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Film promises to strike a chord with the common man

Madhur Tankha
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A different take: Actors Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri and director Onir (left) during an event to promote their upcoming movie “I AM
A different take: Actors Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri and director Onir (left) during an event to promote their upcoming movie “I AM" in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Actors Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri have again teamed up to produce an unconventional film I Am that deals with bold social issues.

Interwoven stories

The film, which has four interwoven short stories, is releasing this Friday. “We have derived inspiration for I Am from Rabindranath Tagore's poetry. The audience will relate to issues like child molestation, displacement and single parenthood as the characters are from ordinary working class background. The film is like a monologue. People will definitely connect with the film,” says filmmaker Onir.

Onir, a Bengali who experienced displacement after leaving Bhutan to live in India, says people displaced from their homeland will relate to the film.

The film highlights the grief and trauma of a Kashmiri Pandit woman displaced from her homeland. The woman (Juhi Chawla) returns to the Valley after two decades and meets her Muslim friend.

According to Juhi, who shares excellent working relations with Onir and Sanjay Suri having worked with them in My Brother… Nikhil, the film is an off-beat one with relatable subjects.

“Earlier, the duo came to me with a bound script. But this time they asked me to chip in with finance. Through Facebook Onir started a new way of funding. I was the first person who contributed on the social networking site. The film has been made with a shoe-string budget,” said Juhi, addressing a press conference here on Tuesday.

Right before the inception, Onir was clear that he did not want to make a mainstream film.

“I have acted in three or four unconventional films. After acting in umpteen number of films and dancing around trees, I want to take up projects that explore the actor in me. Also, the role must suit my image and age,” says Juhi.

Juhi for the first time shares the big screen with Manisha Koirala, who is playing a Muslim woman.

Essaying a character who was physically abused during his childhood, Sanjay Suri says it was difficult talking to people who have been victim of child sexual abuse but he read a few books on the subject. “Victims of child abuse are scarred for rest of their lives.”

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