Dharma Productions’ chocolate boy Varun Dhawan and their lucky mascot Kiara Advani have paired up together on-screen for the first time in Raj Mehta’s directorial Jugjugg Jeeyo, also starring Anil Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor.
Jugjugg Jeeyo is a story set in the heart of Patiala, India and much like the city, it’s full of love and laughter, colour and drama. It’s been five years since Kukoo (Varun Dhawan) and Nainaa (Kiara Advani) got married after knowing each other practically all their lives, and now they need to break it to their family that they want a divorce.
Kukoo’s parents, Bheem (Anil Kapoor) and Geeta (Neetu Kapoor), a couple that everyone looks up to, have no plans of making Kukoo and Nainaa’s lives easier. They have their own plans and set of surprises in store for the young couple; all this in the middle of Kukoo’s sister’s wedding. It’s about family and its values, unresolved yearnings and unexpected reconciliations.
In Conversation with BollyNewsUK, Varun and Kiara chat about their new film and how Bollywood needs to go back to its roots, making family entertainers that are enjoyed by audiences worldwide…
Were you concerned about backlash on how sensitive issues of infidelity and divorce are depicted in the film?
Varun: We’ve not seen backlash when infidelity is shown with humour. I think, audiences love it for some reason (laughs). This film shows the issues with humour, but also with emotion. You will see it very nicely handled by the director in the film.
Kiara: The story is relatable and Raj, the director, has a very modern perspective. I instantly fell in love and connected with each character and where they come from. There is a lot of entertainment in the film, but audiences will understand the characters. It’s very easy to say from the outside on how things should be handled in a relationship. Whatever happens between two people, should be decided by them. I don’t think the outside world should be judging them. Raj is breaking those stereotypes and he is able to use a very stigmitised issue like divorce and depict it with situational comedy and still move an audience, whether at single screens or multiplexes, with emotions. I was never nervous about backlash because our director knows how to strike a good balance.
How would you describe the film?
Varun: I would call it an all-out commercial film. India is known for making multi-genre films and this one has everything. It’s a family film, a love story, a brother-sister relationship story, about relationship dynamics, friendships, and yet it will have a smooth landing.
Kiara: It will not be an expected ending. That’s what makes it interesting.
How do you think the film will connect with audiences here in the United Kingdom?
Varun: The advance bookings for the film in the UK are very encouraging. I know people are excited to watch it and it gives you the typical Dharma Productions film vibe.
Kiara: It’s a very rooted film. We also haven’t had a family entertainer like this in a long time, even Dharma Productions haven’t had such a film in recent years. We grew up on films like Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham and this belongs in that space and we believe it will resonate with the audience, especially overseas. I have a lot of relatives abroad who have been texting me how they can’t wait to watch the film.
Do you feel it’s time for Bollywood to make more traditional films again?
Varun: I think, we need to go back to our roots and connect with audiences from all parts of society.
Kiara: I feel Jugjugg Jeeyo is that new-age commercial film, with the USP of an ensemble cast, entertainment and big songs, but it’s being presented with a fresh perspective. We are hopeful, excited and looking forward to all the reactions from audiences from across the globe.
Jugjugg Jeeyo is in UK cinemas nationwide from Friday, 24th June 2022.