Soon to be released on Netflix, movie ‘Sardar Ka Grandson’ is making buzz amongst fans. Based on the partition period, the movie stars Arjun Kapoor, Rakul Preet Singh, Jhon Abraham, Aditi Rao Hydri and veteran actress Neena Gupta in leads.
Catching up in a candid conversation with the director Kaashvi Nair, here we bring you some unsaid aspects of the making.
Kaashvi says, “From beginning I wanted to be a director. Because that’s what I was exposed to more than anything else. Growing older, you realise you can actually make this ‘make-believe’ world where you can actually forget what’s going around you. You can be so invested in a film and connect with it so much. I think that’s what really excited me about filmmaking. So decided, I want to tell stories.”
Her zest for filmmaking took a fly during college days. She says, “While in college, I started shooting a lot of short films. From then it was clear to everyone that I was supposed to follow filmmaking.
Then I joined Nikhil Advani as an AD. Well, I also had my father’s support to it. I joined Nikhil Advani’s production and it’s been like 12 years I have been working with him. ‘Patiala House’ was my first official film with him. After sometime, MTV approached Nikhil to direct a film. We were sitting in the meeting where Nikhil mentioned that I would be directing the film. Then the movie ‘Shaadi Vaadi’ happened and the journey went on.
I am not a social media savvy person. I feel there is least of reality on social media. So I post something when I genuinely feel to.”
Talking about her first directorial venture ‘Shaadi Vaadi’, she tells us, “Honestly, when I did ‘Shaadi Vaadi’, platforms like MTV and all had started growing adapting to understanding the narrative of the new contents. And I think by then everybody had realised that this is probably the way TV is also going to go downs the road. And we tried to shoot it in a way we shoot films. And I think by then we had realised that this is probably the road we are going to pave on. Now I guess OTTs are giving us a bigger platform to our contents.”
When asked about the idea of ‘Sardar Ka Grandson’, she informs, “When we started writing, we knew the tone we are going to catch for this film which is highly emotional with a lot of comedy involved in it. But the highly emotional part being related to partition. So it narrates the sentiment that we went through during partition. But at the end of the day, you had couple falling in love at that point also.
You had people living their lives at that time too. So we wanted to capture that aspect- a normal day in 1947. You will see an emotional similarity in both the couple’s stories because at the end love is the same for all. So it is subtle with a pinch of contemporariness and not overdramatised.”
“When it came to casting, the script played the king. You tell people one line and everybody is intrigued to hear the story. Then I think script did the work for everybody turning around and saying a yes. Arjun was the first person to come on board. With him it was a very collaborative effort. Arjun has made the character go alive. Then it was Neena Gupta ji, who really enjoyed the character with twinkle in her eyes when I narrated it to her. Rakul literally is the character she playing. She is very much a ‘today’s’ woman which her character in the film is too. Jhon had never played such a character earlier. So when he heard about it, he pitched in without a second thought.”
She goes on talking about the music of the film. She says, “The advantage on the music part we had was having T-Series onboard. Their entire team made the music process so easy without blink of an eye. Tanishk created ‘Jee Nahi Karda’ song and he gave it the flavour we needed for the film. The entire process seemed so effortless. All four songs are part of the film. Tanishk has also sung ‘Judaaiyaan’.”
She further talks about the BGM score of the film that plays a pivotal role.
She mentions, “Gulraj and I had worked together on ‘Shaadi Vaadi’. We had done two songs then. And ‘Dil Lajawab’ is played by each and everyone in my entire family. Gulraj is literally a genius. I don’t think I had a second thought in mind when I knew I got to collaborate with gulraj throughout my life. What he has done with BGM of this film is phenomenal. Gulraj’s music has leveled up this film. He has created such emotional tracks that every time I hear it, I get goosebumps.”
About pandemic and its OTT release, Kaashvi opines, “We had started this film in June 2019 after getting everybody on board. We started shooting on 15th November 2019 much before corona crisis. We definitely created this film for theatre at the beginning. But since I say that every film has its own journey, I am glad that this film is coming on an OTT platform.”