I'm trying to find my space: Sooraj Barjataya on making new-age family dramas

Komal Panchamatia

Mumbai, Feb 2 (PTI) Director Sooraj Barjataya is known for his affinity towards family dramas, but the filmmaker says he finds it challenging to enlighten the youth about Indian traditions and values.

The director made his debut with 'Maine Pyar Kiya' (1989) and went on to make 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!' (1994), 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' (1999), 'Vivah' (2006) and 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' (2015), all focusing on the bond a family shares.

'Today I feel much more responsible to society to keep making it (family dramas) as no one else is making it.

'I also know, it is not about staying together, it is no longer about that as you can't stay because of space issue, also there are going to be moments of arguments which you must show in a healthy way. But how to make it is a challenge for youngsters so that they can also relate to it,' Barjataya told PTI in an interview.

The director said he looks up to filmmamkers like Rajkumar Hirani, Amit Ravindernath Sharma and Amar Kaushik who make movies in a novel way for family audiences, for inspiration.

'I appreciate when I see something like 'Badhaai Ho' or 'Bala' or how Raju Hirani makes films. I feel it is so healthy,' he added.

Barjataya said while he is aware that families still enjoy watching his movies, he wants his stories to resonate with the youth as well.

'I know youngsters don't come for my films except for 'Maine Pyar Kiya'. It is a family audience that comes. I am not tied with any commercial aspects to make a film. As a business venture, there is a hunt to reach out to youngsters because unless you don't reach out to them you are not helping society.

'But they don't want anything preachy. I remember when a brother and sister came out and walked up to me after watching 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' and she told me don't show us the dreams. I understand you have to show things in a practical way, but it is important to stay connected and that's what I want to keep doing it.' The director said he does not mind harsh criticism from younger generation, but feels sad when the youth doesn't relate to his vision.

'It doesn't hurt me but I do feel sad as I have seen the plus points, I have seen how goodness can win. It is becoming difficult and everything is so complex and I am trying to find my space in it. It is not easy,' he added.

Barjataya's latest offering is TV show 'Dadi Amma... Dadi Amma Maan Jaao', which focuses on the relationship children share with their grandparents. The show is currently being aired on Star Plus. PTI SHD SHD