Nostalgia is an indeterminate period in the distant past, but Yash Raj Films has been able to assign a precise year in their recent films. After its sleeper hit Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), which was set in 1995 in Haridwar, the studio’s May 12 release, Meri Pyaari Bindu, begins in 1983 in Kolkata.
At the trailer launch on April 3 at the production company’s suburban office in Mumbai, debutant director Akshay Roy described his film as an ode to nostalgia. “There is a certain sense of nostalgia to it, a certain sense of love for music in it,” Roy said.
Roy has worked as an assistant director in such films as The Namesake (2006), Taare Zameen Par (2007) and Water (2005). In 2011, he won a National Award for his short film Finish Line in the Best Non-Feature Film Exploration/Adventure including Sports category.
There are five short musical trailers of Meri Pyaari Bindu, which will be released between April 3 and 7. Each one has popular tunes from old Hindi films.
Meri Pyaari Bindu is the story of the singer Bindu (Parineeti Chopra) and the writer Abhimanyu (Ayushmann Khurrana). The plot is set in ’80s Kolkata, when audio cassette tapes and typewriters were still being used, and follows their lives into the late ’90s.
The quaint world that the trailer evokes, including quirky characters obsessed with old Hindi film songs and the fashion trends of the ’90s, picks up from where Sharat Katariya’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha left off.
The common thread apart from the male lead is the audio cassette tape. In Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Prem (Khurrana) and Sandhya (Bhumi Pednekar) interact through a mixed tape of old songs. The trailer of Meri Pyaari Bindu also shows Abhimanyu and Bindu bonding over a mixed tape.
A yearning for an older way of living binds both films. Meri Pyaar Bindu features a number of popular songs such as Disco 8, Koi Yahan Aaha Nache Nache, Duniya Mein Logon Ko, Aaiye Meherbaan, Lag Jaa Gale and Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main. Dum Laga Ke Haisha too had its fair share of radio hits.
Parineeti Chopra makes her singing debut in Meri Pyaar Bindu through the song Maana Ke Hum Yaar, composed by the duo Sachin-Jigar. “I knew that sooner or later, I would sing, because I have a passion for it,” Chopra said at the press meet. “This seemed like the right role for me to take that step, just like in the old movies, when actors could sing for themselves.”
Chopra sailed through the playback because of the training she received from her father when she was a child. Khurrana, also an accomplished crooner (Pani Da Rang in Vicky Donor, 2012), plays a bad singer in Meri Pyaar Bindu. “I had to unlearn all of it for this part, where I try to help Bindu sing by accompanying her as her back-up,” Khurrana said.
The soundtrack composers face a tougher challenge than Chopra in getting their tunes heard. “Sachin-Jigar have composed five-six original tunes for the film,” Roy said. The old hits make up for the absence of their original tunes from the initial trailers. Khurrana addressed the predicament with dry humour: “We love old songs and we wait for new songs to become old.”