Chandigarh: The tragic story of a gypsy girl who falls in love outside her caste will be carried forward 28 years later with a sequel to the 1984 Haryanvi film "Chandrawal" releasing in theatres across northern India next month.
When it was released in March 1984, the Haryanvi film created a record of sorts in the Jat-dominated northern belt. Encouraged by the success of Hollywood and Bollywood sequels, producers are hoping that the first Haryanvi sequel, ‘Chandrawal II,’ will also be a hit.
In a big step for the Haryanvi film industry, eclipsed by Bollywood, ‘"Chandrawal II’ releases May 4 in cinema houses and multiplexes in Haryana, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and later even in Mumbai.
Director Nishant Prabhakar says it's not easy to take the story of Chandrawal forward after such a long gap.
‘It was very challenging to work again with a 28-year-old story. Accepting the challenge, we announced the launch of the film in 2010. We had several discussions and Mrs Usha Sharma, the main actress of “Chandrawal,” guided us,’ Prabhakar said.
The earlier film was the doomed love story between a gypsy girl called Chandrawal and Suraj, a boy from another caste. The girl's family objects to the romance with tragic consequences, a clear contemporary subtext to the honour killings in Haryana.
‘Chandrawal II’ has a new and interesting story, the filmmakers said, refusing to divulge details though speculation is that it could deal with the issue of rebirth.
The sequel has songs like ‘Jija Tu Kala Mai Gori Ghani’ and ‘Mera Chundar Manga De Ho Nandi Ke Bira,’ which have already been released and evoked a good response from the market.
‘The music of the movie is quite good, which truly reflects the story of the movie. Songs of the movie are based on the compositions of well-known Haryanavi litterateur (late) Devi Shankar Prabhakar. The music has been composed by Uttam Singh (of 'Dil To Pagal Hai', 'Gadar' and 'Baghban' fame),’ Prabhakar said.
Songs in the sequel have been sung by leading singers Udit Narayan, Shaan, Richa Sharma and others.
‘We have shot all songs keeping in view the Haryanavi folk dance and culture in mind,’ he said.
The Haryanvi film industry has never been able to establish itself completely with only 30-35 films being made in the last 45 years. Among the first Haryanvi films was ‘Dharti’ in 1968 and the latest is ‘Mutbhed - the encounter’ in 2011.
‘Chandrawal II’ is the fifth Haryanvi movie under the banner of Prabhakar Films.
‘People have many expectations from Chandrawal-II,’ said producer and actress Usha Sharma.
In tune with the technology of the times, the makers of the film are already promoting it on YouTube and Facebook.
‘We have taken care that people having little knowledge of Haryanvi could also understand this. 'Chandrawal' holds a unique identity in Haryana due to the success of the film when it was released,’ Prabhakar said.
Sharma recalled how the entire cost of the film had been recovered from Gagan Cinema in Faridabad where the film celebrated its silver jubilee.
‘In western Uttar Pradesh, the film even surpassed the success in Haryana when it celebrated its golden jubilee at Muzaffarnagar and silver jubilee at Meerut, Shamli and Saharanpur,’ she pointed out.
The producers had even honoured a dozen cine-goers of Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh who had seen the film over 200 times!
It is being fervently hoped that the sequel casts the same spell.