Chak Jawana film starring Gurdas Maan, Jonita Doda, Gaurav Kakkar, Sonal Minocha, Rana Ranbir, Karamjit Anmol, Pardeep Joshi, Prince K.J.Singh, Harry Sharan, Guddi, Shammi Malhotra & Gurkirtan ji releases tomorrow on 27th August. A special media screening was held at the Downtown Square Zirakpur today by the Big Pictures after a magnanimous delay. Film has been Produced by Balli Janjua & Rupinder Chahal of Initiative Films and Directed by Simerjit Singh. The Music has been composed by Jaidev Kumar ji.
I was invited at the screening to watch the film first hand and i’m thankful for that. For a longtime i have longed for such a culture in Punjabi cinema where online websites are taken enough serious to be invited at screenings for writing reviews and criticizing the film world. Not just websites, a culture where reviewers are taken seriously and even movie watchers read the reviews before spending their money on it. This, perhaps is the first step for our new generation of “Punjabi movie buffs”… if such a term exists that is. So, thanks to the Chak Jawana crew for extending the courtesy and having us at the screening. I’m deliberately bypassing the names here as the motive here is to write the review of the film and not writing a “Sanman Samahroh” list. Here is my opinion… honest:
Spoiler Alert (If you haven’t seen the film, you might want to skip this part and head to the Review directly)
Chak Jawana is about the menace of drugs and how its affecting lives in Punjab. It does it by focusing on a group of young boys in a village who fall pray to Drugs and behave erratically irresponsible in the village and shatter the peaceful environment of the village while the elderly watch helplessly.
Sonal Minocha, Gaurav Kakkar and Prince K.J. at the screening of Chak Jawana
Enters Captain Gurjeet Singh (Gurdas Maan) who arrives in the village from the Indian Navy on a month’s leave. Observing the bad practices in the village he decides to reform the village and the rest of the film is about how he does it and changes hearts. Not a story which really has been told before, so there is a point for originality.
Chak Jawana succeeds in engaging the audience at the very beginning with the introduction of the five prime characters, the four druggies – Raja (Gaurav Kakkar), younger brother of Captain Gurjeet Singh ( Gurdas Maan), Master Jassi ( Rana Ranbir), Talli aka Teji (Pardeep Joshi), Dollar ( Karamjit Anmol) and the “sofi” Boota aka Siddha (Prince K.J.) and increases the receptivity of the audience to the whole of what it is trying to communicate. The first “shetani” trail of these characters with Jaildar Maghar Singh has the audience in splits. The audience wonders what fun would be next but the story takes a serious turn in the very next shot. The family of Captain Gurjeet Singh ( Gurdas Maan) is introduced and the real story starts coming to the fore – the plight of the family of the drug addicts, and from here on the movie shows us the road that the five characters take in the maniac world of drugs.
The story by Rupinder Chahal and Simerjit Singh is a gripping and compelling one. The plot has a perfect beginning, middle and end. Every character meets its perfect ending except the duo Raja and his love interest Naman (Sonal Minocha). It is not shown what happens to their relation in the end, and it seems that Naman’s role wasnt done justice to and she becomes a mere eye candy in the whole process. Morover, she fails to impress with her acting skills too. Other than this, the story and the plot develops with consistency and persistence. The story is not set in any particular village of Punjab which makes it universal in its essence i.e. it can be any other village of Punjab where similar drugs, youth and politics related issues could be budding. The story is didactic in nature. The message against the drugs is given loud and clear. Seen from the psychological angle, the film excellently renders how the families of the druggies should be supportive towards them and must encourage them to live a better life. Raja’s father scolds him and rebukes him all the time, weheras Capt. Gurjeet takes a different approach. By winning over the hearts of the youth, he actually succeeds in making them realize their follies. The end of the film conveys this message more properly with Gurdas Maan saab’s brief take on the issue and how the drug menace can be curbed, and on this very note the film ends. The story also takes a strong notice of the prevalent issues in Punjabi society, particularly the corrupt Panchayati political system and the budding trend of fake travel agencies. However, one might feel that the background of the four druggies must have been developed (how did they become druggies? what were the circumstances that compelled them to fall in the trap? ) This way, the role of parenting, societal and peer pressures must have also been taken notice of and could have added a different colour to the whole issue.
Producer Balli Janjua, Sonal Minocha and Gaurav Kakkar posing with Chak Jawaana film poster
Chak Jawaana is a solid film with some great performances and excellent supporting cast. Gurdas Maan saab’s acting skills can never be questioned as he has already proved his mettle in the acting department. This time, Gurdas Maan fans will get a chance to see their idol in a totally different role. Unlike his earlier performances where he used to play a romantic lead, this time Gurdas Maan lives up to his image; the image for which he is known and respected among the Punjabis all over the world i.e. of imparting a powerful message to the youth, to stay away from drugs and channelize their energies towards something positive in life. He quite effortlessly, embodies the role of an indulgent man who channels his abundant energy into misguided drug addicts. It can be surely said that the character of Captain Gurjeet Singh played by Gurdas Maan is both his reel & real life character.
Author with the producers of Chak Jawana Balli Janjua and Rupinder Chahal
Paired opposite Captain saab is Binny ( Jonita Doda). Jonita Doda looks stylish, smiles beautifully and fills the screen with the charm and youth of her character. Even though the film is primarly based on the drug addicts, Jonita succeeds to leave an impression on the audience with her mannerisms, charm and her perfect dialog delivery. The best part of the characterization comes to fore when we analyse the rest of the characters. Though Raja (Gaurav Kakkar), Master Jassi ( Rana Ranbir), Talli aka Teji (Pardeep Joshi), Dollar ( Karamjit Anmol), Boota aka Siddha (Prince K.J.) share the screen with Gurdas Maan ji, their roles are well etched and totally done justice to.
Rana Ranbir has done it once again ! In every film he comes up in a different role and in Chak Jawana while portraying well educated, but unemployed Master Jassi’s character he once again meets the expectations of the audience. He perfectly delivers the emotional, humorous, aggressive scenes and does justice to the role of a druggie. Chak Jawaana has only raised the audience’s expectations of Rana Ranbir and it will now always look forward to seeing him in different roles all the time.
No one missed Gurdas Maan saab, thanks to Jonita Doda
Up next, Raja (Gaurav Kakkar) ‘s presence is pleasing to the eyes. Although in the first few scenes, his dialog delivery fails to impress the Punjabi audience but after a few scenes, he seems to be a game for it (seems like in the process of the dubbing and film shooting, he made his grip on the Punjabi language perfectly). Next in line, Karamjit Anmol also does justice to his character of Dollar in the film. His chubby looks and mannerism will definitely make people laugh. The fourth druggie from the film Talli (Pardeep Joshi) gives effective and notable performance. In some scenes, he actually surpasses the acting skills of his co-artists, particularly the scene where he craves for the drugs; how he tries to let go that one moment but falls pray to his addiction once again. His character is full of surprises ( wont be mentioning them here as that will prove to be a spoiler). The surprisingly splendid performance comes from Boota ( Prince K.J.), a theatre artist and playwright by profession, he delivers a convincing performance. The only non – druggie in the group always plays a spoil sport for the four others, but this lends humor to the audience.
Jonita Doda at the screening of the film Chak Jawana
Rest of the supporting cast is no less. Right from the Sarpanch Balkar Singh ( Late Gurkirtan ji), His reel life son Shinda ( Harry Sharan) to Satnam Singh (Guddu) & Shammi Malhotra (Kuldeep Kaur) – Father & Mother of Capt. respectively and the other supporting cast gives effective and compelling performances.
What goes to the credit of the filmmakers is that the other characters also receive ample treatment. There is enough room for others to share the platform with Maan Saab. Most importantly, you will get to see the renowned Punjabi theater artists in Chak Jawana. In times, when Punjabi filmmakers mostly seek Bollywood celebrities to become a part of their projects, it is a welcome initiative from the filmmakers’ side to introduce and recognize the Punjabi theater artists. The fruit is visible in Chak Jawaana where all these seasoned artists leave a lasting impression, and not to forget that this was done back in 2008.
Gaurav Kakkar and Sonal Minocha supporting PunjabiPortal ‘s logo Puppa
Talking about the technical aspects of the film, the direction by debutant Simerjit Singh speaks of his talent. Having worked with Aneez Bazmi, Anil Devgan, Rohit Shetty and Manoj Punj as chief assistant director, Simerjit Singh seems to be ready to carving a niche in the Punjabi Film industry as a Director with Chak Jawaana.
The cinematography by Krishna Ramanan impresses in certain scenes and specially in the song sequence “Pind di Saver.” Some of the scenes, particularly the scene where Raja confronts his brother Capt. Gurjeet in front of the setting sun backdrop and the volleyball match sequence; are shot with excellence. These scenes deliver impressive camera maneuvering. Manjeet Maan and Balli Janjua rendered the screenplay perfectly through the characters.
The dialogs by Rajesh Vashisht are realistic, natural and easy to relate with. The last piece by Gurdas Maan saab is a perfect masterpiece to end the film on a high and passionate note.
The music by Jaidev Kumar, and even the background score by Surender Sodhi compliments the film. The song are all situational and not simply thrown into the film. But this cant be said for the two romantic numbers of the film – “Tu Chanan Main Parchhavan” and “Paun Dendi Hai Hulare”. Even though “Tu Chanan Main Parchhavan” is shown to be there to build the background of the Capt. and his wife Binny ‘s love story, it fails to justify its purpose in the film and same goes for “Paun Dendi Hai Hulare” – the song picturised on Raja and Naman, the couple about whose relationship we remain unclear till the end. Apart from this,all the songs have a didactic purpose to them and are well picturized too. You might not find them appealing enough in th soundtrack, but you are going to enjoy and like them in the film.
But the dubbing of certain scenes hasnt been done properly. Specifically the scene where Talli ‘s wife is shown talking to her father-in-law (soon before she goes to wake Talli up) the audio is out of sync. similarly is the scene in one close-up shot of Jonita Doda and Gurdas Maan saab in the song “Tu Chanan Main Parchhavan” where Jonita Doda’s lip-sync does not go with the song. Apart from these two scenes, its perfectly balanced.
As far as the costumes of the film go, Manjeet Maan ji has done a good job by dressing the characters in realistic costumes. But Jonita Doda’ s costumes dont impress that much. They could have been better. The makeup is fine, but in some scenes, Gurdas Maan saab’s wrinkles near his eyes are visible and they dont look that good in his close-up shots. A better job could have been done just like it was done on Jonita Doda and others.
All in all, Chak Jawana is an incredible movie. It perfectly balances the ugly drug addictive life and the desire of coming out of it. This is a powerful movie with a great story. It has a good message. Aptly titled, it raises up the spirits (chak jawana) of the youth and hence, justifies its title. An excellent film that you should see if you ever get the chance. There are some very moving moments in it. It’s truly disturbing to see the drug effected lives and yet these movies are very important to relay how destructive drug addiction can be.The movie gets pretty graphic and you certainly question the use of drugs. A must watch for every Punjabi. I would like to end it on the same note as Gurdas Maan saab does in the movie when he says that we must all stand up against the drug menace because “eh saade sarea di saanjhi larayi hai ! “ (1479)