Goldie Behl: Sex and drugs are REJCTX, youths are facing bigger issues

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Says filmmaker Goldie Behl who is making a comeback with REJCTX, a ZEE5 Original, featuring Sumeet Vyas and Kubbra Sait in pivotal roles with Anisha Victor, Ahmed Masi Wali, Ridhi Khakhar, Pooja Shetty and others in the roles of students and band members. The series which airs from July 25 2019 onwards, is a high-school musical drama revolving around the lives of Indian kids in a foreign setup and how they encounter their youth, dreams, aspirations, indulgence, influences and more in a first of its kind teenage musical that coins the chills of a thriller while billing itself as a pill on slice of life.

Son of producer Ramesh Behl known for Amitabh Bachchan starrers like KASME VAADE (1978), PUKAR (1983), Goldie Behl debuted as a filmmaker with BAS ITNA SA KHWAAB HAI starring Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukherji, Sushmita Sen and Jackie Shroff . The fantasy-action sci fi DRONA was his last movie as a director and after a hiatus of 11 years, Goldie makes a comeback with a web series. In a heartfelt conversation, Goldie Behl speaks about his comeback, why REJCTX, his understanding of youth, and lessons learnt from his life.

Why REJCTX as a web series and not a feature?

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A web series offers you more space, you can explore more. A movie can be maximum of 180 minutes length and the subject of REJCTX is beyond a high-school drama. It’s a thriller with a coming of age tweak that pins on the issues faced by today’s youth.  

So you revisited your youth with REJECTX?

REJCTX is very close to my heart and there is an eternal teenager somewhere in everyone. I have had an experience of a high school show decades ago and when I met Tarun Katial (CEO of ZEE5), the seed of this idea got nurtured. My son is a teenager and Tarun is also a father of a growing child. It’s a whole new world and there is so much to explore.

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What is your understanding of today’s youth?

They are more aware and focused in comparison. The advent of technology has played a vital part. There is so much of information available and the youth in particular are keen to grab it. Youtube, apps etc are the biggest influence. Knowledge of the subject is passé, knowledge of the app on that subject is more important. Like calculators. Social media has grabbed the youth in her arms.

What according to you are the issues spoiling the youth?

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Access of anything is bad. The perception that drugs and sex are driving the youth mad has changed. Sex and drugs are no longer an issue. The youth is aware that these are bad influences. It’s the porn addiction or dysfunctional families that are the causes of concern. Such movies are fake and give a wrong conception about sex. Depression, anxiety and rejection at an early stage of life due to the said bad influences are the demons that are destroying the youth and killing their confidence.

How REJCTX handles all these bad influences?

We have tried to portray Indian kids as global citizens. The world has seen high-school dramas and teen shows from the globe and REJCTX is an attempt to put an Indian teen musical thriller on the digital map of the world. So we have kids from India in Singapore facing the issues we just discussed and the movie is how these Indians overcome rejection. It’s the journey of the kids from denial to acceptance and the birth of their underground music band REJCTX.

The making happened when Sonali was getting treated in New York, how you managed to cope with such personal and professional pressure?

Call it the ‘survival’ instincts, there are times in life when you face great difficulties but complete the given task. Jab roji roti ka sawal aata hai toh ho jata hai sir. I observed people, discussed with author Novoneel Chakraborty and even Sonali gave her valuable inputs.

Any contribution from your teenage son Ranveer?

REJCTX would not have been the way it is without Ranveer. As a father I have tried to understand him and he tries to understand me. I lost my father when I was around 15, so there were times when I use to go in my shell but Ranveer is different. His contribution in the music department is significant. Ranveer introduced to me the music the generation of today listens.

Something on the music of REJCTX

Sneha Khanwalkar has done a fantastic job. She is a great talent. We have stage performances, different genres like soft rock, EDM it’s melodious primarily and most importantly original.

What lessons have you learnt from your failures?

The biggest thing I have learnt from my professional and personal setbacks is to never lose hope. My earlier projects where hot and happening while making but the audience rejected it. It created a self doubt whether I am capable or not. But later on I realize that you have to movie on come what may keeping the flame of hope burning in your heart and honestly convinced with your belief. Don,t take yourself so seriously that it damages you. Enjoy the good work and the audience will do the rest. And that’s what REJCTX is all about – rejecting your failures and moving ahead.

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