The moment you meet him and start talking to him, chances are you either like him or hate him for his guts. Actor-producer and now director Pushkar Jog prefers speaking the truth and nothing but the truth. The Puneri lad was back on his home turf to promote his debut Hindi film ‘It’s Too Much‘. The movie stars him (but of course) and newcomer Indo-Brit actress Armeena Rana Khan and was shot entirely in UK, especially London.
It is but natural to be curious about an essentially Marathi actor trying to make a leap in Bollywood, that too by directing his own debut film. Pushkar calls it a ‘feel good’ love story. “I have tried to present it in a different manner. The story revolves around live-in relationship and how the couple goes through it. I have kept the college-going and young audience in mind and so the film is quite classy. But nothing is extravagant. I was inspired by ‘Salaam Namaste‘ and ‘Friends with Benefits‘.” Different is what even what Marathi film industry is looking for. So it does make one wonder of why he preferred switching to Hindi films. He quickly responds by admitting that if this film works in Hindi, he will do it in Marathi. “The thing is Marathi film canvas is smaller. As an actor, I want everybody to see this film. For ‘Mission Possible‘, I had shot in Ladakh, but the effort was not recognised. I would love to do more here, but it is not valued. Also, a Marathi film will be restricted to the state.”
The toughest part for him was to do the entire shooting in London which was quite expensive. He hired the crew from UK. “It will be watched by a national audience, so I have to be very careful. We completed the whole shoot in 21 days. Since it was quite expensive to shoot in UK, we had to shoot smartly. I planned a month before the shoot. The London crew was professional.”
You have to give it to him for jumping from Marathi to Hindi film industry on a solo project and without any support. It is tough job indeed. “When you are making a Hindi film, you get to interact with the Bollywood crowd. You feel you are a part of it. With Marathi, you feel you are part of a smaller crowd. For this film, I got to interact with Komal Nahata (film critic). I had watched his show earlier and it felt right to interact with him. He had some lovely things to say about the film. When we went to Delhi to promote the film, I had to introduce myself. The Delhi press too was kind.”
He has completed two more films – ‘Sasuche Swayamvwar‘ with Bharat Jadhav and Vidya Malavade and ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy‘ with Rajpal Yadav, Vinay Pathak and Chitrashi Rawat. Then there is ‘Good Buddy Gadbadi‘. But he wants to change the Marathi film industry and its outlook towards the kind of films it is making. “I will change it when I am a more established name in the Hindi industry. Once I am established, I can convince others to watch the kind of films I want to make. I love romantic films like DDLJ or films like ‘Chak De India!‘. We have stunning directors in Marathi but they just don’t want to try things like these. I would love films where the heroine is dancing and I am doing the SRK wide arms scene. In Hindi too, I want to work with brilliant directors like Bejoy Nambiar, Ram Gopal Varma and Rajkumar Santoshi.” We hope his positive spirit works for his debut Hindi film ‘It’s Too Much‘ and career.