Art & Entertainment

Vikramaditya Motwane On Exploring Golden Era Of Cinema In 'Jubilee': Truth, Gossip And Urban Legends

Some stories are real and others just "urban legends" in "Jubilee", says director Vikramaditya Motwane about his 10-part series that serves as an interesting guide to the early days of Hindi cinema.

Vikramaditya Motwane

Some stories are real and others just "urban legends" in "Jubilee", says director Vikramaditya Motwane about his 10-part series that serves as an interesting guide to the early days of Hindi cinema.

"Jubilee", set during the Partition and the decades after that, chronicles the lives of a studio boss, his movie-star wife, his trusted aide, a rising star, a nautch girl and a refugee.

According to Motwane, who co-created the Prime Video show with Soumik Sen, it all started as a small idea about exploring the power dynamics and the drama of those early years of cinema.

"But it's taken a good five-six years for that one idea to end up becoming a pitch and then a series... It's been quite a journey," Motwane told PTI in an interview.

"It's the stories you hear... There is some truth, some gossip and everything put into this. Today (who's to say) what's true, what's made up and what's an urban legend that's taken a life of its own to become stories that we hear almost 70-75 years after the era... It's a wonderful way of presenting it to the audience," he said.

The first part of the series, featuring a stellar cast in Prosenjit Chatterjee, Aditi Rao Hydari, Aparshakti Khurana, Wamiqa Gabbi, Sidhant Gupta, Nandish Sandhu, and Ram Kapoor, will premiere on April 7, followed by the second part, also consisting of five episodes, releasing on April 14.

The challenges in recreating the era within a budget were aplenty but fun for the director, known for projects such as "Udaan", "Lootera", "Trapped" and "Sacred Games" series.

"Every challenge was a lovely challenge and the normal challenges of saying, 'Okay, you've got to be able to create this very, very ambitious world within a certain amount of money and all that kind of stuff...' Those are good challenges," Motwane said, crediting screenplay and dialogue writer Atul Sabharwal for coming up with layered characters rooted in moments from history.

Whether it's the start of Hindi film songs on Radio Ceylon due to a ban on film music on All India Radio or the beginning of playback singing and cinema scope in cinema, the historical moments and the advances in the technology have been woven into the story in an interesting way, he said.

"It doesn't feel like you're getting an education, but you are, in an entertaining sort of way.

"The fact that it happens to be in an industry where we bring a lot of our own love and affection for the medium, our own aesthetic value to it, is a bonus."

Motwane said every day they went out and tried to achieve something through a fantastic team of writers, technicians, music composers and the cast.

"Everybody just came with their A plus game. So, every day has been a delight," he recalled.

"Jubilee" also launched its music album recently. With tracks such as "Udan Khatola" "Vo Tere Mere Ishq", "Chandu Naache", "Babuji Bhole Bhaale", the soundtrack is true to the era the story is set and harks back to the music of K L Sehgal and other greats.


The songs, voiced by Sunidhi Chauhan, Papon, Swanand Kirkire, Shahid Mallya and Mohammed Irfan, are composed by Amit Trivedi with lyrics penned by Kausar Munir.

Motwane said Trivedi initially "freaked out" to learn that he had to compose 10 songs but ended up creating a phenomenal album.

"He's never let me down as a composer ever in my life," the director said.

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