Home > Interviews > I was waiting for the subject of my choice: Mandeep Benipal

I was waiting for the subject of my choice: Mandeep Benipal

‘Dakuaan Da Munda’, an imminent Punjabi movie, has it in it to cast a widespread change in our state for it covers two burning topics of Punjab. First is the issue of drugs and the second one, less pertinent but prevalent, goondaism. Despite being based on the autobiography (of the same name) of Mintu Gurusaria, the movie is expected to throw light on these issues, what causes them to happen and how can one get out of them.

The movie stars Dev Kharoud, Pooja Verma, Jagjeet Sandhu, Lucky Dhaliwal, Sukhdeep Sukh, Anita Meet, Hardeep Gill and Kuljinder Sidhu in pivotal roles. It is directed by Mandeep Benipal. In an interview with Punjabi Mania, Benipal disclosed that Dakuaan Da Munda will cover these pressing matters, giving away life lessons, albeit in an entertaining manner.

It is worth mentioning that Benipal has earlier directed critically acclaimed movies like ‘Ekam – Son of Soil’, ‘Sadda Haq’ and ‘Yoddha’. Dakuaan Da Munda will be listed as his fourth movie and it has come after a hiatus of as many years. On being asked about what kept him waiting for four years, he answered, “I wasn’t getting the subject of my choice which kept me waiting for all these years. I don’t attempt comedy movies and it definitely takes time to make sensible cinema.”

It was during a casual meeting with Dev Kharoud that they came across the idea of making a movie on the life of Mintu Gurusaria. “Dev told me that we are planning to make a movie based on this book. He insisted me to read the book but I didn’t get the time. Eventually, he gave me the book and when I read it, I found it interesting enough to make a movie around it”, he said.

Talking about his vision before directing this biopic, he said, “The most primary aim for me is to give a message to the youth through my movie(s). Having said that, it is important to not make a documentary. No one likes to be lectured. Honestly speaking, I myself don’t want to work in a way that I create something boring. I must touch upon the fact that the way this book is written is in itself very entertaining. His story is very well-written and it excited me a lot. I have worked at keeping the movie authentic, realistic and relatable.”

Benipal was also vocal about the reasons as to why he didn’t repeat some of the actors who had done well in the Rupinder Gandhi series (made under the same banner of Dreamreality Movies). “As the characters got defined, we thought of suitable names who could play them. One thing which I strictly kept in mind was the fact that this movie shouldn’t be close (by any manner) to the Rupinder Gandhi series. If we speak of goondaism, some traits of that series were bound to come but we have tried our best to keep ‘Dakuaan Da Munda’ at a contrast. I have miffed some people by not casting some prominent faces of that series”, he chuckled at the end.

On being asked about the fictional sequences in this biopic, he answered, “There is a little amount of fiction in this movie. There’s nothing to hide about it. See, these things are necessary because at the end of the day we have to entertain the audiences. You have to join the dots at some places in order to write the script of a movie. It isn’t that Mintu isn’t aware of the fictional sequences. He has read our script and is perfectly fine with it.”

Benipal is also clear in his mind that Dakuaan Da Munda will be liked by the audiences. Since all his movies have been received well by the audiences, he hopes the same for this one. That being said, he doesn’t want to take the load of expectations. “I don’t think as if people expect a lot out of me. I have the basics clear in my mind. If a story is good, I have to attempt it in an even better way. That’s it. My work is to direct movies and I don’t let the audiences’ expectations take a toll on me”, he was quoted.

On being asked about the most important lesson that the audiences will take home from Dakuaan Da Munda, the director said, “I really like the song ‘Zindagi’ from this movie. The line ‘Zindagi nu taah ke, utte beh ke vekhna’ is my lesson for the audiences. We all know that our youth is suffering from drug abuse. I think we will be the winners if only a section of sufferers or their parents watch this movie and take home its message. Having said that, I would want to repeat that this lesson will be given in an entertaining manner.

Dakuaan Da Munda will hit the silver screen on August 10. With every passing day, our excitement regarding the movie is increasing manifold times. You can write to us about your views regarding the trailer and the songs of the movie. Watch the full video of ‘Zindagi’ below:

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