Another Punjabi crossover film waits to endear viewer
Another crossover film crafted on the lines of "Bend It Like Beckham" and "Monsoon Wedding" is waiting in the wings to make its debut.
By Viral Bhayani, IANS
Writer-producer-director Prriya Singh Paul's first feature film "The Perfect Husband" deals with dilemmas of the age-old institution and the expatriate Indian. She is the latest in a new generation of filmmakers wanting to make films with a difference, without any big stars and yet economically viable.
The success of films like "Hyderabad Blues", "Rockford", "Monsoon Wedding" and "Bend It Like Beckham" have paved the way for her.
There are some known names of parallel cinema like Rajeshwari Sachdev in the film that stars Neha Dubey, Pravin Dabas (both seen in 'Monsoon Wedding'),
Sanjay Singh, Pawan Malhotra, Sinia Duggal and British writer-actor William Randell.
"My film deals with the subject of the expatriate Indian. It takes an interesting look at how marriage in India has become a game," said Prriya, describing it as a tongue-in-cheek look at the prejudices in society.
"Indians still treat a girl like an equipment that needs to be checked out before purchase. Is there an illness in the family, can she breed well, what are her talents? The only thing they leave to chance is whether she is good in bed," she said assertively.
"Success of failure doesn't matter much to me. My idea is to bring awareness and get the message across. That's my style of filmmaking," she said.
The film is a comic romance set in an upper-middle class north Indian family that explores a woman's hunt for a soul mate. The music has been composed by Sukhwinder Singh, who has succeeded in bringing a Punjabi flavour in its upbeat soundtrack. The music is acquired by Times Music.
The story goes something like this: Badi Mummy's (Sinia Duggal) unmarried daughter (Rajeshwari Sachdev) resolves to wait for the right man rather than wed an over-the-hill suitor. And granddaughter Jaya (Neha Dubey), heavily influenced by Shakespearean romance, declares that she will only marry a man who loves her for who she is, and not what she is worth.
With two submissive sons who've rejected 50 women each to acquire brides loaded with dowry, Badi Mummy finds herself in a fix with the two women of the house.
Prriya is hoping that her film will have a commercial success and is sure that it will endear itself to a large audience.
"I'm clear about my audience. In India, it's the English speaking urban class as well as the traditional Gujaratis, Marwaris and Punjabis," she said.
"The film also works towards educating international audiences about Indian customs and traditions. Right now, success to me means having sold my film effortlessly rather than make dizzying rounds of film festivals," she added.
A true blue Punjabi by upbringing, Prriya has a French-Jewish mother and an Indian Sikh father. She was brought up in a fiercely traditional Punjabi home in Ludhiana.
Prriya was TV's youngest producer-director, behind experimental shows like "The Dream Merchants" and "Bazaar Blues". That was in 1993. But the emergence of the "Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki" kind of soaps made her opt out.
Well, "The Perfect Husband" will hopefully bring her right back into the reckoning.