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Reuniting A Magical Couple After A Decade: Paani Ch Madhaani

Diwali sure looks bright for the lovers of Punjabi cinema the world over. Thanks to a much-awaited film, Paani Ch Madhaani, that reunites Pollywood sensations Gippy Grewal and Neeru Bajwa after a decade.

Actor-singer Gippy Grewal made his debut opposite Neeru Bajwa in 2010’s Mel Karade Rabba and also shared screen space with her in Jinhe Mera Dil Lutteya a year later.  The credit for getting them back together rests on the shoulders of Seattle-based dentist, Dr Prabhjot Singh Sidhu and his friend Sunny Raj.

Speaking about his aim, Dr Sidhu said, “Harbhajan Mann, my idol, was the one who actually revived Punjabi cinema in the 90s. We hope to give a shot in the arm to the Punjabi film industry after the testing times of the pandemic with this film.”

Shooting During The Pandemic
Speaking about the struggles of shooting during the pandemic, Dr Sidhu says, “The entire team was revved up and gung ho during the testing times when there was negativity all around. The common thread of working on something positive, and a concept that has not been explored together kept us motivated.”

“The major part of the film was shot in London during the pandemic and we had to shoot with a crowd. The moment the director said action, people had to remove their masks. If anybody had his mask on, we had to cut it and shoot it again. Because it was a period film, masks had no place in it,” says Gippy.

Reviving Pollywood
“It’s good to be back!” exclaims Gippy Grewal, who is enjoying promotions for the film in person, ditching zoom calls. “I missed interacting with my fans during the lockdown and I’m loving it. It’s like an extension of the fun we had while making the film,” he adds.

Speaking about the revival of not just the Punjabi industry, but also his love for Punjabi culture, Dr Sidhu reveals, “It is my ode to my mother tongue, Punjabi. I was born and raised in Seattle but remain very close to my culture and roots. This was the reason why I wanted to do my bit to revive the nostalgic elements of Punjabi cinema that included good content, clean and melodious music, but most importantly, a storyline that could be enjoyed by families.”

The film takes us back to those good old days of stage performances and the struggles the lead pair and their band of singers and musicians face in their quest to be successful. Gulli, played by Gippy Grewal, is a common guy with big dreams. He will do whatever it takes to achieve success through his passion for singing. The story of a struggling singer trying to turn his life around, with all of its ups and downs, comedy, and of course music is what forms the crux of Paani Ch Madhaani.

Besides Gippy Grewal and Neeru Bajwa, the movie also stars Karamjit Anmol, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Malkeet Rauni and more. Further, written by Naresh Khathooria, the movie will be directed by Vijay Kumar Arora. The music will be released on Humble Music. Jatinder Shah is the music director. Happy Raikoti has written the lyrics of the songs.

Meanwhile, both Gippy and Neeru have a couple of other projects in hand. While Gippy Grewal’s ‘Posti’, ‘Maa’, ‘Phatte Dinde Chakk Punjabi’ and more are in the pipeline, Neeru Bajwa has ‘Beautiful Billo’ and ‘Kokka’ on her plate.

Gippy, who released two albums – The Main Man and Limited Edition, during the pandemic, is not digressing from the path of music. “Music won’t take a backseat in my life. I would be releasing more videos of songs from my second album. I am also planning an album which will be dedicated fully to folk songs and the old style of singing. I have to thank this film for reviving those good old music days on screen,” he says.

Neeru says she has done a lot of research to play a stage singer. “My inspiration were legends such as Surinder Kaur, Prakash Kaur, and many others,” reveals the undisputed queen of Pollywood, who has also has a Hollywood project in her kitty. But choosing to remain tight-lipped about it, the actor says, “It’s an untitled film and I will be sharing details about it soon. On my upcoming projects Koka with Gurnam Bhullar and Kali Jotta, again produced by Dr Sidhu, with Satinder Sartaj are really close to my heart.”

Dr Prabhjot Sidhu, on his part, is sure that Paani Ch Madhaani won’t be simply a flash in the pan to do something about his passion for Punjab’s rich cultural heritage. “The response to the trailer, the teamwork and ideas exchanged during the shooting of Paani Ch Madhaani and Kali Jotta, and the fun and learning experience I had during these two projects have motivated me enough to think seriously about doing something for and within the Punjabi industry to take it to the global level. More than anything else, the idea is to cultivate a love for the language, and our culture among our future generations. My childhood in Seattle was heavily influenced by Punjabi music and culture through its cinema. I would like to contribute in my own way to maintain this, especially for the expats and our children. Cinema and entertainment is the best way to do that!” says Dr Singh. After cinema across India being in troubled waters due to the pandemic, things are starting to look good with Paani Ch Madhaani releasing worldwide on November 5. The trailer has already crossed 13 million views and is an indication of how much the audiences are looking forward to the film.

Text by Aarti K Singh

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