Saturday, 12 March 2016

Love Punjab :: Movie Review

                                             Image result for 4 stars out of 5
Love Punjab helmed by Rajiv Dhingra and written by Amberdeep Singh is a delightful, meaningful flick which takes you on a fun filled roller coaster ride from Canada to Punjab replete with wit, emotional turbulence, good music, bravura performances making it a must Big Screen watch. A good film is result of a great teamwork and Love Punjab is a prima facie example of the same. Right from the actors,director, writer, music director, cinematographer, editor and production designer ; everyone has chipped in with brilliant contributions to satiate the cravings of Punjabi cine lovers. But two persons who stand out with their contributions are ; Amberdeep Singh (story,screenplay & dialogues) who has cleverly interlaced the script with several prevalent issues and director, Rajiv Dhingra for crafting his vision eloquently on-screen.  They say laughter is the best medicine and Love Punjab offers you aplenty of that. There are so many comic punches in the movie that the theater was reverberating with noise of laughter for a long time. In fact, the person sitting next to me was heard saying that he will have to watch the movie again as he missed out on lot of punches because of the echo of laughter. But, mind you, it's not a mindless comedy with comic gags inserted just for the heck of it. It has a layered script with apt comic punches and situational comedy infused within. The movie also talks about several pertinent issues ; like youngsters going abroad for the sake of money and than start looking for N.R.I girl so that they can marry her and settle down there. It also talks about how racial discrimination in the Western countries is inflicting young minds and sending them into bouts of depression. Most importantly, it talks about the institution of marriage. It says that no marriage is perfect as every couple has their share of differences (Somebody has rightly said that Men are from Mars Women are from Venus). But, every couple should look, introspect on the brighter sides of their relationship rather than opting for divorce. All this might be sounding heavy and preachy but to their credit ; both Amberdeep and Rajiv ensure that all these issues are raised in a lighter vein. The movie also talks about conservative approach of people living in Indian hinterland through N.R.I girl Jessica (brilliantly portrayed by Sargun Mehta) but the same girl is bowled over and is in all tears when she visits Punjab and is bestowed with all the love and affection. In short, Love Punjab has all the en-trappings that make a ambrosial film. 

The story, screenplay and dialogues of the film have been penned down by Amberdeep Singh who deserves a standing ovation for his clever writing. The best part about the screenplay is that it progresses smoothly and quite logically so that the drama does not bore or dip anywhere. Also, the characters have been so well etched out with perfection that they genuinely invoke interest in you. And the ambiance - so real that the audience gets a feeling of watching a authentic and real drama unfold on-screen. Probably, the biggest victory of a writer is that his script comes across as a very honest and straight-from-the-heart attempt which will not be lost on the audience. And to his credit, Amberdeep Singh has laden the screenplay with some real quirky one liners and dialogues which invoke aplenty of laughter. As far as the storyline goes, the film begins in Canada where Pargat (Amrinder Gill) is living with his wife Jessica (Sargun Mehta) and son Manvir. Their marriage is going through turbulent times and they are headed for a divorce. The negative affect of his parents getting divorced coupled with bullying by some of his classmates takes its toll on the mind of young Manvir who goes into depression. The psychiatrist advises the couple to take their child to Punjab. But, Pargat is reluctant as he knows the actual ground conditions in his village and is aware that his Canadian born son will not feel good about the conditions in Punjab. But, Jessica calls up Pargat's father (Yograj Singh) and tells him that they want to visit Punjab. She asks him to spruce up the village so that Manvir finds Punjab to be a developed state and feels proud about his roots there. Yograj urges the villagers to mend their ways for fifteen days and gives a makeover to the village. Will Manvir feel proud about his village and Punjab, Will the differences between Pargat and Jessica sustain or get sorted out is what forms the rest of the story. 

Amrinder Gill has grown leaps and bounds as an actor and his performance in Love Punjab is a testament to this fact. He has simply nailed the character of Pargat with his impeccable act in the movie. He is not only outstanding whilst delivering comic one liners but shows remarkable ease while enacting emotional scenes. Amrinder Gill is truly proving to be a dark horse of Punjabi Cinema. 

Sargun Mehta might be one film old in Pollywood but she is oozing with confidence in Love Punjab. Jessica was a layered and complex character to portray but Sargun has portrayed it with effortless ease. While on one side you see a poised, confident side of hers who wants a divorce from her husband; on the other hand you see a emotional side of hers who breaks down when so much of love and blessings are showered on her by Pargat's folks in Punjab. Sargun proves her mettle as an actress with her performance in Love Punjab & is carving a niche for herself in Punjabi Cinema. 

Yograj Singh delivers a masterly act as the patriarch of the family and sarpanch of the village. His frequent banters with his on-screen wife are a real treat to watch. 

Binnu Dhillon once again manages to tickle your funny bones with his hilarious antics. Nirmal Rishi delivers an excellent performance as she not brings smile to your faces with her frequent quarrels with Yograj but also leaves you in tears during her emotional scenes with Sargun. Rana Ranbir is hilarious as the school teacher. Nice to see writer Amberdeep Singh performing a comic cameo in the movie. 

The musical soundtrack of the film that has been composed by Jatinder Shah comprises of varied chart-busting numbers. The cinematographer of the movie is Navneet Misser who has done a swell job at capturing the visuals. Navneet's cinematography is plush,passionate and heightens the kitsch of the settings with warm-hued interiors as well as captures the outdoor locales with aplomb. He has ably captured the rural milieu with the roving eye of his lens. A special mention of Raashid Rangrez (Production Designer) & Rose Puri (Costume Stylist) for their effective contributions in their respective fields.  The movie has been edited by Omkarnath Bhakri who has kept the run-time of the movie to 130 minutes. As a director, Rajiv Dhingra has hit bulls eye with Love Punjab. Rajiv begins the movie well by introducing us to the characters and maintains the momentum throughout the movie without letting it dip, at any point of time. Rajiv Dhingra has done a swell job of crafting the screenplay unto screen and in the process has also extracted the best out of his cast and crew. There is a scene in the movie where Amrinder and Sargun are sitting on a bench and discussing pleasant memories. As Sargun stands to move away, Amrinder holds Dupatta of Sargun and when Sargun looks back, he leaves it. She thinks that Amrinder has held it but finds it entangled in the bench. This scene forms the crux of the movie. Amrinder has strong feelings, love for Sargun but he is unable to express them. This is a masterly scene helmed by Rajiv Dhingra and he deserves all the brownie points for the same.         
Team Love Punjab has worked hard to come up with a clean, family entertainer that works primarily because it has got its heart and soul at the right place. Also, the movie is an exemplary amalgamation of rich content, brilliant craftsmanship and towering performances which result in full paisa wasool experience for the audience. So what are you waiting for.....Go & watch Love Punjab at a theater near you at the earliest. It's a must watch.  
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