SANDEEP DEY- THE BENGALI BEHIND THE PUNJABI FILM OGJ:
Posted by Vivek on January 28, 2013 | 4 Comment
He is a Bengali from Mumbai, who worked for a few years in Silicon Valley , then returned home to Mumbai to start a Post Production house and eventually decided he wanted to make a film. And a Punjabi film chose he. Sandeep Dey makes his filmmaking debut with the Punjabi comedy OGJ. Here we talk to Sandeep on his choices:
A Bengali from Mumbai, relocated from Silicon Valley and making a Punjabi film?
Mumbai is where I grew up and films is eventually what I wanted to do in life. Silicon Valley was a happy mistake and I returned to Mumbai to do what I always wanted to do. Punjabi films because of market forces, I saw that the Punjabi industry is expected to boom and I wanted to cash in on the upcoming boom in Punjabi films. I am hoping that my film is a commercial success in Punjab and hopefully that will open some doors for me in Bollywood too, since Punjabi cinema is understood and is fairly close, to a lot of the Bollywood film industry.
So what is O.G.J. all about?
O.G.J is a social comedy. It is a simple, sweet comedy of errors along the lines of the old Hrishikesh Mukherjee films, like Chupke Chupke, Golmaal, etc. It is about a man who is put in a situation by his own deeds which is further complicated by misrepresentations and misconceptions.
On the challenges faced when making this movie?
Sure challenges are at every stage but these are challenges of choice so no complaints. The making, even if you are the biggest producer with the biggest production house backing you is going to always be a fairly challenging process in multiple levels, financial, logistical and creative. Keeping it together and taking the process through to the culmination is, I guess a challenge, every filmmaker faces. All said and done we were blessed with a cast and crew that was extremely cooperative. The bigger challenge has been getting the film out to the people.
Talk a little about the music of your film?
The music, I think, is the backbone of our film. The music of our film is inspired by the story itself. We have also kept an eye on the commercial aspect. We have two tracks on the wedding ceremony, which has not been seen in Punjabi cinema in a long time, both of which are foot tapping numbers. There is a “glass and alcohol” Punjabi song. A soft romantic number and a comic number.
Talk a little about your cast and did they react differently because a Bengali was making the movie?
Most Punjabi films of recent times have had singers doubling as actors and our movie is a huge deviation from this. I would be really apprehensive of mixing the two skill sets. I made sure my actors stayed away from singing in my film, not even a single line. The actors have all got a history in Punjabi theater, television and of course films. Each individual was chosen on the basis of the characters we created. We have in our midst the cast of the national award winning film for 2012 (in Punjabi). Interesting all of them dropped their established persona to become the character, which was quite amazing and added a different dimension to the film. On the Bengali filmmaker and Punjabi actors, Punjabis are generally very positive people and the attitude was always, “no problem lets get it done.” Also Bengalis and Punjabis share a lot of recent cultural similarities, as in both were affected most by the Partition. There is a lot of inbuilt respect for both the communities for each other. I could feel that.