Director's Cut: 'I hope the word condom won’t be a taboo anymore,' shares Janhit Mein Jaari filmmaker Jai Basantu Singh

The debutant movie maker spills the beans about Janhit Mein Jaari and more

Rohit BhatnagarUpdated: Monday, June 13, 2022, 06:47 AM IST
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Pic: Instagram/ jai_basantu_singh

Jai Basantu Singh’s first film as a director, Janhit Mein Jaari, hit screens on June 10. It stars Nushrratt Bharuccha in the lead role and is about a condom salesgirl in a small Indian town. The Free Press Journal caught up with Jai for an exclusive interaction.

When asked why he chose to direct an unconventional film like this for his debut, he shares, “I feel I haven’t chosen the film, the film had chosen me. I was making some other film before this, the script and music were locked, but it couldn’t take off due to the pandemic. During the pandemic, the one line of Janhit Mein Jaari came to me, and I decided to write the screenplay. It was challenging to tell such an unconventional story. I consider myself very lucky to direct a film like this. I never thought that I would be debuting with a women-centric film like Janhit Mein Jaari. I hope the word condom won’t be a taboo anymore.”

Opening up about its casting, he explains, “I wasn’t looking for a saleable face for the film even during my struggle to direct a film. I was confident enough to direct a film. To cast an A-league actor wasn’t in my hands. I wanted to tell a story purely. In fact, when Nushrratt heard the script for the first, she green-lit the project. I was merely lucky to have her on board. In today’s day and time, content is the king. If the story is good, then face or no face, it doesn’t matter.”

Jai has made numerous TV shows, and according to him, switching from small screen direction to big screen filming was challenging. “I have been directing television shows since many years, so there were challenges. I have learned a lot from television, and those learnings were a great help while directing Janhit Mein Jaari. I am very glad that people and critics are liking the film. I believe whatever I am today is because of television. My first feature film is like a first impression, so there was a responsibility,” he avers.

Every filmmaker takes box office numbers into consideration, and Jai is no exception. “Box office numbers do matter to me even though I take criticism very seriously. I believe the audiences make everyone in the industry. If they will like the film, it will help in getting box office numbers. I was definitely worried before the release, but I am glad that word of mouth is very strong for the film,” he explains.

Jai plans to continue making films that are socially relevant. “I wanted to direct films which have social messages, and there’s some take away from the film by the audiences. There has to be a meaning to the film. I hope the way I said an important thing through Janhit Mein Jaari, I can continue to say it in my films ahead,” he signs off.

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