Prakash Jha: Priyanka Chopra is the most rooted actor of the industry
Filmmaker Prakash Jha is back with GANGAAJAL sequel JAI GANGAAJAL after almost 12 years. While his 2003 film featured Ajay Devgn (who happens to be Jha’s favourite), this time around we have Priyanka Chopra in the lead.
With the first poster of the film out, quiz Jha if the idea of having a female protagonist for JAI GANGAAJAL was strategic (since women-oriented subjects are order of the day) and he says, “The story required a female protagonist.” Saying this, Jha goes on to explain about the importance of Priyanka’s character in the film, “The current system is so entrenched in working very well where vested power is concerned. Since the society doesn’t want anybody who would disturb their working, they decide to get a woman cop (played by Priyanka) who will sit on the chair, give a fake salute and would just do nothing. She would be pliable, and can be manipulated but to their misfortunes Priyanka’s character turns out to be otherwise.”
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Jha’s films have that rooted Indian flavour and even his protagonists come with a desi demeanour (except for Katrina Kaif in RAAJNEETI). On the other hand, Priyanka is gradually turning an international icon and we have hardly seen the actress playing the characters based in the heartland of the country. Jha barges in, “This is the first time I am hearing a remark like this. If there is any actress who can speak chaste Hindi, than it is Priyanka Chopra. She has that Indianness and can speak the language so fluently unlike the other actors from the industry. Born and brought up in Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), she is very much rooted. In fact, Priyanka is the most rooted person you will ever meet. If you spend time with her, you will know that she has more knowledge about grass-root levels, politics and society, than most of the people in this industry.”
The film was being called GANGAAJAL 2 all this while. Ask the filmmaker if it was rechristened as JAI GANGAAJAL to be different from other sequels and Jha says, “I never wanted to have GANGAJAL 2. That was just for the reference of the second part and it was people who were interested in calling it that way.”
Like the first part, JAI GANGAAJAL will revisit the society-police relationship. However, in a new context. “Yes, we are revisiting the society-police relationship yet again. While the first part was set in the district named Tezpur, JAI GANGAAJAL is based in the fictitious district called Bankipur in North India. And it has a female lead who deals with situations as per today’s times to what Ajay devgn starrer dealt with 12 years ago. As the society has changed, new set of problems & challenges have cropped up, female problems are different today, the dictum is different, etc.,” says Jha.
On a parting note Jha also clears that unlike GANGAAJAL, the second part will be free from cuss words.