New Delhi, 03 Jan 2020 17:07 IST
Sneha Taurani's directorial debut suffers from a lack of originality and weak execution. The music is the saving grace.
Numerous Hindi films have traversed the familiar territory of rivalry and love between opposing teams determined to outdo each other. Bhangra Paa Le by first-time director Sneha Taurani is another such film, with very little originality.
Sunny Kaushal has a double role in the film as it navigates two stories, one set in the contemporary moment with Jaggi (Kaushal), a college student eager to showcase his Bhangra moves to a wider audience and continue in the family tradition, and another set in the 1940s, the story of his grandfather Kaptaan (Kaushal again). Kaptaan has music in his soul and his feet start tapping with the beating of the dhol. In keeping with his father’s wishes, he gets recruited in the army but has to leave his love Nimmo (Shriya Pilgaonkar) behind. When he returns, he is a changed man and must find a way to rekindle his soul.
Jaggi is an egotistical, self-centred student who believes his Bhangra moves are beyond compare. He meets his match in Simi (Rukshar Dhillon), who is an equally good, if not better, dancer. The two are from opposing teams and thus at loggerheads. When Simi defeats Jaggi, he must realize the importance of his roots and loved ones to find the soul of Bhangra within himself.
The narrative intends the protagonist to be transformed through insight and experience, but that transformation is barely registered in Sunny Kaushal's performance. The actor remains rather unmoved.
Kaushal was handed a golden ticket in the form of the double role that allows him to showcase his acting chops. Sadly, he squanders the opportunity. Although he tries to make the right moves, the attempt lacks emotional depth. His dance, too, is energetic and on point, but it sorely needs the organic flow and rhythm that lies at the very core of an earthy dance form like Bhangra. One only needs to watch the Punjabi uncles moving effortlessly on the dance floor to witness the soul of Bhangra!
Both the female protagonists, Dhillon and Pilgaonkar, give relatively better performances along with a sadly underused supporting cast of Sheeba Chaddha, Parmeet Sethi and Kamlesh Gill, amongst others.
The weak direction is evident in the dead spaces in the film as the first half moves at a predictable and achingly slow pace. Things look up in the second half as it ties up the various threads and offers some powerful moments like the dance of Kaptaan with Nimmo playing the dhol. But such moments are few and far between in the feeble script.
The only saving grace of the film is the music. Energetic, foot-tapping, with a fabulous remix of the “Bhangra Paa Le” song from Karan Arjun (1995) and an okay remix of 'Rangeela Re' from Rangeela (1995), the music will be burning up the dance floors.
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