An Interview with Prakash Jha, for upcoming Short film “Justaju”

We don’t require any introduction for the man who is known for Socio-Political films such as Damul, Mrityudand, Gagaajal, Apaharan, Raajneeti, and many more. Yes, you are right we are talking about the Director, Producer, Screenwriter and Actor Prakash Jha. We have seen him as an actor in Jai Gangaajal and he is coming back to show his talent in the short film, ‘Justaju – The Longing.’   The film has released on the YouTube channel, The Short Cuts and apart from Prakash Jha, Sarika, Shishir Sharma, Onkar Das Manikpuri and Saharsh Shukla are also a part of the film.   In a conversation with Mr. Prakash Jha, we discussed the film and his experience in the industry. Here is a glimpse of the same.


My first question to you is, How did Justaju come your way? Whose idea was to cast you as Valmiki?

Prakash Jha:Director Mudassir Mashalkar came to me with the project. He met me around two years back in an international film festival and proposed the project at that time. He had already written the script and I found it immensely interesting. It is a story of a man who finds stories in other lives. A man who has retired and has his life imbalanced. I connected with the part and so when Mudassir came to me with the role, I took it up immediately.

Let’s talk about your acting. We have seen your act in Jai Gangaajal and everyone loved your performance. Even on this trailer, many in the comments section have appraised you as an actor. Do you have any plan to use this talent in your own film as a lead?

Prakash Jha: “These things are not planned, its a process, a creative process, be it direction, writing, sound recording or making a set. Similarly, acting is a form of expression and I was doing this with the help of other actors. I had no issue with it. So I have added another thing in my form of expression and I am enjoying it.” 

What was your experience of working with the team of Justaju,? With Shishir Sharma, Sarika, Onkar das, Saharash Kumar, Aayushi Lahiri, Varun Tiwari, and all technicians.

Prakash Jha: “I have learned something from everyone. They all are extremely talented and have worked in the industry, and it was really nice to work with everyone.”

The trailer is extremely compelling and holds one to see what’s next. What was your reaction when you first saw the ready film?

Prakash Jha: ‘The film was Mudassir’s idea and Mudassir’s vision. I was just a part of it. So I liked when I read the script. And I liked it when I saw the film. The way he had shot it and they way the film came together, I was happy that he was successful in making the film that he was set out to.’

Being a producer, actor, director, and screenwriter; you have achieved many milestones. Your journey has been a motivation for many youngsters and newcomers. From your life experience, would you like to share any fundamentals with them?

The most important thing is to live a life of joy, to do what you love and to give your all in everything that you do. Once you do what you love, the outcomes will automatically be great.

I remember one of your interviews with Aajtak in 2016. You said that you always try to learn new things and that you were learning piano at that time since you enjoy the piano. What are you currently learning or focusing your time on? 

Prakash Jha:That’s true. Whenever, I get time, I do new things. My engagements have increased off late, and therefore I can’t make too much time to indulge in learning a new art or craft; but whenever I do have time, I try to learn.

Now that the film is ready and up for release, would you like to change something? Are there parts of it where you think it could have been better?

Prakash Jha: ‘It was completely Mudsasir’s character and his imagination and I tried my best to portray the character in the way he had imagined him. We can of course try more and get better than this. There is no end of acting, the Deeper we go, the more there is to say.’

My last question is what is your view on today’s cinema and audience? What do you think of the current scenario in terms of the quality of content and the quality of the audience?

Prakash Jha: It’s not the Audience who has changed. It is time that has changed. And when time changes everything follows that change.

This is all for the interview. Please follow us on social media, for the latest updates on Bollywood and celebrities. Until then, please watch Justaju on the following link and do tell us your views in the comment section below.

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