Love Punjab is a story of relationship and roots. It shows whenever we reach at a dead end on the path of relationships; we take a U turn to our roots. Love Punjab has an ensemble of relationships, shattering, romance, motherly love, father-son affection, twinge and when the twinge is reached at the point to shatter the souls, protagonists return to their roots, where there is a village, belongingness, wrangling and love in wrangling.
In search of a better future Pargat (Amrinder Gill) comes to Canada from a small village of Punjab. He falls in love with a Canadian Punjabi girl Jessica (Sargun Menta). They get married and all goes well until demanding life of developed country steals all the charm. Expectations go in vain and cracks in relationships started glaring. Under the acute pressure of her broken hopes, her own nagging mother and cultural paradox Jessica decides to give up and seek a divorce. Their kid Manveer (Manveer Johal), who is already swinging between his identity and racial discriminations in his classroom, goes into depression when he learns that he is going to lose his father. Psychiatrist recommends them to take him to Punjab, reluctantly they agree and lands in Pargat’s village. A village, like every other village in Punjab, is going through tormented times due to lack of development, but Manveer’s grandfather and Sarpanch (Yograj Singh) paints a rosy picture of the village to help his grandson. There, At one side, Manveer witnesses his vibrant cultural roots , while, on the other side, Jessica and Pargat go through the forever wrangling but passionate love affair between older couple Yograj and Nirmal Rishi. Here director draws a parallel situation between old age love and romance of a new era. After that what we witness is very much predictable and culminates with a happy ending.
Film Review | Love Punjab
This week’s two Punjabi releases choose a common route, the roots, to reach straight into the hearts (and pockets too) of ethnic audience. Writer Amberdeep who has earlier written Angrej, a story of an ancient village, now creates a fusion between foreign land and village, but unfortunately through Love Punjab he only narrates a linear story. A story which goes in a straight line without any ups and downs, in between comes few funny punch lines which sometimes give a comic relief and the tadka of poppy songs rendering romantic melodrama to the emotional paradox of husband, wife and son. Story swept like a calm stream and ends with a thud at a well known culmination. Perhaps writer and director ignored the fact that parallel comparison can be drawn only on equal grounds. There is a huge gap between three decades old relationship and the circumstances of a new age relationship. In the scarce resources, and a place to belong, it was much easier to keep the flame burning because the environment of homeland is embedded with the essence of love. In the modern era of cut throat race for survival, it becomes challenging to cope up with the professional and personal pressures. Expectations are skyrocketing and moments to comply with are getting scarce. The thought of right balance to keep up the relationship which director and writer wanted to suggest fades away in the formulistic entertainment fare and stereotyping men and women. The audience feels entertained, but gets nothing to take home.
Director Rajiv Dhingra has just translated the story from paper to celluloid and had left the whole burden upon the shoulders of actors and art director Shabana Khanam. Cinematographer Navneet Misar captures the grandeur of Canada and the ethnicity of village distinctively. Amberdeep’s dialogues express the right emotions of characters. In Angrej, Amrinder Gill few extra miles to perform Geja, but here he is more Amrinder and less Pargat. Sargun with her breathtaking beauty, expressive eyes and natural innocence aptly depicts the emotions of a tormented beloved. In every scene she compliments Amrinder and cover up his vacillation. Manveer Johal is the real hero of the film. With his sunken face and depressed eyes, he personifies the internal stigma. No one can surpass the chemistry between Yogran Singh and Nirmal Rishi. Amberdeep should not replicate writer Naresh Kathooria and should concentrate on writing to explore is potential. Stratified and forced comedy is the loosest portion of the film. Even if it entertains at places it remains scattered out of the major narrative and does not fit in at all. After Channo, Binnu has to be choosy while selecting roles. We naturally have big expectations from the writer-director duo of Comedy Nights. All other actors have done their job appropriately. All the songs are soulful but they do not contribute in linear story. The songs express the emotions of characters, but do not help the story to move forward. Romantic dance number ‘Goriyan Bahan’ feels like a waft of fresh air.
For trailing the roots for the sake of relationship in this era and making an entertaining film on a serious subject deserves three stars.
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