Even as he feels that comedy shouldn’t be intensely scrutinised, Jugjugg Jeeyo director on how he constantly re-evaluate the material as he handled delicate subject of divorce
A still from the film
Director Raj Mehta reveals that the premise of Jugjugg Jeeyo, starring Anil Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani, came from Kesari (2019) filmmaker Anurag Singh. “What attracted me was the one-liner, and I wanted to dig into it,” begins Mehta. The film sees a young couple, essayed by Dhawan and Advani, contemplating divorce. When Dhawan’s character considers breaking the news to his family, he is shocked to know that his parents too are headed for divorce. Mehta knew that the film had ample scope for humour. “I want to not only make people laugh, but also leave them with a thought. Divorce is a tricky subject. I don’t want to tell viewers what is right or wrong. I want to leave them with questions, and they can decide.”
Of late, comedy has come under intense scrutiny. As a filmmaker who is tackling a serious subject in a light-hearted manner, did he feel the need to employ self-censorship? “How you react to a joke depends on whether it reminds you of an experience, and how much you have processed it. I want to [tell people to] stop getting offended. Getting offended is becoming a hobby. But as filmmakers navigate this environment and run the risk of being cancelled, we are always questioning ourselves. That said, I knew all along that in the name of fun, I can’t offend people who have been devastated by their divorces. I had to strike that balance.”
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With his last release Good Newwz (2019) having minted money at the box office, the director admits there was additional pressure. “When I was making the film, I didn’t let it play on my mind. Now, a day away from release, I am thinking of the reactions that will come my way.”
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