Ranveer Singh fights for girl child in 'Jayeshbhai Jordaar'
Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh loves a good satire and his latest film 'Jayeshbhai Jordaar' falls into this beloved bracket.
In the movie directed by Divyang Thakkar, Singh plays the titular role of a young man emasculated by his domineering father and family, who are fixated on having a son. The trailer indicates that Singh's character has to take some drastic measures when he and his wife learn that they are having a baby girl.
In countries including India and China, the scourge of gender-selective killings isn't uncommon and many patriarchal families prefer a boy over a girl child. But one of Bollywood's top actors is willing to throw his celebrity behind this worthy cause.
Singh is one of Bollywood's most outlandish personalities with some superlative acting abilities, and has delivered blockbusters such as the sweeping epic 'Bajirao Mastani' and class-divide drama 'Gully Boy'.
Here are excerpts from our conversation with Singh ahead of his film's release in the UAE cinemas on May 13, where we talk about his new film, his rising career, and his take on the North-South film divide that's dominating headlines:
What's your movie 'Jayeshbhai Jordaar' all about?
It's a satire and it's a genre that I have always loved. I love the mix of emotions in this film which is essentially a social commentary. I agreed to this film without batting an eyelid. When I heard the narration, I was like: 'I am on'. Sometimes I take a week or sometimes a month to say yes to a project, but 'Jayeshbhai Jordaar' went straight to my heart. I am now looking forward to the reactions.
You play the title role of a Gujarati here and it's a community that's often caricatured in Hindi films. Were you careful not to go down that stereotypical route?
Honestly, I have never had a problem with caricatures. Of late, I believe we have this fear of humour and we are going through a time where we can't say anything about offending anybody. Comedians will tell you all about it in detail. While I have taken cognisance of that, 'Jayeshbhai Jordaar' has none of that. But it's become difficult to do comedy without stepping on someone's toes. These are the times we live in. We live in sensitive times.
But I can tell you that 'Jayeshbhai Jordaar' is a brainchild of a sound Gujarati boy from theatre and cinema who's aware of their culture. I assure you that this is not going to be a caricaturish representation and I am proud of it. As an artist, I am particular about a representation of a culture in the cinema that I am a part of. And I really hope that all those from that community will give me a thumbs-up for 'Jayeshbhai Jordaar'. It's my priority and I personally ensure that as an actor I don't end up caricaturing my characters.
For instance in 'Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani', I play someone from Delhi and I have ensure that the culture, my language, the vibe sticks to that. In 'Bajirao Mastani', I wanted Maharashtrians to be proud of what I did. So here again, while I played the Gujarati I wanted it to be played with absolute authenticity.