guru Gobind Singh left the fort of Anandpur Sahib, Sarsa was flooded. Many of the texts they were carrying became victim of flood and Guru’s family got divided in two parts. The incident is known as Parivar Vichohra (separation of family members). Over the period of time Sarsa has became a metaphor which got invoked on any decisive moment. We say that Sarsa is always difficult to cross. The tributary has become almost non-existence but metaphor is very much alive

Rane Sandhu: Thanks Jatinder Ji for your time. Anything you wish to say at last?
Jatinder Mauhar: Thank you Rane for this interview for Punjabiportal. At the end I would say that we should make movies that leave mark on audience. People should remember the film if not for the life time at least for 2-3 years. When they leave the theaters they should be able to carry your film back along with them. It should be in the form of continues dialogue. (2125)

Filed in: Punjabi Articles, Punjabi Personalities

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17 Responses to “An Interview with Jatinder Mauhar”

  1. Jagga Tusiya wala
    January 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Ehdi ta bai umaar hi kuj ni… Eh wahwa film banaun lagya.. kaem a bai.
    Vesse Mitti bahut kaem film c… gaalan ghat hundian ta baali hit honi c.

  2. raman shergill
    December 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    bahut vaidya rane jii…..after all people are gonna get tired of same line comedy films, content is king

  3. geet sandhu
    November 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    What an interview, always wanted to know this stuff. Waiting for Sarsa

    keep posting these interviews, i look forward to them. :)
    P.S. Good to see him supporting puppa :D

    • November 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      Yes.. ona ne pehli waar ch e sahi puppa bna lea c :D

    • djp
      November 22, 2012 at 4:35 am #

      i agree… these interviews are really something to look forward to. good job again rane ji. who’s next? :P

  4. Simranjeet
    November 20, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    bahut wadiya lageya rane ji jatinder mauhar bare pad k. main 4 var thetre ch dekhi c mitti apne dosta nal. te apa 1st day 1st show e sarsa dekhni aa. bahut sahi kam rea eh banda. jma asliyat deikhaunda sade pinda waleya di. main request karu tusi sharry bai di v interview karo ese tra di nazar e aaju. rab rakha!

    • November 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      Thank you Simranjeet ji pasand karan lai.

  5. Asma
    November 18, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    He is so young. If he has such amazing perceptions of cinema, i’m surely hoping a lot from him. What impresses me most is his honesty about his projects.

    + I also want to see some serious movies in Punjabi. Enough of the senseless comedies.

  6. DrGurtej
    November 17, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    Rane……. Thanks for the interview…… was dying to read something about this person…..and nice AQs.

    • November 20, 2012 at 5:48 am #

      :)
      It was so kind of Jatinder ji to give me his time for this interview. He’s a great personality!
      My best wishes are for Sarsa!!

  7. November 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    I really liked the interview and his views on serious aspect of punjabi cinema. I haven’t seen Mitti yet but I heard one of my friend saying that it was the best punjabi movie for him. I guess viewers have different taste and so does the directors but what enhances the role and importance of directors is following the right track and their ability to do their job with utter perfection. Contradictory view of one viewer in accordance to the view of director will not do any harm to the movie as a whole, but contradictory view of one director in accordance to every viewer could be dangerous. I like how he believes that altering mindset can’t be done by just 1 or 2 movies. I may be wrong about it but somewhere, I felt like he is sort of more Ok with little mistakes at this stage and believes utter perfection can only be achieved in a long run. When you are a Director and fate of actors, producers and every other individual revolves around you, you need to be bang on target.

    • November 20, 2012 at 5:52 am #

      Thanks Jaswant for liking the interview. But, I think otherwise.. accepting one’s responsibility is very different from being ok with mistakes. The later depicts irresponsible behavior but kise mistake nu realize karna and usto sikh k agge wadhna is all different. :)

      • November 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

        Yeah I wanted to mention that too but pata nahi kiven reh gya. He does seems like a quick learner and personally I have huge expectations from him. I am certainly going to watch Sarsa with hish interest. Ikk Gall hor, and I can bet upon this, the movies that comes out of Jatinder ji’s hands after Sarsa will have negligible amount of abusive languages or may be not even that!

        Btw, Rane ji I really liked how you made efforts to reply every single comment here. That shows your interest. Good Luck and keep up the good work :) #PP Rocks

  8. bricktop
    November 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Hey… just plain awesome. What an interview. You guys are really doing an amazing job by coming out with interviews of such great people. I really wanted to know about Mr. Jatinder and now I’ve got it.

    • November 20, 2012 at 5:54 am #

      Thanks Bricktop! We are trying our best :)

  9. Suresh
    November 16, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Interesting interview…nice to see someone who believe in larger domain of Cinema than just linear trend of comedy movies…hope to see Punjabi cinema coming out of age…Bot vdiya questions puche Rane ji…

    • November 20, 2012 at 5:55 am #

      Thanks Suresh Ji!

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