The Asian Today’s Anita speaks to Double The Trouble’s Kulraj Randhawa
Kulraj Randhawa is an Indian actress who has performed in a number of Bollywood and Punjabi films of which her most recent, Double Di Trouble, is a desi take on a well-known Shakespearean play in which a father and son pair stumble across their mirror image in a different city.
What’s the film Double Di Trouble about?
The film is a comedy based on a situation of mistaken identity between two fathers and two sons. There’s a lot of confusion between the families as a result and adding to that confusion is a whole cast of other characters. In the film, I’m married to one of the sons, played by Gippy Grewal, and his father is played by Dharam Paaji.
It’s basically a laugh riot all the way from the beginning to the end.
What’s your role in the film?
I play Gippy’s wife and I too get involved in the confusion, particularly between my husband and the other son who looks identical to him. This adds more to the existing confusion as they both look very alike.
What was it like working with Gippy Grewal?
It’s great to be working with Gippy. I’ve known him for a long time, even before he began his film career. He’s doing brilliantly well in his career. I’ve wanted us to work together for a very long time and I hope to work again with him in the future.
How did you start your career?
I was very much focused on my education, and it wasn’t at all my dream to act, which was something I never thought about being so busy with my studies. I was also writing at the time and was working as a journalist. I was interviewing a film guru at one point and he was teaching acting classes in Bombay. He gave me a shock when he invited me to attend one of his acting classes and I accepted his offer.
After attending a few acting classes, I picked up on acting and I’ve never looked back.
You’ve worked in both Bollywood and Punjabi films. How do you find the Punjabi scene in comparison to the Bollywood one?
I’ve been working in Punjabi cinema for a long time and I’ve honestly seen it grow before my eyes. I think it has grown leaps and bounds in the past five years and Hindi cinema now has a decent budget to work with too. It’s definitely up-time for the industry at the moment, and it’s definitely attracting more talent and newer talent too. It’s a great time to be working in Punjabi cinema.
How do you feel about Punjabi films being hosted in mainstream cinemas alongside Bollywood and Hollywood movies?
I think it’s great that Punjabi cinema is being noticed as a serious market and are hitting the mainstream in cinemas oversees. I think it’s very encouraging and this means that people are actually coming to the cinema to watch the movies and not just viewing them at home. The quality of film has definitely improved and so they want to watch it properly with good visuals and good sound. A lot of work goes into things like post production now. The behind-the-scenes crew put a lot of effort into things like lighting and sound work and it goes beyond just the actors. I think we owe an ode to the crew and I think for them we need to encourage the industry in our own way.
The movie is based on Shakespeare’s play “A Comedy of Errors”. Is the film very true to the play?
Well, it’s definitely inspired by it and it’s been modified quite a bit to fit culturally in India and to be closer to the taste of regional cinema, though the basic line of thought is the same as the play.
The director Smeep has carved quite a few nice scenes that are hilarious and the first to be seen in Punjabi cinema.
Working on such a comedic movie, was there a lot of fun and masti on the set too?
There’s such a huge cast working on the film and it includes a variety of people from almost all ages, which definitely adds to the fun. We had a great, great time shooting. It was winter at the time, and
there was a lot of good food and good music and we really enjoyed dancing together and working together.
What’s your favourite song in the film?
I really loved doing my duet with Gippy was shot in Bombay whilst the rains were on and I think that was shot really well. The song itself, Aisi Mulaqaat, is sung by Mr Rahat Fateh Ali Khan which is a first for Punjabi Cinema because we’ve never had a Hindi or Urdu song in a Punjabi film before.
Double Di Trouble is Poonam’s first major Punjabi film after a long break. What’s it been like working with her?
Poonam to come back to Punjabi cinema is great news, definitely. We’ve seen lots of actors who people have wanted to be associated with Punjabi cinema returning back to their roots recently. She’s been a great addition to the film and I’m really glad that Smeep could convince her to come and do this film.
What reaction are you hoping from the audiences of the film?
Being an actor, and it being my film, I of course would love for it to become a blockbuster.
I really hope that people love this film and they watch it again and again.
Not only because I’m acting in the film but also because it’s good fun and is very entertaining and is something for people of all backgrounds and ages to go and have a good laugh with their family on a weekend.