Female bonding may be a common theme between Swara Bhasker’s upcoming film “Jahaan Chaar Yaar” and her 2018 release “Veere Di Wedding”, but the actor says the treatment is different.
Also starring Meher Vij, Pooja Chopra and Shikha Talsania, “Jahaan Chaar Yaar” narrates the journey of four married friends who set off to Goa seeking solace from their ordinary lives and find themselves in “an extraordinary adventure”.
"Veere Di Wedding" was a slice-of-life film exploring the spirit of modern-day women. Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Talsania rounded out the cast of the movie as well.
While “Veere Di Wedding” explored the sisterhood of the elite, “Jahaan Chaar Yaar” is about small-town married women, said Bhasker.
“In ‘Veere Di Wedding’, it was an urban, uber rich and cool kind of crowd. In ‘Jahaan Chaar Yaar’, it is a grounded, desi story of small-town married women, which we have never seen before. That was very exciting for me personally,” the 34-year-old actor told PTI in an interview.
One needs to pay attention to detail and not paint all the films with the same brush, she said.
“In that sense every love story is a love story, the theme is the same, every woman standing up to the world is a story about a woman fighting. So, we shouldn’t get stuck in one-liners, we have to see the world, the detailing,” Bhasker added.
Describing “Jahaan Chaar Yaar” as a coming-of-age story of women, who the society often ignores, the actor said the film aims to not highlight or talk about feminism.
The buddy comedy is the debut directorial venture of writer Kamal Pandey, known for films such as “Milan Talkies” and “Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana”.
“Children can be selfish. We don't think that our moms can have a life beyond what they do. The message is everyone deserves to have fun, to be able to express their own needs.
“But the story is told in a fun way that doesn't seem like a ‘jhanda morcha’ (rally) kind of film. It is a film that you will universally relate to either you are that person or you know someone like that or as a man that is your wife or mother or sister,” she said.
Bhasker, who was offered “Jahaan Chaar Yaar” in 2021, said she was surprised by Pandey's sensitive and authentic approach.
“The director has a sensitive and authentic understanding of the experience of a woman and what a marriage can mean for certain kinds of woman, like how it can be your whole life and identity that you forget who you are, your own ambitions. The way he has brought all this to life is very warm,” she added.
Bhasker plays Shivangi, a devoted housewife, a character diametrically opposite to her real self and firebrand roles she has played on screen like in “Anaarkali of Aarah”, “Raanjhanaa”, and “Rasbhari”.
"When I read the script, I told him (Pandey) give me Shivangi’s part because it is a character I have never done before. She is like a doormat, her greatest fear is that her husband will get angry, her pet lines are ‘Let me ask him’.
“It is very different not just from the roles that I have done but also different from the person I am. I don’t remember having to ask for permission to do anything in my life,” she said.
The character of Shivangi gave her an opportunity to explore and embrace her vulnerable side, added the actor.
“I was bored (playing the same strong roles). As an actor I need to be doing newer and different kinds of stuff. First, you want to do obviously flamboyant characters. It was a chance to play an uncool character and discover the coolness in her. And, see if I can pull that off in a way that is lovable, heart-warming,” she said.
Produced by Vinod Bachchan, “Jahaan Chaar Yaar” is slated to be released in theatres on September 16.
Bhasker will next be seen in "Mimamsa", a murder mystery, and a women-centric drama "Mrs Falani".
A literature student from Delhi University's Miranda House, the actor said she has penned a few stories which she hopes to make for the screen.
“Writing seemed natural. I had stories in my head and wanted to tell it and act in it. One is a love triangle which is raw and intense and the other is a romantic-comedy, a friendship based rom-com,” she added.