Sonali Singh talks about Janhit Mein Jaari, screenplay , her journey and much more.
How did you land up in Janhit Mein Jaari?
So, I joined Thinkink Picturez in june 2020 as a Creative Producer & Content Head. I was given a few scripts to read and had to prioritise the movies that should go in further writing and production. So out of the few that i read at the time, was ‘Little Umbrella’. When I read it, it was just a paragraph about a girl who sells condom and a few details about her background. I found the subject to be very intriguing so, I called Raaj and told him that we should be going ahead with this. He agreed and then this was given to Jai Basantu Singh to write. Jai wrote the first draft and we were so pumped about it and wanted to explore more of the world and that’s when we started writing the screenplay together. As a content head my job was to select the correct script for Thinkink Picturez to go in production as this would be their first production. And in no time we started writing it, finised the script, shot it, edited it and are now releasing it. As a Creative Producer, my job was to turn the project around in less time and we did it all in less than 9 months from final stage writing to pre production to shooting to post to release.
You were a part of screenplay writing also so How difficult was to write screenplay of sucha bold subject?
Well, In one of the recent interviews Our director said ‘it would be wrong if we call JanhitMeinJaari a bold film, No it’s not bold it’s BRAVE’ and i couldn’t agree more. Honestly I come from a background where i couldn’t tell my family till today that my movie is about a girl who sells condom, every time my father used to ask me what is your movie about, i used to tell him it’s about over population and how to control it. I couldn’t use the word condom until one day when our trailer released and i sent him the trailer stright away and he reacted so positively to that. So this was indeed a bold subject to write and we needed to make sure that we portray it with utmost diginity and humour because everyone knows about condom but nobody wants to use it and on the top of that people aren’t even aware of the repercussions it can have on a human body. The kind of research we have done on abortions and what women go through after that , her physiological and psychological state. We tried to bring all of that in our movie keeping in mind that we still need to entertain the audience and hence putting it all together with elements of life. So yes it was challenging but a lot of scenes came from my past experiences too. So the audience will able to feel what a women feels and experiences and hopefully all of this will happen while they laugh their gut out.
What do you expect from the movie?
We are filmmakers, we can only expect that any movie we make reaches our audiences and touch them in some way so that they feel what we are trying to say. Our intentions in making this movie were very pure. We do hope that the word ‘condom’ is more normalised after our movie. We all (people associated to this project) talk about condom like it’s any other normal topic/issue . When we go out and discuss about the movie, the moment we say ‘condom’ people not only stare at us but laugh at us. This is exactly what needs to be changed. A girl with her head high can ask for condom just like any other important thing from a medical store . That’s what we expect out of this movie.
You have also choreographed the montage songs for this movie? How did it come to you?
Well, honestly this wasn’t that difficult. Song montages came very naturally to me. I remember our director was shooting and everyday we used to discuss montages. When you will see the montages in song you will know why and how audience will relate to it because it’s no dreamy thing it’s a reality of two people staying together before and after marriage. So we didn’t do typical filmy stuff, we tried to make it as real and raw as possible. For every new location, me and our director used to discuss montages and we used to shoot it. Half of the times no one knew what we are shooting.
How difficult was it to get into movies?
It’s a journey. A journey that requires risks, hardwork, work ethics, intelligence etc. so i have lived each phase as it came. I came to Mumbai lying my parents that I have a got a job that gives me house to stay, food and basic necessity but the truth was i came to mumbai with just 30 thousand rupees in my bank account and not knowing where and how would i land up. One of my friend suggested me this line and I started my career as Associate Creative Head with Balaji telefilms. Whole learning started from there .. Once you start with TV it gets difficult for you to get into movies because no one takes you seriously and on top of that everyone questions your sensibilities and that’s the time where your patience helps. If you know your work just keep doing it and wait for right time. You work always speaks and that’s what i have always done. After TV, I started doing web series and then i was a part of one hollywood project which unfortunately stopped because of corona and after that i joined Thinkink Picturez and from there my journey of writing and creating began again.
Didn’t you face any challenges being so young?
I did, trust me it isn’t that easy. People who were elder to me got intimidated and sometimes offended but little did they know that in our industry age doesn’t matter, what matter is the knowledge and your approach towards your work. I started working from the age of 15 and it hasn’t been an easy ride. It took me years to reach where i am today, I have always believed in learning and getting better each day. I still remember sleeping empty stomach for days so that i can save money for rikshaw to work. I have had days of eating parle G and staying in 1 room kitchen apartment with two other girls and i saw that in very early age. Everyday while going on work i used to cross starbucks and feel when will i come here and have coffee and open my laptop and write as it was sucha big thing for me back then but it all got me motivated to do better all the time. People only see success but no one knows the real struggle. I am so proud of me that I am a self made person, whatever i am today and i will be tomorrow it will be just because of me. And yes i hope i can change the mind set of people that young doesn’t mean dumb. Young means the new perspective, new ideas , better plots.
How did your journey as writer begin?
So I started writing as a ghost writer while i was doing web shows as a Creative Director back in time. I started writing to earn that extra money. I only used to sleep for 3-4 hours a day. I used to do my shoot shift of 12 hours come back home snd used to write story and screenplay of shows as a ghost writer. That’s when i developed the liking for writing then i started studying more about stories , screenplay, structures and acts because it’s a never learning process and after that Janhit Mein Jaari came where i started writing Screenplay along with Jai. Our thought process was so same that writing screenplay with him was a fun process. We were always complimenting each other’s scenes.