Los Angeles, September 16
Director Tarsem Singh has spilled the beans on ‘Dear Jassi’, his first film to be shot in India.
According to him, the film takes certain threads of inspiration from his late mother, where he wondered why a Canadian woman of Indian heritage would plot to have her daughter abducted then murdered.
‘Dear Jassi’, ahead of its global release, was first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and is touted to be a romance story, but also features grisly murder and violence.
Speaking to Deadline, Tarsem said: “It is a love story, but with a grisly murder at its centre.”
‘Dear Jassi’ is inspired by the real-life honour killing of the Indo-Canadian beautician Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu in June 2000.
The incident saw thugs ambushing the couple, Jaswinder and her husband, who dragged the young bride to a desolate farm in a Punjabi village and slit her throat, based on orders given by the girl’s mother.
While creating the villain, he said: “The only way I could comprehend what a villainous character this person was is to think of a pure person that I know.”
Despite Tarsem’s mother having nothing to do with it, the filmmaker borrowed a few traits from his mother in order to explore what happens when a good person turns evil.
“And I thought of my mother, and literally all I could think of was that if you put a woman like that into the situation. I could see it happening.”
Tarsem belongs to a Sikh family from Jalandhar, though he left India at 24 to pursue film studies at the Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena.