Get ready to dance this summer with the seasonal release of Bazodee, a Bollywood musical with a distinct Caribbean flavor. Starring Kabir Bedi, Natalie Perera, Valmike Rampersad, Game of Thrones’ Staz Nair and award-winning, music superstar Machel Montano, the light hearted movie will have you dancing in your seats and cheering for the underdog!
Bazodee opens nationwide on August 5th and already has the Indo-Caribbean community abuzz with its dance-worthy soca soundtrack by Machel Montano. (We HIGHLY recommend you get your copy today!) Here we asked female lead Natalie and few questions and then, of course, followed up with the legend that is Kabir Bedi.
Tell us about your character Anita Panchouri in Bazodee and her storyline. Anita is a young, vibrant Soca fan with East Indian heritage from Trinidad. She is one of those people who is in touch with her culture, extremely dutiful, protective of her father and has her life completely planned out. However, love and life cannot be constrained by plans and when she meets aspiring Soca artist Lee de Leon she finds herself at a crossroads where she must choose whether she will follow her plans or follow her heart.
What was it like filming in Trinidad & Tobago? Any specific things you enjoyed there? Filming in Trinidad and Tobago was the best part of the experience. We were lucky to shoot the beach scenes in Pigeon Point which was simply heavenly. Another perk of the job was that the cast was invited to Soca fêtes during the wind up to Carnival where Machel Montano was performing and we had the opportunity to be immersed in the amazing Trinbagonian music and culture.
What are some of the themes in Bazodee that those in the Indian diaspora would be able to relate to? Everyone loves a good love story! I think this film gives a voice to people who choose to follow their heart. It is such a fun, light hearted and unique film and the music would certainly have everyone jumping out of their seats.
How was it like working with Machel Montano? Working with Machel Montano was great. As a young girl I used to pretend I was a famous pop star in front of the mirror with my hair brush for a microphone and as an adult working with a huge star like Machel, I got an opportunity to access my inner musician/dancer. I found that experience so liberating. Getting the opportunity to work alongside such a big name is intimidating but super exciting because it gave me the chance to stretch my skills, learn from him, grow as an artist and rise to the challenge. Machel is so full of energy and he’s so generous with it, that it was easy to work alongside him and I think that shows in the final result.
Tell us about your character Ram Panchouri in Bazodee and his storyline. Basically Ram is a guy who is an NRI like a lot of people, and he is living in the West Indies and his daughter is getting married to the son of an equally nice industrial family from England that is very well-to-do. But the truth is that I am deeply in debt so when my daughter decides to do things I wouldn’t want her to it really complicates life a lot. So it’s really the story of a man fighting for survival but yet dealing with his daughter’s heart going in a different way. It’s a film of fun, it’s Calypso, it’s Soca music, it’s the glory of the West Indies setting and of course Machel Montano’s incredible music that takes it to another level. It’s a fun film to see for the family.
How was this character different from many of the other characters you’ve played in your extensive career? It’s a lot different! It’s a lighter side of me, it’s a far more playful side of me. I mean I’ve played an Asian pirate, and in the James Bond film Octopussy I fought Roger Moore throughout the film, I’ve played Shah Jahan on stage and on screen, so those are serious characters. This is a much more pop role. Interestingly different!
How will Indian-Americans relate to this story? It’s our story! It’s a story of people like us. And therefore if you want your stories to be told you must see and support them and go out and see them. That’s part of the process. I think it’s a film people will enjoy in the diaspora because it’s about them.
Local Bazodee showtimes at Fandango.
Official website: BazodeeTheMovie.com/