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LOVE PUNJAB (Punjabi) - A simple, sweet but predictable family drama with an enjoyable novel subplot of creating a 'Joyous Punjab'. (Review By Bobby Sing)
13 Mar, 2016 | Movie Reviews / 2016 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

When a team has a film like ANGREJ as its last project, then the expectations are sky high and it’s extremely difficult to deliver an equally brilliant film, generating a similar response at the box office winning hearts all over. So in this particular situation, even if the makers deliver 70% of what was being expected by the viewers, then the job is neatly done and the goal is successfully achieved with no complaints as such. Fortunately that’s exactly the case with LOVE PUNJAB directed by Rajiv Dhingra, featuring Amrinder Gill, Sargun Mehta and Amberdeep Singh (its writer making an acting debut) along with a highly contributing supportive cast led by the veterans Yograj Singh and Nirmal Rishi.

Comparing the flow of both ventures, LOVE PUNJAB is not a film that keeps on rising in terms of content as witnessed in ANGREJ. It has its own ups and downs resulting in an uneven ride and its easily predictable storyline remains the biggest drawback that keeps disturbing at intervals, particularly in its initial 45 minutes. But having said that, if a film’s second half turns out to be much better than the first, then it’s very rare that the film fails to make an impact and doesn’t become at least a decent hit at the box office satisfying majority of viewers.
Following the path mentioned above, LOVE PUNJAB begins with some enjoyable interaction between its characters living abroad and we soon get the idea that it’s all about a (probable) divorce among the couple having a young kid, who are sure to get united in the end. Now here the subject of divorce and related sequences are not anything novel for the audience. But the timely comic dialogues written skillfully smartly do the trick and you don’t mind it all despite knowing the film’s exact story progression. Here Binnu Dhillon makes a sudden appearance adding his own bit into the proceedings but the build-up takes too long before the main plot of 'Trip To Punjab' for the 'Change of Hearts' gets thrown in. Also the unimpressive use of ‘Urdu Shayri’ (in these scenes) seems to be a forced one with the sheyrs not being recited as required,  along with the usual insertion of songs at regular intervals including the abruptly starting ‘Akhiyan De Taare’ (sung by Kapil Sharma) lacking a heartfelt melody. However, just when you begin feeling restless, the ‘Sarpanch sequence’ (back in Punjab) lifts up the film beautifully and the fun begins just before the intermission promising a lot more to follow.
In the second half, the film offers its most enjoyable part of a staged ‘Joyful Punjab’ and one can hear repeated laughs and giggles in the theater with everyone enjoying the well-conceived sequences unanimously. But watching this particular 30 minutes, I personally felt sad thinking about the irony, as in reality too we have seriously lost that ‘ever-cheerful, colourful, smiling Punjab’ now suffering gravely due to drugs, farmers suicides, political instability and incompetent leadership.
Anyway this specific section of LOVE PUNJAB remains the most interesting one, helping as a scoring middle-over batsman, but as soon as the film moves back to Canada, the laughs dry down quickly since the next proceedings are strictly predictable with quite less charm left in terms of entertainment. As a result the film begins to drag for a while, before it manages to find its pace back with the final entertaining scene of an indecisive engagement.
In the technical department, the DOP captures both the foreign and regional locations well giving it an elegant (colourful) feel but the background score simply serves the purpose as required. The film has a good enjoyable soundtrack composed by Jatinder Shah, yet it keeps struggling to come out of the routine bracket with no innovative or freshly created composition sounding new to the ears. Interestingly this was not the case with the songs of ANGREJ, that were immensely enjoyable both as individual tracks and as a part of the film inserted at just the right moments.
Among the performances, Amrinder Gill once again plays it with an adorable simplicity that has honesty and sincerity written all over the act right till the end. But he now also needs to come out of this set pattern soon making a conscious effort. Sargun Mehta no doubt does well as the confused mother, looking gorgeous in both the western & Indian attires as usual. But her ‘Dhan Kaur’ act in ANGREJ was really something ‘out of the world’ that will keep following the girl for long (in Punjabi cinema). Yograj Singh and Nirmal Rishi give you a good time in the theater as the fighting elderly couple, Amberdeep Singh makes a confident entertaining debut as Amrinder’s assistant, but surprisingly both Binnu Dhillon and Rana Ranbir are given short cameo kind of roles written with some forced humour.
Coming to its major downer, keeping in mind the core subject of the film, its script actually revolves around the depressed kid for whom the whole game-plan is made to stage a ‘glowing Punjab’. But strangely the kid neither gets a good amount of scenes or dialogues in the first half nor in the second. In fact, you don’t even remember the kid while coming out of the theater contradicting its basic theme, whereas the whole film is supposed to be about him and his parents alone becoming the central character. May be the writers shied away from stressing on his significant character to save the film from becoming a sobbing tale or they intentionally kept using him as an important prop to present a comic entertaining film playing it pretty safe. Whatever might be the case, but the harsh truth remains that the kid’s character in the film remains the most underdeveloped one throughout, that ideally should have been the center of attraction in those two hours justifying the basic subject.
Secondly, if a Hindi or regional language film does this gravely disrespectful mistake then its understandable, but how can a Punjabi film, made by the people of Punjab themselves commit this big mistake wherein the characters keep on saying SASSRI KAAL instead of SAT SRI AKAL repeatedly without any slightest of hesitation. A point I have been noting in Punjabi films since decades with many reputed veterans saying the same in an irresponsible, sleepy, unaware state.
In all, despite a major downer, an uneven pacing and a typical predictable culmination, LOVE PUNJAB still strongly deserves to be rated as a decent entertaining watch, wherein you walk out of the theaters with a big smile. So it definitely works fine as a light hearted, enjoyable, comic family drama with a novel touch, but at the same time, it isn’t any classic creation from the team in comparison to their cult ANGREJ.
Rating : 3 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the novel subplot of staging a ‘Joyous Punjab’)

Tags : Love Punjab Review By Bobby Sing, Love Punjab Film Review By Bobby Sing, Punjabi Film Review by Bobby Sing, New Films Released in Punjabi Reviews by Bobby Sing
13 Mar 2016 / Comment ( 0 )
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