• Saturday, March 02, 2024


Manoj Bajpayee says 2023 has been a blessed year

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 11: Manoj Bajpayee attends the 2023 New York Indian Film Festival opening night screening of “The Three Of Us” at Village East by Angelika on May 11, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

By: Mohnish Singh

Manoj Bajpayee says he is happy that his two films, Gulmohar and Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai, have been embraced by the audiences and he hopes to end the year on a high note with Joram, a story that deals with issues of displacement and environmental crisis.

Bajpayee started 2023 with Disney+ Hotstar’s Gulmohar, a family drama movie that was directed by Rahul V Chittella and also starred veteran actor Sharmila Tagore. He followed it up with Apoorv Singh Karki’s courtroom drama Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai, which premiered on ZEE5.

The two movies were screened at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here on Friday as part of the Indian Panorama section. Bajpayee attended the screening of both the movie with Chittella and Karki.

“It’s so amazing that this year has been quite massive for me. Two of my films — Gulmohar and Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai — have really entertained the audience and they’ve really achieved success which was miraculous for any film to achieve on OTT. And now we are ending with Joram.

“So what else can I expect from my career? This has been a blessed year for me with Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai and Gulmohar becoming such cult films and appreciated by one and all,” the actor told PTI in an interview.

Joram reunites Bajpayee with Devashish Makhija, the writer-director of his 2018 movie “Bhonsle” for which the actor had won the National Film Award.

In the new movie, Bajpayee plays a father, who must be on the run with his baby girl across half the country to safeguard her fate from the “ghosts of his past and the forces that want him dead at any cost”.

“I said yes to Joram long ago but it was taking time for Devashish to really find a way to do it and for me to find a producer for the film. I really feel so surprised and happy that Zee Studios immediately agreed to back the film.

“And once a big corporate like Zee Studios is convinced about a subject like Joram, you know that your journey is going to be far easier.” While Bhonsle dealt with themes of loneliness, identity, and belonging, Joram explores the conflict between man and nature, he said.

Joram is dealing with displacement. It is dealing with the conflict between the environment and man. I am so surprised that Devashish has such a great mind, he dealt with both the worlds (in ‘Bhonsle’ and ‘Joram’) and both the problems so well. As if he was an expert on loneliness in ‘Bhonsle’ and as if he’s an environmental ambassador who knows about the problems of environment and displacement so well.”

There were only challenges when Bajpayee started on the project. The actor said coming up with a convincing performance was a hard task.

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