Not really a crowd pleaser, but a film for those who like to think during and after watching a movie. This is not a “masala” movie, not glamorous and definitely not for the ones who seek cheap thrills. This is a movie for Punjabi audience who like to live life and still value where they come from. A sensible movie that will cater to every age in sensibility proportions. This is a movie of which we can actually think of a Hindi remake in near future. The story is completely new and original and is portrayed by equally good performances.
Everyone from the clan that blames Manmohan ji for making NRI movies shall have this movie as his ultimate answer that he can make a movie about anything. It’s not the NRI theme that dominates, it’s his skill that speaks. The films plot is so intriguing that I’m sure Manji actually reduced the intellectual scope of the film to make a more pleasing movie. In fact the film could have been a total dark and serious film like the yesteryears. But for the yet inexperienced audience in infant stage, he might have reduced the scope of the movie and made it balanced with wit and humor. So now the movie has a wider appeal for everyone. The only thing missing in the film is masala and cheap commercial tactics, which is the highest honor for Manmohan Singh, the forerunner of clean and family cinema.
Revealing the story here is of no point, as it’s for the pleasure of everyone to watch it. The only thing to say is that it’s an intriguing plot. The question is posed and I was wondering during the film how they are going to close it. How will they answer this question? But Manji not only asked the question in the film but also answered it through the dialogues of Kanwaljeet Singh in the end. He finishes the dilemma and finishes the movie with full grace. The ultimate solution to the whole male-female discourse is being open minded and change. Change is the only constant in universe. Youngsters should change to accommodate their loved ones and siblings, parents should change to adopt the new trends of life.
The hardest thing must have been how to make this impossible plot happen. But all hail to the Ik Kudi Punjab Di team who made it so probable. The biggest asset in the film is the scene where Amrinder Gill goes to his mother-in-law and father-in-law and asks them if he can be of any help. This scene could have been pretty ridiculous, but the way Amrinder handled it is awesome. Amrinder is your average guy who is willing to be a nice person in life and is not afraid of being rejected… he is calm in one word.. Sehaj i.e.
There are a number of sub plots in the film. For instance the story of Professor Gill and Madam Rachna, Aman Dhaliwal’s outlook for Navdeep, the fate of Gurpreet Ghuggi and Kimi verma and finally the efforts of Rana Ranbir for Roshni. All the time you are watching the film you wonder how are they going to cope this all up, how are they going to bring everything together, but everything falls into place at the end when all these stories make their moves and reach their ultimate goal. Heck even Kalakar Junction wala Mama gets to reach his character’s finality. That’s the biggest relief for a movie when all the sub plots meet their relevant climaxes.
When it comes to acting, Amrinder Gill has simply shattered the myth that singers can’t act. During the movie I bet you that you will not be able to realize that it’s the same Amrinder Gill that you have known as to be the singer. In the film Amrinder seems just like any other newcomer who has a lot of potential in acting. But saying that it also should be said that he has acted in a brilliant way and he seems so comfortable on camera. His Punjabi, his accent, his body language, everything is so natural that I’m sure he is here for a long run. Amrinder is surely going to be on screen more often and people will forget that he is a singer first and an actor later.
Another thing should be said here. The film is titled as Ik Kudi Punjab Di, the whole plot is female oriented and the film truly belongs to Jaspinder Cheema, but the fact that it is Amrinder Gill’s first film in lead role and that he took this role in a film which really is not made for him is a brave thing to do. He is not afraid of being second in the line and he is not afraid to be launched with a new comer. These are the assets of a good actor, who is here to make a name for himself. Amrinder Gill should be praised for his brave new beginnings and his open minded approach towards cinema.
Jaspinder Cheema, the lady that rules the film in one word is outstanding. She might not have the glamour of other actresses, she might not be the pinnacle of beauty, but she has the talent to act, guts to imagine a role of rebellious young girl. She fits in the role so well that it’s hard to imagine any other actress doing it. The only one I can think of is Preity Zinta perhaps, but even she couldn’t have captured the Malwa ways of life. Jaspinder Cheema is quite dominant in the film as her character demands and is a full match for the experienced cast. She captured her character very well as she is full of herself, stubborn for all the right causes, dominant, but yet not arrogant, not disrespectful. Perfect understanding. The chemistry between Jaspinder and Amrinder Gill is again remarkable. Both of them complement each other in the film and take the film to the peak.
Gurpreet Ghuggi has a very few scenes in the film, but he can make you cry in the second last scene when he says goodbye to the love of his life. I still stand by my theory that Gurpreet Ghuggi should come as a serious character in a film with no tone of comedy. He will make people cry throughout. Gurpreet Ghuggi is the finest actor we had so far in Punjabi Movie industry and he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. His character of Lalli Babba is so damn real. Its not a make believe character, I myself have seen such characters in theater departments, believe me they do exist.
Aman Dhaliwal, is the one who impresses a lot in the film. His accent and his stature is villainish and yet he stays on the thin line of being a not so bad fellow. Aman has the looks to make it big and his acting surely is quite natural. However he really didn’t do it in Ik Kudi Punjab Di, but im sure he can really do some action comedy if he wants to. In truth the film is full of great acting.
We see Guggu Gill in a totally new perspective in Ik Kudi Punjab Di. He has done the best he could have done in a comic role. Not really hilarious but his character does reach its conclusion and the trait that he actually makes a fun of himself at times in the film is the best part of his role. Nishan mam complements his character as well. Both of them have an amazing chemistry on the screen. It would be fun to watch a movie based on the two of them.
Rana Ranbir plays a crucial role and in his series of portraying roles with mannerisms, in this film he is “jyotish widya” freak. But more than his acting I’m more into his dialogs skills. Once again Rana bai has done a tremendous job. I seriously believe that the art of good dialogs was vanishing from Punjabi cinema but he has revived it. He has ample knowledge of Punjabi as language, and his mastery on Punjabi “Muhawre and Aukhotan” is second to none. The sincerity of his passion for dialogs becomes evident that he not only gave the best dialogues to Amrinder and Jaspinder, but to everyone in the film. Kalakar Junction’s owner Mama also gets to speak some of the best dialogues in the film, so does the character of Roshni and Gurmeet Kaur.
And obviously Surbhi in the role of Gurmeet Kaur impresses the most from all the stock characters. Her accent and typical Punjabi touch is awesome. She makes you laugh without an effort. The way she curls her lips during the dialogs is way too good. Then again Roshni, Sukhbir Razia, Gagan Gill, Prince K.J. , Bhalwan, Harinder Bhullar and everyone else is amusing in their own ways. Not a single person was out of their league. They all compliment the film and indeed without their help this film wouldn’t be so much fun as it is now.
On the other hand everyone from the senior actors is just doing what they always do at their best. Surinder Sharma ji made a comeback with this film and shows how good the old actors were in their years.
The locations of the film are well chosen and do not feel out of place. The background score of the film is average, not extraordinary but quite nice at certain scenes. Music has already been liked by everyone and the song sequences are well shot. The film actually has a less number of songs and that is a wise choice on Manji’s part as he kept the plot on center line. It’s funny that it says on the poster “A Musical Family Entertainer” because it simply is not a musical.
The film is well balanced. Humor and serious message go hand in hand and move along in uniformity. Right till the end the film is full of wit and comedy but it never hinders the seriousness of the plot. This is the biggest achievement of the film. The credit thus goes to the wonderful editing which makes all the scenes quite logical, straightforward and well connected. The movie follows a coherent track and follows logically. There are no sudden jerks and cuts without sense.
This is an urban film which mostly keeps itself enclosed to certain locations. Hence there was not enough scope for Manmohan Ji to show his brilliant cinematography, however he has done a great job in song sequences, where instead of the characters, the locations make all the impact. There are a few shots in the movie which are commendable. One of them is the scene where Deep Dhillon talks about his lands and wonders who will take care of them after him. The camera opens from a zoom in of the farms and zooms out to the backs of father and mother and then goes to sideway to the left to put them both in profiles. Excellent shot, what a beauty !
Secondly, there are a number of long shots as well where a long sequence is shot in one go. One of them was the play rehearsal shot where all the students are rehearsing the play of Babul and Dhi. One take ok ! Then there was the other shot where Amrinder Gill and Rana Ranbir are mimicking Guggu Gill; the whole scene has been shot in one go. That shows the mettle of all the artists, perhaps they all learnt the skill of theater where there are no retakes.
The only let down in the film is the makeup which is not upto par at all. Everyone in the film from the leading cast to the supporting cast has looked of darker complexion. I had the chance to see all these stars on the shoot, and they really do look great in real life, no idea why they didn’t look good in close up shots at all. The only one who looked amazing in the film has to be Deep Dhillon and that’s all.
Apart from that there were a number of blemishes in the film which come quite too often which might be due to the bad reels or some glitches on the recording equipment. Such technical issues can be easily diverted. Not to mention the weird camera focus in number of scenes where everything gets blurred. This is highly unexpected of such a technical and experienced crew. These are minor issues but they take the mind of a viewer away from the film and they start wondering what’s going on.
The costumes were good, real and suited all the characters well. No one wore extraordinary dresses that we won’t wear in real life. Save for one character. When Jaspinder goes to her village for the first time, she meets a “Bhabhi” who is dressed as if she has just come from her own marriage, that was totally out of place and her English accent was terrible. Who wears high heels for purchasing Gobhi anyway? On the other hand Amrinder Gill was pretty much any other university going guy. Jaspinder’s dresses were perfect for her character of a self absorbed girl who wants to stand for herself. She had the perfect blend of Punjabi touch and yet independent female. Even in the song sequences they didn’t wear any gaudy dresses. How nice is that ! And I really believe that they actually wore quite normal dresses when it comes to theater students cause I have known them to wear quite “hatke” dresses for their taste. So, perhaps the film is actually under dressed for a theater department… if you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic.
The biggest virtue of IK Kudi Punjab Di is that it is a movie of normal people doing some extraordinary things. Everything about film is normal: normal average youngsters living a routine life and never going out of reality of life. This is not a trait much followed in Punjabi Cinema, as mostly we have larger than life characters who are portrayed as the top guns of everything. Amrinder’s character is of a normal guy who has his issues with his love life and Jaspinder is a self absorbed girl who wants to stand shoulder to shoulder with boys. Their parents are normal people who are not willing to let go of their beliefs and are worried about their social status. The film becomes extraordinary when it brings forth the concept of the real dilemma of girls to be as equal as boys. Think about it. Isn’t the film true? Aren’t we all biased towards male sex? Aren’t we all guilty of this error in judgment?
The scene where Professor Gill and Madam Rachna hold the discussion in their class about the decision of Sehaj and Navdeep is the epitome of the conflict. The Male V/s Female. That scene is the crux of the issue, the nexus of all troubles. Males lean to be true to their being biased but tend to be ignorant of the fact, females want to be dominant yet stay inert to their rights. I wonder if anyone will ever be able to learn the rightfulness of their ways, but Ik Kudi Punjab Di is a step in the right direction. Dear readers, males can be dominated; our better halves only need to learn the strength of their selves. (11105)