Jaane Jaan producer says Kareena Kapoor worked like a ‘thorough professional’ as she shot film after birth of Jehangir
Jaane Jaan producer Jay Shewakramani talks to HT about the film shoot in Kalimpong and Darjeeling and how working with Sujoy Ghosh is no less than a dream.
Sujoy Ghosh is back with yet another ‘Kahaani’ Jaane Jaan and for a change, the film has all the three lead actors Kareena Kapoor, Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Varma in never seen before avatars. Around the film’s release on Netflix, producer Jay Shewakramani spoke to Hindustan Times about the making of the thriller, which he insists is actually a love story at the root of it. Also read: Kareena Kapoor never shied away from taking the road less travelled: Her 5 most unconventional roles
He also opened up about shooting for the project in Kalimpong and Darjeeling at a time when the second wave of Covid was slowing down. Excerpts from the interview:
Jaane Jaan is a thriller just like your last production, Freddy. Are you very good with thrillers when it comes to producing films?
Yeah, it's a genre I love for sure, but it's actually merely a coincidence that it's happened back-to-back. Jaane Jaan is actually a love story in Sujoy Ghosh's world. It’s not as hard hitting as Kahaani. It's based on the novel Devotion of Suspect X, so it's a very different film from Kahaani. The only similarity is that Sujoy is directing it and both are thrillers, but as stories they're completely different.
There is a lot of curiosity around Jaideep Ahlawat's role because he has not been seen like that before. Why was he chosen for the role?
Jadeep's look is very different from what he has done. It was Sujoy's idea, he named him instantly. If you look at it, Jadeep is in a role like never before, just like Kareena. Even Vijay, who I can't remember the last time he played a positive guy. It's exciting when you go to actors and give them scripts which they've never attempted. I think that's the unique freshness that is attracting people to the film. Watch the film, Jaideep is gonna surprise everyone.
Share your experience of working with Sujoy Ghosh?
By far, Sujoy is the most prepared and talented director in terms of when he came with this film to us, while he was narrating it, you could see the film. He was visually ready. He's great fun to work with, the atmosphere on the sets is great when you're with him. He's great with his actors, so all in all, Sujoy is a dream to work with.
How was it to shoot in Kalimpong?
It was almost the end of the second wave of the Covid pandemic. Hill stations are generally socially distant. Our first schedule was in Kalimpong and Darjeeling. It was brilliant, the people there were so helpful. If you see Sujoy's films like Kahaani, Badla or whichever, you can see that the location is also a character in the film. And here also Kalimpong and Darjeeling are one of the characters of Jaane Jaan.
Was there a challenge in shooting in Kalimpong or is it easier in cities?
The sets of challenges are quite normal which any shooting faces. But like I said, the people there were extremely helpful. Also, Sujoy is very popular in Kolkata, Kalimpong and Darjeeling. People actually go out of their way if it is Sujoy's film. More than challenges, we got more love from the people there.
It was Kareena's first film shoot after the birth of her second son, Jehangir. Was any special arrangement made for her regarding her child?
Kareena is like family, Jeh was of course traveling with her. What happens when you're shooting a film with Kareena is that you don't even feel that there is a kid back home. She is such a thorough professional. In the last 20 days, Saif and Taimur also joined in for a holiday. We went out together. Everything was just normal like a family and the kids were also enjoying the hill station.
What is the process of adapting a book on screen with due credit? Do you stick to the plot or is it okay to reinvent it?
When you are making it in a certain country, you have to adapt to the culture, the sensibilities of that place. So the author and all others are very flexible in that scenario. When you have a director like Sujoy Ghosh, who is actually very rooted when the stories are concerned. For him, it comes naturally to adapt to our sensibilities. Jaane Jaan is an emotional film, emotions are universal.
Some have questioned why the film is getting an OTT release. Sujoy even replied to a person on X.
It’s not like Jaane Jaan was a theatrical and is now going to OTT. Since the beginning, the film was supposed to be for OTT. Right now, for all of us, Netflix is absolutely the right home for the film.