Presented by Vehli Janta Films and Omjee’s Cine World, Mastaney features a stellar cast of Tarsem Jassar, Simi Chahal, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Karamjit Anmol and others has released in theatres in Hindi and Punjabi. The film will release next week in Tamil, Telugu and Marathi. It is written and directed by Sharan Art. The Free Press Journal caught up with Tarsem and Gurpreet for an exclusive chat.
Opening up about the film, Tarsem shares, “Mastaney is not just a movie, its emotions and feelings. Its plot has been inspired by the true incidents of Punjab’s history. It’s a true historical story. It is the story of 1739 when Nadir Shah attacked India as he had decided to loot a huge booty from the Indian territories. He started from Lahore and won that territory therefore proceeded to Delhi. Hereafter he kept all the women Indian folks as his slaves. This is when these Sikh valiant warriors belonging to the jungles stood against him. This was an initiative and they fought to safeguard their respect.”
He adds, “This incident has been depicted in this film in various different languages so that Indians should also know how brave the Sikhs were. This incident defies this period when Nadir shah invaded India.”
Gurpreet talks about the five characters shown in the poster, “These five Sikhs seen in the posters seen with the title people have a wrong impression with the title Mastaney. They feel they are playful characters who are keen in doing some masti. But it is not so. This is a wrong definition. The right definition is that Mastaney, like we have been hearing in songs – Yeh desh hai veer jawano ka albelo ka mastano ka. Also, they are those kinds of mastaney who are carrying their coffin on their head,” he explains.
Gurpreet elaborates, “They are of the opinion that even if we lay down our lives for the sake of safeguarding the lives of our sisters and mothers we will do it unhesitatingly as this will also bring forth the truth. It is the story of yodhas who have fought for truth to prevail. They belong to the jungles and have shown their valour by presenting it during that period.”
Gurpreet is performing a serious role for the first time in Mastaney. “Honestly speaking, performing any comedy role is also a serious affair. On that also we have to make the best use of our mind. While performing a comic role, you should be fully aware about your limitations. Also, while speaking your dialogues you need to know the meanings of those words. That seriousness is needed there. In Mastaney, we don’t have to just keep on talking, in this we have to speak through our eyes and if you raise your eyebrows a little bit too then there is a meaning to it. I play the character of Kallandar so this is like appearing for an examination. Thus, I had to do special preparation for this role. This character is very important for me in my career,” he opines.
We then asked Tarsem in what way have the sardars been kept in the forefront as they are the strongest community of India. “The Sikh community has received a huge strength from their respective Gurus. They have been imparted important lessons - Never tolerate or give up on zulm. The Sikhs have always waged a war against terror. Our gurus have also never fought for land or any other materialistic stuff but for the truth. The shakti Sikhs have received through their gurus has been seen by the Sikh regiment who have always been at the cease fire line and because of them, along with other regiments, they have allowed us Indians to sleep a peaceful life,” Tarsem says. “And these five Sikhs are also very much symbolic to them. Even now we find in every 10 days some Sikh has laid down his life for the country. These five shoorveers had wonderful and unique strength. They had no food to eat and proper house to live yet they lived in the jungles and managed to fight to safeguard the respect of our women folk especially,” he adds.
When we asked Tarsem what preparations have been done with the script so that this period film does not face any controversy during or after its release, he reveals, “Our director Sharan has researched various history books and based on that we have tried to make this film. We have filmed the gatha of our shoorveers.”
We then quizzed Gurpreet if this incident needs to be introduced in the history books in schools too, he replies, “We have started something new by glorifying the incident of these five Sikhs who fought for the well-being of their countrymen. At least we can watch the film along with our children. I am sure they will be inquisitive to know more and will have so many questions to be answered. Introduction of any historical incident needs to be taught all over the schools in our country.”
Tarsem chimes in, “We are releasing this film in Punjabi, Hindi Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. This is a huge achievement for us. We have received inquiries from Italy and Spain as they wish to dub this film in Spanish and Italian languages too. This is a positive initiative. We are releasing the film on the same day.”
Tarsem is a National Award recipient. Opening up about his journey, he gushes, “I am blessed. Rabb Da Radio 2 received the National Award in 2019 for Best Feature Film in Punjabi. So, the entire team is the winner. We are blessed that the entire team of Rab The Radio 2 is making Mastaney. Let’s hope what awards we will be blessed with.”
There is no female picture seen in the posters. When we asked Tarsem if due to this was it difficult for you to sell the film, he concludes, “No not at all. I feel the story of the film has to justify its content. There is no pattern. This movie belongs to the characters of shoorveers all five have equal character.”