Monjoy Mukerji: Bollywood turned its back during my father's bad phase

Actor-producer Joy Mukerji had an illustrious film career with back-to-back hits, but his son Monjoy says when the star hit a rough patch, nobody from the film industry stood by his side.

Monjoy Mukerji

Joy made his film debut opposite Sadhana in 1960 with "Love in Simla" and went on to give several hits like "Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon", "Love in Tokyo" and "Ziddi".

The actor, who died at the age of 73 in 2012, was struggling to get good roles in the late 60s and then decided to direct and produce films.

"My father had his own bad phase which actors go through. We were kids when he was going through a rough patch. When he was at his peak, there were so many people around him but when
he was coming down, almost everyone from the industry turned their backs to him," Monjoy told PTI.

Monjoy says he sees the reflection of his father in the Oscar-winning film "The Artist" which chronicled the rise and fall of a movie star.

"When I watch 'The Artist' it reminds me of him and his journey. I see a reflection of him and the struggles that he had to go through. It was not easy for us as kids to go through that phase," Monjoy said.

"Our last production was in 1991, that too a Benagli film and last Hindi production must have been in 1980-81... After that we were as good as out of the industry."

Monjoy has now revived his father's production house 'Joy Mukerji Enterprises' with his directorial debut "Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara". Monjoy had to knock the doors of several producers to get another of his film funded, which ultimately got shelved.

"For me, it was extremely difficult to crawl back and get a foothold in the industry. I went from producer to producer with scripts but nothing happened. I wanted to make a film but it required big stars. That movie never happened.

"If your father is in rolling, then it becomes easy for star kids, but for me whose father was in the business 40 years ago, it was difficult."

"Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara" is a youthful slice-of-life story of three young couples. The romantic comedy, which is slated to release on August 5, has instances which Monjoy has taken from his father's films.

"I am an ardent rom-com fan and even my father's films were in similar space. They were monster hits which had wonderful music, great romance and superb cast. There are reflections of that in my film too. I have been inspired by his work."

Starring relatively new faces Sahil Anand, Niyati Joshi, Vikram Kochchar, Divya Choksey, Nilesh Lalwani, Jayaka Yagnik, Herry Tangri and Sareh Far, the film chronicles the lives of three couples and how they discover the fruits of love.

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