Sooraj Barjatya, the visionary behind Bollywood classics like Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Hum Saath-Saath Hain, is gearing up for his next release, Uunchai. The movie chronicles three friends (Amitabh Bachchan, Boman Irani and Anupam Kher), who climb Everest for a promise to their deceased friend (Danny Denzongpa).
The film, he claims is his ‘most layered’, a fresh take from the quintessential family dramas. He tells Filme Shilmy: “I was wanting to make something where I’ll be able to convey the values of life and family to younger audiences. I got the subject but saying it through elders. Whichever age group, everyone is trying to overcome some ‘Uunchai’ (height) or the other.”
Amidst the influx of OTT content, many of which are gritty and dark, pictures like this one are a rarity. It has become uncommon to find fun, poignant and feel-good projects. However, Barjatya is not worried about his voice getting lost with the changing times. “There is an audience for all kinds of cinema. There is also an audience that would like to see traditional things on the screen,” he says.
“I feel no maker should tell stories of ‘what is working’. Take the best technique, say it the way you want to, but tell stories from the heart. Otherwise, you will fake it and no one wants to see fakeness. There is so much to watch at home and people will only pay a big amount of money to see something which is out of sincerity.”
Sooraj’s collaboration with Salman Khan, since his directorial debut Maine Pyar Kiya, has always been highly awaited. Khan’s character of ‘Prem’ painted the idylistic image of a boy-next-door. A hero whose machismo is not in toxic masculinity, but embracing vulnerability and values, making that their core strengths. Their last movie together was Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. The next time they work together, Barjatya hopes to present a ‘fresh avatar’ of Prem. He will script this post-Uunchai‘s release.
He exclusively reveals: “It will be a family film again. I’d like to again present Salman as Prem, but this time, he would be married. Someone who is living a life, like how I am today. He would be facing his own challenges but retain that happiness. He is a family man but a married man now, surely.”
Uunchai releases on 11th November. It is produced by Rajshri Productions and Mahaveer Jain Films. Yash Raj Films are roped in as the international distributor.
Watch our interview with Sooraj Barjatya here: